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Hijab and Hair Care

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Wudu and Skin Care

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Have you recently received a diagnosis and are looking to better understand your skin condition? Or maybe you’re looking for more information online and are trying to wade through the medical jargon so that you can better advocate for your health? This glossary of terms frequently used in dermatology can help you to better understand your skin, hair, and nail health.

If you’re looking for a word that isn’t on the list, please contact us as This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. and we’ll be sure to add it to the list!

A | B | C | D | E | F | G | H | I | J | K | L | M | N | O | P | Q | R | S | T | U | V | W | X | Y | Z

Acral: involving the distal extremities of the body; examples include the fingers, ears, nose, toes, nipples, and penis.
Annular: ring-shaped.
Asymptomatic: a person showing no signs/symptoms of a condition that they have.
Biologic: a drug that is made from living organisms or parts of living organisms designed to target a specific part of the immune system that causes inflammation.
Biopsy: a medical procedure where they take a piece of tissue or a sample of cells from your body to be analyzed in a lab; most samples are taken using needles.
Bulla: raised lesion containing fluid; greater than 1 cm.
Burden of Disease: the physical, psychological, social, and economic impact of a disease on a person, family, institution, or society.
Carotenaemia: excessive beta-carotene circulating in the blood (beta carotene is derived from orange and yellow fruits and vegetables; our body turns beta carotene into vitamin A); causes yellow and orange skin colour and is prominent on soles and palms but does not affect the outer layer of the eye.
Clinician: a health care professional who works with patients/clients (e.g., doctors, nurses, physiotherapists, social workers, etc. who care for patients)
Comorbidity: When people have multiple illnesses/conditions at one time.
Cosmesis: preservation, restoration, or enhancement of physical beauty; surgical correction of a condition or the cosmetic improvements made after surgery.
Debridement: a procedure in which dead or infected skin is removed to promote wound healing.
Dermatomal: The area of skin supplied by a single spinal nerve (dermatome).
Dermatoses: Conditions affecting the skin, hair, or nails.
Diagnosis: the act of recognizing a disease or condition from its signs and symptoms. 
Ecchymosis: a discolouration of the skin usually caused by bleeding underneath the skin (sometimes caused by a bruise)
Efficacy: effectiveness; the ability to produce the desired effect
Erosion: loss of the outer layer of skin causing an open wound.
Erythema: increased blood supply causing redness; applicable to any skin condition that causes redness.
Erythroderma: redness affecting the whole body or almost the whole body.
Extensor: the side of a body part that extends a joint (e.g., back of the arms, front of the knees); it is on the opposite side of the limb or joint to flexor surfaces.
Fissure: painful crack in the skin; typically a straight line.
Flexor, flexural: the side of the body part that bends (or flexes) a joint; examples include armpits, backs of knees, groin, and elbow creases. It is on the opposite side of the extensor surfaces.
Follicular: lesions that appear in or around the roots (follicles) of hair.
Fomites: objects that are likely to carry infection, such as clothes, utensils, and furniture.
Generalised: widespread; covering many parts of the body.
Gyrate rash: a rash that appears as a pattern of wonky rings and wavy lines.
Herpetiform: small, raised bumps (papules) in a cluster that are solid.
Hyperpigmentation: darker skin than an individual’s normal skin colour; may be generalised or localized.
Hypopigmentation: paler than normal skin colour.
Incidence: the number of newly diagnosed cases of a disease. An incidence rate is the number of new cases of a disease divided by the number of people at risk for the disease.
Infarcts: interrupted blood supply causing blackness of dying tissue.
Inflammation: Puffy and/or red as a result of an immune response to a trigger (like an allergy) or a physical injury; it can also be purplish-grey. On lighter skin types, it appears red; on darker skin types, inflammation can appear a purplish-grey colour as well as red.
Jaundice: yellowing of the skin and the whites of the eye as a result of bile pigment buildup in the blood; often caused by liver disease or damage to the bile duct.
Lesion: any change in an area of the skin that looks different from the surrounding skin.
Leukoderma: whiteness of the skin; also referred to as achromia.
Lichenification: thickened or hard areas of skin due to frequent scratching or rubbing.
Linear lesion: a lesion in the shape of a straight/nearly straight line that often appears due to external reasons including scratching; also referred to as striate.
Localised: a condition which appears in [only] a specific area of the body.
Malodorous: having an unpleasant smell.
Macule: small patch of skin less than 1 cm that is not raised.
Morbidity: another word for illness.
Mortality: another word for death.
Nodule: raised lesion; greater than 1 cm.
Nummular lesion: circular (coin-shaped) lesions; also referred to as discoid.
Papule: a bump; less than or equal to 1 cm.
Patch: lesion greater than 1 cm that is not raised.
Perspiration: sweat
Petechiae: small (pinpoint-sized) red, purple, or brown spots caused by bleeding.
Photodistributive: a pattern of changes to the skin caused by excessive sun exposure (usually seen on areas that are often sun-exposed like forearms, cheeks, forehead, and nose).
Photosensitive: having an increased immune response to sunlight; usually causes itchiness, redness, and/or inflammation of the skin.
Plaque: raised lesion; greater than 1 cm.
Pressure areas: areas often prone to injury from pressure that are affected at rest:
  1. Tops of the ears; during sleep
  2. Buttocks; during sitting
  3. Heels; while lying down.
Prevalence: the total number of cases of a disease existing in a population. A prevalence rate is the total number of cases of a disease existing in a population divided by the total population number.
Pruritus: itchiness
Purpura: bleeding in the skin, such as a small red or purple spot (petechiae, less than 1 cm diameter) or discolouration of the skin (ecchymosis, more than 1 cm diameter), typically caused by bruising (ecchymoses); the skin does not turn white upon applying pressure to the area.
Purulent: containing or producing pus.
Pustule: raised bump containing pus; less than 1 cm.
Recurring: occurring again; returning after a period of time without symptoms.
Scaling: build-up of the outer layer of skin; followed by excessive shedding of the skin.
Seborrhoea: excessively oily skin caused by significantly more discharge of sebum, an oily substance that is released from sebaceous glands in the skin.
Seborrhoeic: relating to seborrhoea where there is significantly more discharge of sebum, a lubricating fatty matter; results in the appearance of oily skin and greasy scale formation.
Seborrhoeic keratosis: a non-cancerous warty growth.
Serum: dried pus, blood, or semen often mixed with dead skin cells.
Signs: objective, observable things that someone else can see which indicate a change in your health (e.g., a rash your doctor can see when you’re at your appointment).
Superficial: close to the surface; not very deep.
Symmetrical: similarities between the right and left side of the body.
Symptoms: a subjective experience or feeling that can only be identified by the person who has the condition (e.g., stomach cramps, headache, nausea, pain, etc).
Target lesion: a lesion made up of a series of rings around a central point, similar to an archery target (concentric circles); also referred to as iris lesion.
Telangiectasia: red or purple blood vessels that supply the skin.
Truncal: relating to or affecting the trunk/torso of a person; the area between the shoulders and the hips (not including the arms, legs, head, or neck).
Ulcer: a painful open wound. 
Ulceration: formation of an open sore or break on the skin or surface of an organ.
Unilateral: a rash only affecting one side of the body.
Vesicle: raised lesion containing fluid; less than or equal to 1 cm.
Violaceous: purple skin colouration.

Bolognia JL, Schaffer DJV, Cerroni L. Dermatology: 2-Volume Set. 4th ed. London, England: Elsevier Health Sciences; 2017.

Skin Investigation Network of Canada (SkIN Canada)

About SkIN Canada

Skin conditions are a leading cause of overall disability and death in Canada. Canadian researchers have made substantial contributions to address the heavy burden of skin disease, but much of the work is conducted in relative isolation by a dispersed community of scientists and clinicians. The creation of the Skin Investigation Network of Canada (SkIN Canada) plans to expand the critical mass of skin research expertise, create new collaborations, and enhance skin health through innovation. We have brought together patients and an interdisciplinary team of leading researchers and clinicians across the country who are tackling the mechanistic, clinical, health systems, and population health questions for a broad range of skin conditions.

The vision of SkIN Canada is to promote novel and high quality research that is guided by advice from patients and that improves the skin health of Canadians. The Network’s mission is to advance skin research in Canada by creating a national forum, guided by patients, to strengthen collaborations and capacity in the skin research community. The Network will be managed through a formal governance structure that includes patients, researchers, and healthcare providers.

SkIN Canada Strategic Aims
Strategic Aim 1: To develop and strengthen national infrastructure that will empower research teams to operate with greater scale and efficiency;
Strategic Aim 2: To identify priority research questions and create novel, multidisciplinary collaborations involving new teams of researchers, patients, and knowledge users;
Strategic Aim 3: To grow the community of successful skin researchers by developing talent across academic ranks and training levels.

SkIN Canada Disease Areas of Focus
There are three disease areas that the network will focus on. However, we expect that connections made among patients and researchers through SkIN Canada may also lead to interesting research questions and additional projects outside of these three disease areas of focus.

  1. Inflammatory skin conditions
  2. Wound healing, skin fibrosis and regeneration
  3. Skin cancer

Patient Research Partner Opportunities with SkIN Canada

SkIN Canada is excited to welcome patient research partners to shape how research on skin diseases will be fostered across Canada. This is different from being a research subject. A research subject participates in research by agreeing to be part of an experiment whereas a Patient Research Partner works with researchers to help them understand patient perspectives as they:

  • Build research networks
  • Create and design biobanks
  • Organize clinical trials for skin diseases
  • Train students and early career researchers to work with patients and on issues that are important to patients, and
  • Help share the results of research with patients and the public.

Role of Patient Research Partners in SkIN Canada

Patient research partners will be asked to:

  • Provide insights on patient & public perspectives and prioritizing research questions
  • Provide advice on planning, implementing, and evaluating the Network activities, including the Patient Engagement Workshop and grant competitions
  • Participate and contribute in face-to-face and telephone meetings to provide specific insights based on their experiences (or that of people they represent) in relation to a specific skin condition
  • Review documents related to Network activities and submitted research proposals
  • Review documents to be shared with the general public and offer suggestions for revisions
  • Contribute to dissemination of the results of Network-related activities and research by reviewing strategies and materials
  • Provide feedback and recommendations for further work to promote patient engagement
  • Provide support in recruiting additional patient research partners, as needed

Expectations of Patient Research Partners

  • Value the advancement of skin research and be interested in contributing to research
  • Timely respond to emails and participation during face-to-face or telephone meetings
  • Respect diversity and different opinions
  • Work collaboratively with other team members, as well as other Network committees
  • Respect and maintain confidentiality
  • Have a working understanding of the purpose and general concepts of research – please note that CSPA will provide training throughout the year and at the annual conference & patient engagement workshop.

 Key requirements

  • Screening interview by phone
  • Sign the confidentiality agreement


Should you wish to receive an honorarium, SkIN Canada will provide one based on the hours you have participated, according to the patient research partner compensation and reimbursement policy.


The CSPA will support Patient Research Partners to expand their knowledge about research. You don’t have to know everything about how research works in order to make a valuable contribution! The CSPA will provide updates and training to patient research partners as part of PAC meetings and at the annual conference & patient engagement workshop.

If you are interested in participating, please fill out this questionnaire by June 21, 2020.

Call for Expressions of Interest

Are you interested in how research questions are chosen, how research is done and how patients can contribute to research? There are several opportunities to be a patient research partner with SkIN Canada. The CSPA is looking for 14 Patient Research Partners to help shape skin disease research in Canada.

painting 911804 1920Show Us How Eczema Feels
Art Contest & Online Art Gallery
Eczema Awareness Month 2020



The Canadian Skin Patient Alliance is happy to announce the winners of our recent Art contest. 

We thank everyone who submitted their work.

The winning artwork will be featured on the Outside Back Cover of the Spring 2021 Canadian Skin Magazine.  


Primary Category

Luke V. 

Luke Varghese Entry

Intermediate Category, 

Victoria P. 

Victoria Philip Entry

Senior Category

Manjari M. 

Manjari Manickam senior winner


This is a very uncertain time for all of us. At CSPA, we are working with medical and scientific experts to answer your questions and help provide you with up to date information about how to stay healthy. This page will be updated regularly and new Q&As shared on CSPA’s social media. If you have any questions that you would like answered, please let us know at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. or on our social channels.

Facebook            Twitter                 Instagram

The CSPA is providing this information as general guidance in the evolving and uncertain circumstances of COVID-19. We encourage you to contact your dermatologists or other physicians for information about your specific circumstances as these professionals are best placed to consider all relevant factors and provide you with the best advice for you.


Patient Healthcare Resources during Covid-19

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Canadian Dermatology Association Patient Fact Sheet (click for more details)
*NEW* Was the vaccine rushed? https://cihr-irsc.gc.ca/e/52424.html 
*NEW* Immunize Canada https://immunize.ca/covid-19-info 
*NEW* COVID-19 vaccines and people who are immunocompromised: Recommendations 
*NEW* Canadian Rheumatology Association Position Statment on Covid-19

Frequently Asked Questions

Changes and updates to public drug plans across Canada due to COVID-19

Global Registries

 COVID-19 Resources from our Affiliates

Affiliate link address
AboutFace https://www.aboutface.ca/news/aboutface-covid-19-response/
BC Lymphedema Association https://bclymph.org/
Canadian Alopecia Areata Foundation https://www.canaaf.org/interested-in-canaaf-virtual-support-meetings/
Canadian Burn Survivors Community https://www.canadianburnsurvivors.ca/
Canadian Association of Scarring Alopecias http://casafiredup.com/meeting.php
Canadian Psoriasis Network https://www.canadianpsoriasisnetwork.com/
DEBRA Canada https://debracanada.org/
Eczema Society of Canada https://eczemahelp.ca/blog/eczema-and-covid-19/
Melanoma Network of Canada https://www.melanomanetwork.ca/
Neurofibromatosis Society of Ontario http://www.nfon.ca/
Save Your Skin Foundation https://saveyourskin.ca/new-covid-19-information-hub/
SCLERODERMA ASSOCIATION OF B.C. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=RoEPF-u5phs&feature=youtu.be
Scleroderma Canada https://www.scleroderma.ca/covid-19
Scleroderma Manitoba https://sclerodermamanitoba.com/
Scleroderma Society of Ontario https://www.sclerodermaontario.ca/
SJS/TEN http://sjscanada.org/home/sjs-ten-and-covid-19/


Clinical Trials

Clinical Trials Ontario: COVID-19 Resources & Updates


Patient Healthcare Resources during Covid-19 

ALL.Can Patient Support - COVID-19 Cancer Patient Support Hub



Consider supporting the work of the CSPA with a donation


We are proud to partner with the Canadian Association of Psoriasis Patients

Find out more about CAPP and the work they do for Canadian Psoriasis patients and their familes.

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