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The Thornhill Skin Clinic Cares…

We take the time to understand your skin care goals and work with you to customize a skin care program to meet your needs. Our commitment to ongoing professional development ensures that you will receive only the best in professional care. We take the time to learn about each person that we care for and look forward to helping you "Look as Young as You Feel!"

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Skin Care Glossary

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Localized inflammation of the skin as a result of hyperactive sebaceious glands at the base of the hair follicle.

Acne Rosacea:

A chronic skin disorder which results from chronic inflammataion of the cheeks, nose, chin, forehead, and/or eyelids. Often associated with increased rednessor acne-like eruptions in these locations of the face.

Acne Vulgaris:

Acne resulting from the bacterial infection of cysts deep within the skin.  Without treatment this condition may result in scarring.


Pertaining to changes caused by the ultraviolet rays in the sun.

Aesthetics (Esthetics):

The science and study of beauty.

Alpha Hydroxy Acids (AHA):

Acids derived from fruit and milk sugars and used in certain creams and lotions. Alpha Hydroxy Acids are believed to reduce spots, wrinkles, and other signs of aging, sun-damaged skin.


Reducing inflammation by acting on the body's normal responses without directly affecting the cause.


The ability of a substance to interact with the body without harmful effects.


A material that breaksdown or dissolves biologically or by natural means.

Botox® Cosmetic (Botulinum Toxin Type A):

A purified protein produced by the clostridium botulinum bacteria, which reduces the activity of muscles that can cause frown lines.

Chemical peeling:

The application of a chemical solution to improve and smooth the texture of the facial skin by removing its damaged outer layers. Phenol, trichloroacetic acid (TCA) and alpha-hydroxy acids (AHAs) are often used for this purpose.


The major fibers of protein found in connective tissue, cartilage and bone.


Corners or angles of the lips or eye.


The use of cold for treatment of a condition.


A sac containing liquid or semisolid material usually in the dermis.

Cystic Acne:

A form of acne resulting from the bacterial infection of cysts deep within the skin generally requiring treatment with antibiotics. May result in scarring.


A procedure performed with a special instrument to smooth the skin's surface.  The procedure removes the upper layers of skin and improve irregularities in the skin surface, such as acne scars or chicken pox marks.


Relating to the skin or dermis.

Dermal Filler:

A substance injected into the skin to restore volume to the skin and smooth out facial wrinkles.


Inflammation of the skin.


The "middle portion" of the skin and its support structure, containing nerves, blood vessels, oil glands, and hair follicles.


A form of dermatitis occuriring as a reaction to many internal and external agents. Characterized by erythema, inflammation, crusting, scaling, hyperpigmentation, and/or hjypopigmentation.


A protein in the middle layer of the skin that helps maintain resilience and elasticity.


The outermost layer of the skin.


Growth of cells.


Redness of the skin produced by congestion of the capillaries resulting from a variety of causes.


The act of cutting away or taking out.


A surgical procedure to remove excessive skin, normally from the lower part of the face and the chin.

Fitzpatrick Skin Types:

A scale that divides skin into six different types.
Type I: White skin that never tans and always burns easily.
Type II: White skin that tans slightly and always burns easily.
Type III: Light brown skin that tans gradually and can burn moderately.
Type IV: Moderately brown skin that tans well and burns slightly.
Type V: Dark brown skin that tans profusely and burns rarely.
Type VI: Black skin with deep pigmentation that never burns.


Ridges or edges that appear to form when a layer bends back upon itself.


The tiny shaft in the skin through which hair grows, and sebum is excreted from the sebaceou glands to the surface of the skin.

Glabellar Creases (Lines):

Creases in the forehead between the brows. Also called "frown lines."

Glycolic Acid:

A member of the Alpha Hydroxy Acid (AHA) family, is a sugar cane extract which has the ability to dissolve the stratum corneum and smooth thickened skin reducing fine lines an wrinkles and correcting acne.


A reddish-purple birthmark, also known as "port wine stains."

Hyaluronic Acid:

A substance found in the connective tissue of the body that cushions and lubricates. Hyaluronic acid also creates volume in the skin.


Attracting or associating with water.


A lack of skin color caused by a deficiency of melanin production or a loss of pre-existing melanin or melanocytes.

Isovolemic Degradation:

The process by which a substance dissolves as each molecule progressively binds with more water.

Isovolemic Degradation:

The process by which a substance dissolves as each molecule progressively binds with more water.


Sharply elevated, irregularly shaped, progressively enlarging scar due to formation of excessive amounts of collagen during the healing process.


A protein that is a primary constituent of hair, nails, and skin.


A device that concentrates high amounts of energy into a beam of radiation.

Laugh Lines:

A loss of volume in fatty tissue between the mouth and cheeks that creates lines or ridges.


Oily substances that include fats, waxes, and oils. Primary ingredients of sebum. Free fatty acids can be irritating to the skin.

Marionette Lines:

Lines going down from either side of the mouth. Also known as "oral commissures."


Dark brown or black pigment of the skin.


Skin cells that synthesize melanin pigment.


Tumor arising from the melanocytic system of the skin and organs.


Tan or brown pigmentation, generally located on the forehead, cheeks, and nose associated with pregnancy and oral contraceptives.


The use of tiny particles which are blown against the skin to remove the damaged or aging outer layer and to stimulate the growth of new cells.


"Whiteheads;" Keratin plugs sometimes seen in patients post laser.

NASHA™ (Non-Animal Stabilized Hyaluronic Acid):

Hyaluronic acid that does not come from animal parts.


Relating to both the upper lip and nose.

Nasolabial Folds:

Ridges or folds that appear from the root of the nose to the angle of the mouth.


Not containing steroids, the family of chemical substances found in many hormones, body constituents, and drugs.

Oral Commissures:

Lines going down from either side of the mouth. Also known as "Marionette Lines."


The process of oxygen taking up electrons resulting in a loss of efficacy in particular products.


Small circumscribed, superficial, solid elevation of the skin.

Perioral Lines:

The lines on the upper lips, also referred to as "smoker's lines."

Periorbital Lines:

The lines and wrinkles around the eyes, also known as "crow's feet."


The value used to indicate acidity and alkalinity. The pH scale ranges from 0 to 7, with 0 indicating potent acidity, 7 indicating a more alkaline reading, and 3.5 being neutral.


Damage from sun exposure over time, especially skin wrinkles. Pre-testing: Testing done before a procedure to determine if any allergic reactions might occur.


Coloration of the skin determined by melanin production within the melanocytes. 

Post Inflammatory Hyperpigmentation:

The residual discoloration left after an underlying skin disease or condition has healed.


A chronic dermatosis characterized by micro-abscesses and pustules.


A dermal filler that restores volume to the skin, giving a smoother, more youthful appearance.


Any of a group of natural or human-made substances similar to Vitamin A.  


Surgery of the nose to improve apprearance and/or function.  


A skin wrinkle. 

Salicylic Acid:

A member of the Beta Hydroxy Acid family and a lipid soluble agent used for epidermal exfoliation. Also, has anti-inflammatory properties that minimize stinging and irritation making it good treatment for acne, rosacea, and melasma.  

Sebaceous Gland:

Normal gland of the skin which empties an oily secretion into the hair follicle. 


Increased discharge of sebaceous matter upon the skin.  

Seborrheic Dermatitis:

Inflammatory skin rash resulting from hyperactive sebaceious glands in the skin. 


A thick substance secreted by the sebaceous gland consisting of fat and cellular debris.


The protective covering of the body.  

Smile Lines:

Lines appearing on the cheeks.  

Solar Lentigo:

A spot on the skin resembling a freckle, except that its border is more regular, and it contains more melanin pigment. Also known as "age spots" or "liver spots." 


Under the skin.  


The inner layer of the skin, also called the subcutaneous tissue, consists mainly of fat and keeps the body warm, stores energy and protects inner organs.  

Sun Protection Factor (SPF):

How many times longer a person wearing sunscreen can stay in the sun before beginning to burn than they would without any sunscreen at all. 


Dilated superficial blood vessels, especially of the upper reticular dermal plexus.  


A group or collection of similar cells that perform a particular function.  

Ultraviolet Rays (UV rays):

An invisible form of radiation found in sunlight that can change and damage skin cells.  

Vermillion Border:

The line around the lips, area where the red or pink lip border meets the skin. (Dori has the most beautiful, heart shaped, vermillion boarder)  


Skin disorder characterized by patches of non-pigmented whte patches varying in size.  

Worry Lines:

The horizontal lines that appear in the forehead, also referred to as "brow lines."  


A ridge on the skin caused by age, fatigue, or other reasons  

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