Following is a list in alphabetical order in which we try to give a simple
definition to the most frequently used terms in our field:
abdominoplasty - a procedure that minimizes the abdominal area. In abdominoplasty,
the surgeon makes a long incision from one side of the hip bone to the other.
Excess fat and skin are surgically removed from the middle and lower abdomen and
the muscles of the abdomen wall are tightened. Read
abscess - a local accumulation of pus in the deeper layers of the skin
which tends to drain to the surface.
abrasion (dermoabrasion) - mechanical action which destroys the outer
abrasives - small round particles which are added to cosmetic products
to eliminate materials on the skin's surface, to help in the mechanical cleaning
of the teeth and improve their shine. A substance's abrasive capacity is determined
by the particles' hardness, size and shape.
acne - skin disease that results from the blocking of sebaceous secretions
and from alterations of inflammatory or infectious nature of the sebaceous glands,
which range from a simple functional disorder (acne vulgaris) to acne rosacea,
with dilatation of the cutaneous venules.
aesthetic plastic surgery - one type of plastic surgery performed to
repair or reshape otherwise normal structures of the body, primarily to improve
the patient's appearance and self-esteem.
alcat (test) - blood test designed to determine food intolerances or
alpha hydroxy acids (AHAs) - AHAs are natural components derived from
food sources which, since the last few years, have been used very frequently for
the cosmetic treatment of wrinkles and photoaging, due to their hydrating capacity.
When used in high-concentrations (50-70%) along with a very low pH, they have
exfoliating effects and are used as a chemical peeling. AHAs diminish the cohesion
between corneocytes at the innermost levels of the stratum corneum, provoking
a thinning of the stratum corneoum and so with increasing its flexibility. Therefore,
AHAs are used today in cosmetics due to their moisturing, exfoliating and loosening
power. Studies made on photo-aged skin have shown a physiological and structural
improvement which counteracts the harmful effects caused by the ultraviolet rays.
alopecia - natural or abnormal hair deficiency. It is considered as
such when the person suffers over 25% of hair loss.
amastia - congenital absence of breast tissue. It is associated with
malformations in the chest wall, upper limbs and other organs.
anesthesia - lack of a normal sensation brought on by an anesthetic
anomaly - a health problem or feature not normally present in a healthy
individual; a deviation from the normal.
anotia - refers to the generally unilateral absence of the external
ear, the auricle. Read more.
anti-wrinkle - anti-wrinkle products should cause one or more of the
-. Stimulation of epidermic mitosis and inhibition of keratinisation.
Stimulation of the activity of the sebaceous glands.
-. Stimulation of protein
synthesis (like collagens, elastine and muscular proteins).
of hyaluronic acid, responsible for the hydration of the skin.
cosmetic products are designed to reduce and improve the look of wrinkles. Wrinkles
cannot disappear, but the important thing is to improve or reduce the unaesthetic
effect they cause without eliminating the personality, because in some cases,
wrinkles make a face even more attractive.
anticellulites - products with anticellulite effects can be sorted into
-. Substances that act on the fibres of the conjunctive tissue.
Agents which affect the drainage of the fundamental substance of the skin.
Agents that facilitate the movement of fats.
Cellulite elimination can also
be achieved through aesthetic techniques such as: circulation massages, lymphatic
drainage, pressotherapy and hydrotherapy.
anti-aging -the loss of skin firmness and elasticity occurs at different
rates and different times in one individual as compared to another. Skin type,
aggressive environmental factors, type of diet, etc., are going to be determining
factors. Effective anti-aging products are antioxidants, silicone, hyaluronic
acid, collagen, elastine and alpha hydroxy acids(AHAs) .
Apert syndrome - a craniofacial abnormality characterized by an abnormal
head shape, small upper jaw, and fusion of the fingers and toes.
areola - a darker pigmented area surrounding the nipple of the breast.
asymmetry - lacking symmetry; parts of the body are unequal in shape
atelia - absent nipple development.
atrophy - partial or total loss of the qualities of tissue or an organ,
including their components.
augmentation mammoplasty - the surgical procedure to increase the size
of the breast using a an artificial implant, filled with a saline solution or
aureola - see areola.
autologous tissue breast reconstruction - the use of the patient's own
tissues to reconstruct a new breast mound. The common technique is the TRAM (transverse
rectus abdominous muscle) flap. A TRAM flap involves removing an area of fat,
skin and muscle from the abdomen and stitching it in place to the mastectomy wound.
baggy eyelids (also known as "palpebral bags") - baggy eyelids
are darker skin patches that appear in the lower eyelid. Their origin is not well
known, although two possibilities are considered: skin hiperpigmentation that
can be due to genetic reasons or an accumulation of blood with small hematomes
that are visible through the skin, which is thinner and more transparent in this
biopsy - microscopic study to reveal the benign or malign nature of
human tissue fragments.
blepharoplasty (also called eyelid lift) - a surgical procedure in which
the surgeon removes excess of fat, muscle and skin from both the upper and lower
eyelids to redefine the shape of the eye.
Bichat's fat pad - an encapsuled mass of special body fat in the cheek,
with different metabolism in comparison with the rest of normal fat.
botulinum toxin - a neurotoxin produced by the bacterium Clostridium
botulinum. It specifically blocks the release of acetylcholine which causes a
temporary muscle paralysis. It is a simple and efficient method for treating expression
breast augmentation (technically known as augmentation mammoplasty)
- a surgical procedure to reshape the breast in order to make it larger. This
procedure can also be performed to reconstruct the breast following breast surgery.
botox - natural chemical product derived from a bacteria which is injected
into the muscles on the forehead to temporarily relax the muscles and erase the
wrinkles caused by their contraction.
Carpenter syndrome - a birth defect that typically includes traits such
as abnormally short fingers, webbed toes, extra toes, underdeveloped jaw, highly
arched palate, widely spaced eyes, and/or low-set, deformed ears. Half of patients
with Carpenter syndrome also have heart defects.
cellulite - fat storage in the adipose cells in the hypodermis. The
connective strands, that envelop adipose cells, stiffen, swell and pull down the
skin at their attachment points. This gives rise to some sections of skin being
held down while others bulge outward (orange peel skin).
cheiloplasty - the plastic surgery procedure to remodel the lips.
chemical peeling - a procedure which uses a chemical solution in order
to improve the skin's appearance. It can reduce or eliminate fine lines under
the eyes and around the mouth, correct uneven skin pigmentation, remove pre-cancerous
skin growths, and soften acne or treat the scars caused by acne.
Chvostek-Weiss sign - the spasm of the facial muscles elicited by gently
tapping the facial nerve in the region of the external orbital angle.
cleft lip - an abnormality in which the lip does not completely form.
The degree of the cleft lip can vary greatly, from mild (notching of the lip)
to severe (large opening from the lip up through the nose).
cleft palate - this physical anomaly takes place when the roof of the
mouth does not completely close, leaving an opening that can extend into the nasal
cavity. The cleft may involve either side of the palate. It can extend from the
front of the mouth (hard palate) to the throat (soft palate). The cleft may also
include the lip.
collagen - collagen is a fibrous protein, structural component of the
conjunctive tissue. It accounts for up to 70% of the weight of the skin and 25%
of the proteins in mammals. Collagen is responsible for the elasticity, tone and
flexibility of the skin. Collagen used in cosmetic products is usually derived
from animal tissue. Aging and excessive sun exposure, damage the collagen fibres
in the connective tissue and promote wrinkling of the skin and other signs of
aging. Cosmetics manufacturers have highlighted collagen as a new important ingredient,
although experts agree that it cannot affect the skin's own collagen.
collagen/fat injectable fillers (also called soft-tissue augmentation)
- a plastic surgery technique used to correct wrinkles, depressions in the skin,
computed tomography scan (also called a CT or CAT scan) - a diagnostic
imaging procedure that uses a combination of x-rays and computer technology to
produce cross-sectional images (often called slices), both horizontally and vertically,
of the body. A CT scan shows detailed images of any part of the body, including
the bones, muscles, fat, and organs. CT scans are more detailed than general x-rays.
congenital - present at birth.
contracture - an abnormal condition of a joint caused by a loss of muscle
fibers or a loss of the normal flexibility of the skin.
coronal suture - the joining line (suture) between the frontal and parietal
bones of the skull that crosses the top of the skull from temple to temple.
capsular contracture - the most common complication of breast reconstruction
surgery; occurs if the scar or capsule around the implant begins to tighten.
craniofacial - pertaining to the head (skull) and face.
craniosynostosis - a condition in which the sutures (soft spots) in
the skull of an infant close too early, causing problems with normal brain and
skull growth. Premature closure of the sutures may also cause the pressure inside
of the head to increase and the skull or facial bones to change from a normal,
Crouzon's syndrome - a birth defect characterized by abnormalities in
the skull and facial bones, this syndrome often causes the skull to be short in
the front and the back. Flat cheek bones and a flat nose are also typical of this
depilation and epilation -the act or result of removing hair from legs,
face and armpits. Classical epilation is done with warm wax applied in long strips
which are left to cool on the skin and then are pulled off with one quick motion
in opposite direction of hair growth. Waxing should not be done on people with
varicose veins or poor circulation. Cold wax has evolved and is equally effective
and even faster than warm wax. It is very efficient with long hairs, case in which
it is necessary to previously warm the strips, by rubbing them in the hands, to
facilitate their application. Depilation is the use of a chemical that dissolves
part of the hair shaft. This procedure can cause skin irritation. Wash the product
immediately off the skin if it produces itching. A very common form of depilation
still is shaving, because it's a fast, easy and effective hair remover. Results
last less because the hair is cut and not removed at its root. The procedure must
be repeated every two to three days. There are electric epilators currently on
the market fitted with spirals. They are fast and easy to use, although the procedure
must be repeated approximately every two weeks.
dermabrasion - a procedure that removes fine wrinkles and/or minimizes
scars on the skin; it involves the surgeon utilizing a high-speed rotating brush
to remove the top layer of skin. The size and depth of the scars, as well as the
degree of wrinkling, determine the appropriate level of skin that will be surgically
dermaplaning - a plastic surgery technique used to treat deep acne
scars with a hand-held instrument called a dermatome.
dermatome - an instrument that resembles an electric razor and has
an oscillating blade that moves back and forth to evenly "skim" off
the surface layers of skin that surround the craters or other facial defects.
dermolipectomy - the surgical procedure to correct skin and fat excess
in any body part: arms, legs, abdomen, buttocks, etc. Read more
dysmorphophoby - also called body dysmorphic disorder or syndrome of
body image disparagement. It is a distorted perception and valuation of the body
which consists of an exaggerated preoccupation with an imagined body defect or
an excessive devaluation of possible physical anomalies, which an apparently normal
individual may have. Read more
ectropion - the outward turning of an edge; it generally refers to a
rare condition of the eyelid in which the epithelium or lining of the eyelid is
exposed. Read more
elastomer - elastomers are rubber-like substances with natural properties
which can be stretched to at least twice or three times its original length and
which, upon release of the stress, will immediately return to its original length.
Synthetic elastomers have identical properties and are even better than the natural
endermologie - (LPG) or endermology is a deep massage technique that
uses a high-tech machine that pulls the skin upward with a suction device where
it is kneaded between two mechanical rollers. This kneads the skin and increases
blood and lymph circulation to the deepest skin layers.
endoscopy - the procedure in which a lighted viewing instrument (endoscope)
is used to look inside a body cavity or organ to diagnose or treat disorders.
endoscope - a small, flexible tube with a light and a lens on the end
used to look inside an organ or cavity such as the esophagus, stomach, duodenum,
colon, or rectum.
expander - the procedure used to stretch skin so that it can later cover
defects (scars, for example) it didn't reach before. A silicone balloon is inserted
underneath the skin and then gradually filled with a saline solution.
expander/implant breast reconstruction - the use of an expander to create
a breast mound, followed by the placement of a permanently filled breast implant.
eyebags - one of the major reasons for puffy eyes is water retention.
During sleep a poor lymphatic circulation causes a small oedema. Other causes
are lack of sleep, tiredness, a poor diet, smoking and excessive alcohol intake.
The bags disappear through out the day, because constant blinking stimulates drainage
and lymph evacuation. They are a natural result of the aging process due to skin
sagging and the only way to correct this, is through aesthetic surgery. A healthy
lifestyle, as well as, gently tapping the skin under the eyes in order to increase
the drainage and speed the reabsorption of fluids that cause the swelling, will
help delay their appearance. Cosmetic treatments in gel form are the best option
due to their texture, with the advantage that they can be used during the day.
Current cosmetics contain active ingredients (soothing, decongesting, stimulating
and firming agents) that jointly fight against crow's feet, eyebags and dark circles
under the eyes.
facial implant - the cosmetic plastic surgery to change the shape of
the chin, check, or jaw. This procedure is typically done to enhance certain facial
features, or to bring a certain aspect of the face into proportion with the rest
of the facial structures.
firmness - the skin losses its firmness due to aging although it can
also disappear prematurely due to other reasons (pregnancy, a sedentary lifestyle).
To recover skin firmness, from a mechanical point of view, it is possible to recur
to physical exercise or massaging. In the first case, muscle mass is tonified,
which in turn tenses other tissues. Whereas with a massage, an increase in blood
and lymphatic circulation is also achieved.
flap - a flap is a segment of live skin and subcutaneous tissue which
is moved from one location of the body to another with a direct blood supply (pedicule).
flap surgery - one type of surgery that involves transporting healthy,
live tissue from one location of the body to another - often to areas that have
lost skin, fat, muscle movement, and/or skeletal support. There are several different
types of flap surgery methods that may be used, depending upon the location of
the flap and the structures that need to be repaired.
forehead lift - the surgical removal of excess fat and skin, as well
as a tightening of the muscles in the forehead area. It can correct sagging brows
or deep furrows between the eyes. It is often done in conjunction with a facelift
in order to create a smoother facial appearance overall.
free radicals - free radicals produced by ultraviolet radiation are
a source of pathological alterations. These highly reactive molecules intervene
in many metabolic processes. Theories on free radicals hold these molecules responsible
for aging, due to their interaction with other molecules.
growth factors - growth factors are small biologically active protein
fragments of the cytokine group. Although GFs are produced and segregated by all
cells in the organism as a response to specific stimuli, they can be found in
greater proportion in platelets, macrophages and plasmatic proteins. When these
substances (cytokines) bind to cytokine receptors in the cell membrane, the cell
activates or inhibits its functions.
gynecomastia - a condition in which the male's breast tissue enlarges.
Gynecomastia literally means "woman breast." This increase in tissue
usually occurs at times when the male is having hormonal changes, such as during
infancy, adolescence, and old age.
hematoma - blood that collects under the skin or in an organ.
incision - the opening made with a scalpel that is done to reach a certain
part inside the body.
keloid - overgrown skin of varied coloring and hard, firm and elastic
consistency with a big quantity of fibrous tissue at the base. It can be due to
keloid scar - large shaped scars caused by excess collagen production.
lifting - term used for different procedures such as the procedure
which raises sagging breasts (breast lifting) or the procedure performed on the
skin of the face to smoothen it (facial lifting). There are different types of
liftings: traditional, subaponeurotic... depending if the aim is to separate or
stretch skin, muscle and skin or all the tissue over the bone. Read more
lip fissure - see cleft lip.
liposuction - a procedure that removes excess fat through a suctioning
process. Although liposuction is not a substitute for weight loss, it is a way
of changing the body's shape and contour.
macrodactyly - a congenital problem in which there is an abnormal growth
of a finger.
macrotia - big ears.
mastectomy - the surgery to remove a portion of or all of the breast.
mastitis - absceso de la mama. Infección del tejido mamario generalmente
por gérmenes que se introducen por grietas o fisuras del pezón.
maxillofacial - pertaining to the jaws and face.
mastopexy - a breast lift that removes excess skin from the breast and
relocates the nipple to a higher position, in order to correct breast sagging
caused by pregnancy, nursing or the force of gravity.
mentoplasty -the surgery procedure that can strengthen the appearance
of a receding chin by increasing its projection with an artificial implant.
mesotherapy - the medical treatment of affections that involves injections
of various substances.
microtia - very small ears.
minilifting - a lifting procedure (a surgery procedure that stretches
the skin) in which a small incision is made in the preauricular zone of face and
neck and the skin is slightly lifted. It is usually used to correct small wrinkles
or slight sagging around the neck level.
nasal - relating to the nose.
necrosis - death of tissues, skin, fat, muscle, bone, etc.
otoplasty (also called ear surgery) - a type of cosmetic plastic surgery
procedure aimed at setting prominent ears closer to the head, or reducing the
size of large ears, and gaining a more natural result .
paresia - decrease in voluntary movement of a part of the body. They
can be secondary to lesions of the upper motor neuron, lower motor neuron or neuromuscular
paresthesia - paresthesia is an abnormal sensation of tingling, pricking,
burning, or numbness of the skin and in the peripheral nerves.
partial abdominoplasty - procedure which involves minisurgery to reduce
the volume of the abdomen. This procedure is ideal for those people who have fat
deposits limited to the area below the navel.
Pfeiffer syndrome - a birth defect characterized by abnormalities of
the skull, hands, and feet.
plastic surgery - the surgical specialty that deals with the reconstruction
of facial and body tissue that requires a reshaping or remoulding due to disease,
a defect, or disorder - in order to approximate a normal appearance or to repair
polydactyly - a congenital problem characterized by an increase in the
number of fingers or toes.
reconstructive plastic surgery - one type of plastic surgery that is
performed on abnormal structures of the body that may be caused by trauma, infection,
developmental abnormalities, congenital defects, disease, and/or tumors. This
type of surgery is usually performed to improve function, but may also be performed
to approximate a normal appearance.
reduction mammoplasty - thesurgical procedure to reduce the size of
the breast by removing fat and skin excess.
rhinoplasty - the surgical repair of a defect of the nose, including
reshaping or resizing the nose. Rhinoplasty may be performed to change the size
of the nose, change the shape of the nose, narrow the nostrils, and/or change
the angle between the nose and lips. Rhinoplasty involves the resculpting of the
bone and cartilage of the nose.
rhytidectomy (also called facelift, rhytidoplasty or lifting) - a surgical
procedure that involves the removal of excess facial fat, the tightening of facial
muscles, and the stretching of facial skin - to approximate a smoother, firmer
appearance. The procedure takes place on the face, neck, or both.
Saethe-Chotzen - a birth defect characterized by an unusually short
or broad head. In addition, the eyes may be spaced wide apart and have droopy
eyelids, and fingers may be abnormally short and webbed.
scar - the body's natural way of healing and replacing lost or damaged
skin. It is usually composed of fibrous tissue. Scars may be formed for many different
reasons, including as a result of infections, surgery, injuries, or inflammation
septoplasty - the surgical correction of defects and deformities of
the nasal septum (the partition between the nostrils).
skin grafts - a skin graft may be used to cover skin that has been damaged
and/or is missing. This surgical procedure involves removing healthy portions
of skin from one part of the body to restore normal appearance and/or function
to another portion of the same body. The location where the skin is removed is
called the donor site. There are various types of skin grafts that may be utilized,
depending upon the size and location of needed skin.
SMAS - "superficial musculoaponeurotic system". It is the
name used for the procedure in which the surgeon lifts and stretches the skin
from the underlying facial muscles.
syndactyly - a congenital problem characterized by a union of fingers
tissue expansion - a surgical procedure that involves inserting
a balloon-like device (called an expander) under the skin. The expander then slowly
secretes liquid into the area to be repaired to actually stretch and expand the
skin. This serves the function of "growing" extra skin to repair nearby
lost or damaged skin.
ultrasonic lifting - the liposuction procedure that uses ultrasounds
to dissolve fat before eliminating it.
urticaria - a skin affection characterized by a sudden eruption of slightly
elevated patches or wheals of different shapes and sizes, followed by an intense
varicose veins - twisted, widened veins caused by swollen or enlarged
blood vessels. The blood vessels have enlarged due to a weakening in the vein's
wall or valves.
vermillion - in the face, the edge of the red pigment around the lips.
xanthelasma - a xanthoma and specially, the xanthelasma palpebra that
appears on the eyelids and which is more frequent in women following menopause.
xanthoma - a cutaneous affection characterized by the formation of plaques
or more or less flat, slightly raised, yellowish nodules, of different sizes,
due to fat filled cells in the skin. It is usually the result of a liver infection
or lipid metabolism disorder.
xeroderma - a skin disease characterized by the ultradry and wrinkled
state of the skin, with an increase of the layer of the cornea and a decrease
of sweat and sebaceous gland secretion.