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All Diseases

Body lice are tiny insects, about the size of a sesame seed. Body lice live in your clothing and bedding and travel to your skin several times a day to feed on blood. The most common sites for bites are around the waist, groin and armpits — places where clothing seams are most likely to touch skin.

Body lice are most common in crowded and unhygienic living conditions, such as refugee camps and shelters for the homeless. Body lice bites can spread certain types of diseases and can even cause epidemics.

Clothing and bedding that have been infested with body lice should be laundered in hot, soapy water and machine dried using the hot cycle.

Boils and carbuncles are painful, pus-filled bumps that form under your skin when bacteria infect and inflame one or more of your hair follicles.

Boils (furuncles) usually start as red, tender lumps. The lumps quickly fill with pus, growing larger and more painful until they rupture and drain. A carbuncle is a cluster of boils that form a connected area of infection under the skin.

You can usually care for a single boil at home, but don't attempt to prick or squeeze it — that may spread the infection. Call your doctor if a boil or carbuncle is extremely painful, lasts longer than two weeks or occurs with a fever.

Bone cancer is an uncommon cancer that begins in a bone. Bone cancer can begin in any bone in the body, but it most commonly affects the long bones of the arms and legs.

Several types of bone cancer exist. Some types of bone cancer occur primarily in children, while others affect mostly adults.

The term "bone cancer" doesn't include cancers that begin elsewhere in the body and spread (metastasize) to the bone. Instead, those cancers are named for where they began, such as breast cancer that has metastasized to the bone.

Bone cancer also doesn't include blood cell cancers, such as multiple myeloma and leukemia, that begin in the bone marrow — the jelly-like material inside the bone where blood cells are made.

Bone metastasis occurs when cancer cells spread from their original site to a bone. Nearly all types of cancer can spread (metastasize) to the bones. But some types of cancer are particularly likely to spread to bone, including breast cancer and prostate cancer.

Bone metastasis can occur in any bone but more commonly occurs in the pelvis and spine. Bone metastasis may be the first sign that you have cancer, or bone metastasis may occur years after cancer treatment.

Bone metastasis can cause pain and broken bones. With rare exceptions, cancer that has spread to the bones can't be cured. Treatments can help reduce pain and other symptoms of bone metastases.

Bone spurs are bony projections that develop along the edges of bones. Also called osteophytes, bone spurs often form where bones meet each other — in your joints. Bone spurs can also form on the bones of your spine.

The main cause of bone spurs is the wear-and-tear damage associated with osteoarthritis. Most bone spurs cause no symptoms and may go undetected for years. Bone spurs may not require treatment. Decisions about treatment depend on where spurs are located and how they affect your health.

Borderline personality disorder (BPD) is a mental health disorder that generates significant emotional instability. This can lead to a variety of other stressful mental and behavioral problems.

With borderline personality disorder, you may have a severely distorted self-image and feel worthless and fundamentally flawed. Anger, impulsiveness and frequent mood swings may push others away, even though you may desire to have loving and lasting relationships.

If you have borderline personality disorder, don't get discouraged. Many people with this disorder get better with treatment and can live satisfying lives.

Botulism is a rare but serious condition caused by toxins from bacteria called Clostridium botulinum.

Botulism comes in several forms, with the three main forms being:

  • Infant botulism. This most common form of botulism begins after Clostridium botulinum bacterial spores grow in a baby's intestinal tract. It typically occurs between the ages of 2 and 6 months.
  • Foodborne botulism. The harmful bacteria thrive and produce the toxin in environments with little oxygen, such as in canned food.
  • Wound botulism. If these bacteria get into a cut, they can cause a dangerous infection that produces the toxin.

All types of botulism can be fatal and are considered medical emergencies.

A brachial plexus injury is an injury to the brachial plexus — the network of nerves that sends signals from your spine to your shoulder, arm and hand.

A brachial plexus injury occurs when these nerves are stretched, compressed or, in the most serious cases, torn. This can happen when your shoulder is pressed down forcefully while your head is pushed up and away from that shoulder; a direct contact hit also can compress these nerves.

Brachial plexus injuries are common in contact sports such as football, but they can also result from auto or motorcycle accidents or falls. Babies sometimes sustain brachial plexus injuries during birth. Other conditions, such as inflammation or tumors, may affect the brachial plexus.

Minor injuries may get better on their own, but severe brachial plexus injuries require surgical repair.

Bradycardia is a slower than normal heart rate. The heart usually beats between 60 and 100 times a minute in an adult at rest. If you have bradycardia, your heart beats fewer than 60 times a minute.

Bradycardia can be a serious problem if the heart doesn't pump enough oxygen-rich blood to the body. For some people, however, bradycardia doesn't cause symptoms or complications.

An implanted pacemaker and other treatments may correct bradycardia and help your heart maintain an appropriate rate.

A brain aneurysm (AN-yoo-riz-um) is a bulge or ballooning in a blood vessel in the brain. It often looks like a berry hanging on a stem.

A brain aneurysm can leak or rupture, causing bleeding into the brain (hemorrhagic stroke). Most often a ruptured brain aneurysm occurs in the space between the brain and the thin tissues covering the brain. This type of hemorrhagic stroke is called a subarachnoid hemorrhage.

A ruptured aneurysm quickly becomes life-threatening and requires prompt medical treatment.

Most brain aneurysms, however, don't rupture, create health problems or cause symptoms. Such aneurysms are often detected during tests for other conditions.

Treatment for an unruptured brain aneurysm may be appropriate in some cases and may prevent a rupture in the future.