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Cosmetic Surgery Glossary


Hyperpigmentation: A skin condition in which there is excessive pigmentation that's often seen as dark spots on the skin.

Hypertrophic scar: A raised and red scar, similar to a keloid scar but different in that it stays within the boundaries of the injury site.

Hypopigmentation: A skin condition in which there is a lack of pigmentation.

Keloid scar: A type of scar that continues to grow beyond what is needed at the site of an injury. This type of scar is caused by too much collagen forming while the skin is being repaired. The tendency to develop keloid scars is genetic.

Keratin: This dominant protein is the skin's main material, occurring also in hair and nails. Keratin is what makes skin rigid.

Kojic Acid: A skin treatment product derived from a fungus that works as a lightening agent and inhibits the production of melanin.

L-ascorbic acid: L-ascorbic acid is a form of Vitamin C.

Lentigines: See "age spots."

Lip Augmentation: A procedure done to improve deflated, drooping, or sagging lips; correct their symmetry; or reduce fine lines and wrinkles around them. This is often done through injections or implants.

Lipoplasty: See "liposuction."

Liposuction: A cosmetic procedure in which a special instrument called a cannula is used to break up and suck out fat from the body. This procedure is also known as lipoplasty.

Macrodactyly: A condition that affects children in which the fingers or toes grow abnormally large.

Macular stain: A small birthmark that is often nothing more than a small, mild, red blemish on the skin.

Mammoplasty: Any reconstructive or cosmetic surgical procedure that alters the size or shape of the breast.

Mastectomy: The surgical removal of part of or the entire breast.

Mastopexy: Also called a breast lift, this procedure removes excess skin in order to lift up sagging or drooping breasts.

Melanocytes: A pigment producing cell found in the skin, hair, and eyes that gives them their color.

Melanoma: The most dangerous form of skin cancer. Melanoma can spread rapidly and be fatal if not detected and treated.

Melasma: A condition in which pigmentation of the cheeks of the face darkens into tan or brown patches. This condition occurs in half of all women during pregnancy.

Micropigmentation: A form of tattooing commonly used to apply permanent makeup by injecting iron oxide pigment into the middle layer of the skin (dermis).

Neoplasm: A tumor.

Nevus flammeus: See "port-wine stain."

Otoplasty: A surgical procedure done to correct misshaped or protruding ears.

Photo-aging: The changes that occur to the skin due to sun exposure. This includes wrinkles and age spots.

Port-wine stain: A type of birthmark characterized by a mark on the skin that resembles the rich red color of port wine. Port-wine stains are caused by an abnormal concentration of capillaries. This type of birthmark is also referred to as nevus flammeus. Unlike a hemangioma, it does not improve over time.  

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