Glossary P

Rosacea Definitions

The cornerstone of successful treatment and control of rosacea begins with an understanding of the terminology associated with rosacea and ocular rosacea.


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Pandel® – by Savage, (hydrocortisone probutate) is a medium potency topical corticosteroid medication used in the treatment of some skin conditions.

Panmycin® – an oral antibiotic often prescribed for the treatment of rosacea. Also sold under the brand names: Tetracycline, Tetracyn®, Robitet®, Achromycin V®, Sumycin®.

Papule – A papule is defined as a small (5 millimeters or less), solid raised bump that may open when scratched, becoming crusty and infected. A group of very small papules and microcomedones may be almost invisible but have a “sandpaper” feel to the touch. A papule is caused by localized cellular reaction to the process of acne.

Pastes – Ointments in which powder is suspended. Pastes are drying and less greasy than ointments.

Pediamycin® – Oral antibiotic used in the treatment of infections. Also sold under the brand names: Erythrocin® (Oral), Eryc®, E.E.S.®, E-Mycin®, Erythromycin® (Oral), Ilosone®, Robimycin®.

Perioral dermatitis – a common skin problem that mostly affects young women. Occasionally men or children are affected. Perioral refers to the area around the mouth, and dermatitis indicates redness of the skin. In addition to redness, there are usually small red bumps or even pus bumps and mild peeling.

Photoallergic Dermatitis – a rash seen as small, reddish blisters or small or large spots in areas that have been exposed to sunlight. Some areas, for example, the face, can be spared. This rash usually appears after minutes’ or hours’ exposure to the sun or ultra-violet lighting from light therapy or a tanning bed. It can be extremely itchy.

Photocontact dermatitis – allergic contact dermatitis caused by the action of sunlight on skin sensitized by contact with a substance capable of causing this reaction, such as a halogenated salizylanilide, sandalwood oil, or hexachlorophene.

Photoderm – an intense light source, fired at the facial skin to reduce flushing associated with rosacea.

Phototherapy – Treatment with light. exposing the skin to ultraviolet light in carefully controlled doses. Treatment with artificial ultraviolet light.

Pimples – an inflammatory skin condition characterized by superficial skin eruptions around hair follicles also called acne vulgaris and/or cystic acne.

Pityriasis Rosea – A skin disease. Because of the similar spelling, this disease is sometimes confused with rosacea. (Note: There is no such thing as Pityriasis Rosacea.)

Pityrosporum ovale – a form of yeast may be a factor in the development of seborrheic dermatitis. This member of the fungus group is quite common and is found on healthy skin. For people with seborrheic dermatitis, when the skin retains oil and scales, this organism grows rapidly and can aggravate the skin condition.

Placebo – a pharmacologically inactive substance with no medicinal value, used as method for “control” in clinical trials.

Plaque – a flattish, raised patch on the skin.

Plexion Cleanser – Manufactured by Medicis; combines sodium sulfacetamide and sulfur to control rosacea symptoms.

Prednicarbate – emollient cream 0.1% is a medium-potency steroid indicated for the relief of the inflammatory and itching conditions associated with skin disorders. Also sold under the brand name Dermatop®.

Predisposed – susceptible, likely to get.

Proactiv® Solution – combines Benzoyl Peroxide and sulfur, used in the treatment of acne.

Protopic® – (tacrolimus) Ointment Manufactured by Fujisawa Healthcare, Inc. for the treatment of patients with moderate to severe atopic dermatitis.

Pruritus or pruritic – the medical word for itch.

Psorcon® – manufactured by Dermik; (diflorsone diacetate) topical high to very high potency corticosteroid medication, cream or ointment recommended for the treatment of psoriasis, eczema, and dermatitis. Also sold under the brand names: Florone®, Florone E®, Maxiflor®.

Psoriasis – characterized by recurrent red scaly patches or lesions. These patches, which are also known as plaques, have a well-defined edge around them. These red plaques are covered with thick white scales. Psoriasis that develops after a strep infection looks like small pinkish skin lesions.

Pulsed dye laser – used in the treatment of various cancers as well as port wine stains and other vascular lesions.

Pus – thick, opaque, yellowish fluid containing white blood cells, tissue debris and micro-organisms.

Pustule – A dome-shaped, fragile lesion containing pus that typically consists of a mixture of white blood cells, dead skin cells, and bacteria. A pustule that forms over a sebaceous follicle usually has a hair in the center. Acne pustules that heal without progressing to cystic form usually leave no scars. Pustules are common in acne, adult acne and acne rosacea. They are the yellowish topped small, pus-filled lesions that adolescents are notorious for picking and squeezing.