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Dermatologic Etymology Descriptive Terms of Color

Vidhi V. Shah, BA1; Stephanie Mlacker, BS1; Adam S. Aldahan, BS1; Keyvan Nouri, MD1
[+] Author Affiliations
1Department of Dermatology and Cutaneous Surgery, University of Miami Miller School of Medicine, Miami, Florida
JAMA Dermatol. 2016;152(4):428. doi:10.1001/jamadermatol.2015.3152.
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A cutaneous (Latin. cutaneous<cutis, skin) disease (French. des, from + aise, ease) can be classified according to its color (Latin. color, hue, appearance).1,2 The color of skin disease may be described as:

  • Telangiectasia (Greek. tel < telos, end) + (Greek. angie<angeion, vessel) + (Greek. ectasia<ektasis, a stretching out, extension, dilation)2,3

  • Erythroderma (Greek. erythrós, red, reddish) + (Greek. derma, skin)2,3

  • Hyperpigmentation (Greek. hyper, above, excessive) + (Latin. pigmentum, pigmenti, coloring matter) + ation1,2

  • Hypopigmentation (Greek. hyper, above, excessive) + (Latin. pigmentum, pigmenti, coloring matter, paint) + ation1,2

  • Carotenaemia (Latin. carota, carrot) + (Modern Latin combined with Greek. – emia<haima, blood)2,3

  • Leukoderma (Greek. leuko < leukós, white, bright) + (Greek. derma, skin)2,3

  • Jaundice (Old French. jalnice, yellowness) + (Latin. galbinus, galbina, galbanum, greenish yellow)2,3

  • Erythematous (Greek. erythrós, red, reddish)1,3

  • Ceruloderma Cerulo + (Greek. derma, skin)2,3

  • Purpura (Latin. purpura, purpurae, purple dye)2,3

  • Melanin (Lithuanian. melynas, blue) + (Greek. melas, melanos, black) + (Sanskrit. malinah, dirty, black) + (Latin. mulleus, reddish)2,3

  • Bilirubin (Latin. bilis, bilis, fluid secreted by the liver) + (Latin. rub-, ruber, red) + in2,3

  • Violaceous (Latin. violāceus < viola, violae, violet)2,3

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