Organizations and Terminology

American Board of Dermatology

Established in 1932, the American Board of Dermatology administers examinations and certifications to ensure the highest quality of service in the field of dermatology.

American Academy of Dermatology

With over 17,000 members, the American Academy of Dermatology is the largest organization of dermatologists in the United States.

WebMD Skin Problems & Treatments Health Center

WebMD's Skin Health Center answers many common questions about skin conditions.

Find treatment and product reviews, expert advice and a helpful community – all centered around acne treatment – at

Skin Cancer Foundation

The Skin Cancer Foundation is the leading organization dedicated to the prevention of and education about skin cancer.

Abscess – a closed pocket filled with pus. These may be painful and pus can be visible, or they stay closed and appear much like tumors, requiring a biopsy.

Acne – a skin disorder involving pores and hair follicles, acne can appear as blackheads, pimples, scarring and other skin-related problems.


Angioma – a benign skin tumor, usually consisting of lymph vessels and blood.


Bullous – a large blister-like sac of fluid appearing on the skin.


Biopsy – the process of medically examining tissue microscopically, usually to discover what type of tissue it is, or to determine its behavior.


Blister – any pocket of bodily fluid on the skin.


Boil – swollen and sore areas of the skin that appear around hair follicles.


Carcinoma – a cancer deriving from the skin. Some types include basal and squamous cell carcinomas.


Carbuncles – a cluster of boils.


Collagen – a protein produced by the skin that gives it elasticity and strength.


Congenital – present at birth.


Cyst – a deep lesion filled with pus, blood or another fluid.


Dermatitis – a skin condition marked by skin inflammation.


Dermis – the middle layer of skin, between the subcutis and epidermis.


Eczema – also called atopic dermatitis, eczema is marked by itching, scaling and thickening skin, usually around the face, elbows or knees.


Epidermis – the topmost layer of skin, above the dermis.


Hives – raised, red, itchy patches on the skin, usually caused by allergies to a food or medicine. Also called urticaria.


Lentigines – dark areas of the skin caused by sun exposure. Also called age spots, liver spots or sun spots.


Lesion – areas of discoloration or inflammation, often caused by, or indicative of, tumors.


Melanin – the pigment that gives our skin color.


Melanocytes – cells that produce and distribute melanin to the skin.


Moles – raised dark areas in the skin caused by the damage or dysfunction of melanocytes.


Subcutis – the innermost layer of skin, beneath the dermis.