All Diseases

Ordinarily, dry skin isn't serious, but it can be uncomfortable and unsightly, creating fine lines and wrinkles.

Serious dry skin conditions — an inherited group of disorders called ichthyosis — can sometimes be disfiguring and upsetting. Fortunately, environmental factors that can be at least partially controlled cause most dry skin. These factors include hot or cold weather, low humidity and soaking in hot water.

Chronic or severe dry skin problems may require evaluation by a doctor who specializes in skin (dermatologist). But first you can do a lot on your own to improve your skin, including using moisturizers and avoiding harsh, drying soaps.

Dry socket (alveolar osteitis) is a painful dental condition that can occur after you have a permanent adult tooth extracted. Dry socket is the most common complication following tooth extractions, such as the removal of impacted wisdom teeth. If you develop dry socket, the pain usually begins three to four days after your tooth is removed.

Normally, a blood clot forms at the site of a tooth extraction. This blood clot serves as a protective layer over the underlying bone and nerve endings in the empty tooth socket. The clot also provides the foundation for the growth of new bone and for the development of soft tissue over the clot.

Dry socket occurs when the blood clot at the site of the tooth extraction has been dislodged or has dissolved before the wound has healed. Exposure of the underlying bone and nerves results in intense pain, not only in the socket but also along the nerves radiating to the side of your face.

Over-the-counter medications alone won't be enough to treat dry socket pain. Your dentist or oral surgeon can provide treatments to relieve your pain and promote healing.

Ductal carcinoma in situ (DCIS) is the presence of abnormal cells inside a milk duct in the breast.

DCIS is considered the earliest form of breast cancer. DCIS is noninvasive, meaning it hasn't spread out of the milk duct to invade other parts of the breast.

DCIS is usually found during a mammogram done as part of breast cancer screening or when there is another concern with a woman's breast. Because of increased screening with mammograms, the rate at which DCIS is diagnosed has increased dramatically in recent years.

While DCIS isn't life-threatening, it does require treatment to prevent the condition from becoming invasive. Most women with DCIS are effectively treated with breast-conserving surgery and radiation.

Dumping syndrome is a group of symptoms that are most likely to develop if you've had surgery to remove all or part of your stomach, or if your stomach has been surgically bypassed to help lose weight. Also called rapid gastric emptying, dumping syndrome occurs when the undigested contents of your stomach move too rapidly into your small bowel. Common symptoms include abdominal cramps, nausea and diarrhea.

Most people with dumping syndrome experience symptoms soon after eating. In others, symptoms may occur one to three hours after eating. Some people experience both early and late symptoms.

Dumping syndrome is managed by adjusting your diet. In more-serious cases of dumping syndrome, you may need medications or surgery.

Dupuytren's (du-pwe-TRANZ) contracture is a hand deformity that usually develops slowly, over years. Dupuytren's contracture affects a layer of tissue that lies under the skin of your palm. Knots of tissue form under the skin — eventually forming a thick cord that can pull one or more of your fingers into a bent position.

Once this occurs, the fingers affected by Dupuytren's contracture can't be straightened completely, which can complicate everyday activities such as placing your hands in your pockets, putting on gloves or shaking hands.

Dupuytren's contracture most commonly affects the ring finger and pinky, and occurs most often in older men of Northern European descent. A number of treatments are available to slow the progression of Dupuytren's contracture and relieve symptoms.

Dust mite allergy is an allergic reaction to tiny bugs that commonly live in house dust. Signs of dust mite allergy include sneezing and runny nose. Many people with dust mite allergy also experience signs of asthma, such as wheezing and difficulty breathing.

Dust mites, close relatives of ticks and spiders, are too small to see without a microscope. Dust mites eat skin cells shed by people, and they thrive in warm, humid environments. In most homes, bedding, upholstered furniture and carpeting provide an ideal environment for dust mites.

Steps to reduce the number of dust mites in your home can often control dust mite allergy. Medications or other treatments may be necessary to relieve symptoms and manage asthma.

Dwarfism is short stature that results from a genetic or medical condition. Dwarfism is generally defined as an adult height of 4 feet 10 inches (147 centimeters) or less. The average adult height among people with dwarfism is 4 feet (122 cm).

Many different medical conditions cause dwarfism. In general, the disorders are divided into two broad categories:

  • Disproportionate dwarfism. If body size is disproportionate, some parts of the body are small, and others are of average size or above-average size. Disorders causing disproportionate dwarfism inhibit the development of bones.
  • Proportionate dwarfism. A body is proportionately small if all parts of the body are small to the same degree and appear to be proportioned like a body of average stature. Medical conditions present at birth or appearing in early childhood limit overall growth and development.

Dysarthria is a condition in which you have difficulty controlling or coordinating the muscles you use when you speak, or weakness of those muscles. Dysarthria often is characterized by slurred or slow speech that can be difficult to understand.

Common causes of dysarthria include nervous system (neurological) disorders such as stroke, brain injury, brain tumors, and conditions that cause facial paralysis or tongue or throat muscle weakness. Dysarthria may also be caused by certain medications.

Dysarthria treatment is directed at treating the underlying cause of your condition when possible, which may improve your speech. You may have speech therapy, which often helps people with dysarthria improve their speech. If dysarthria is caused by prescription medications, changing or discontinuing your medications may help.

Dyshidrosis, also known as dyshidrotic eczema or pompholyx, is an uncommon skin condition in which very small, fluid-filled blisters appear on the palms of your hands and the sides of your fingers. The soles of your feet also can be affected.

The blisters that occur in dyshidrosis generally last around three weeks and cause intense itching. Once the blisters of dyshidrosis dry, your skin may appear scaly. The blisters typically recur, sometimes before your skin heals completely from the previous blisters.

Treatment for dyshidrosis most often includes creams or ointments that you rub on the affected skin. In severe cases, your doctor may suggest corticosteroid pills, such as prednisone, that you take by mouth.

Dyslexia is a learning disorder characterized by difficulty reading due to problems identifying speech sounds and learning how they relate to letters and words. Also called specific reading disability, dyslexia is a common learning disability in children.

Dyslexia occurs in children with normal vision and intelligence. Sometimes dyslexia goes undiagnosed for years and isn't recognized until adulthood.

There's no cure for dyslexia. It's a lifelong condition caused by inherited traits that affect how your brain works. However, most children with dyslexia can succeed in school with tutoring or a specialized education program. Emotional support also plays an important role.