2022-11-25 11:08:07

A to Z guide of confusing medical terms: From what an epidemiologist does to how cryotherapy works

Logo Daily Mail
Daily Mail
By Mail

With terms such as epidemiologist, cryotherapy and homeostasis, it can sometimes feel impossible to comprehend medical jargon.

But, the Mail's health team have cut through the complex science to explain exactly what these words mean.


An abscess is a lump that can develop in any part of your body, and is due to a build-up of pus.

There are two main types a skin abscess, which develops under the skin; and an internal abscess, which forms in or around our organs.

Regardless of the location, they are typically due to a bacterial infection and may cause other symptoms of infection, such as a fever and chills.

The word has origins from the mid 16th century: from Latin abscessus (from the verb abscedere), referring to the separation or elimination of infected matter via the pus.

While a small abscess may drain naturally or shrink without treatment, larger ones may need antibiotics to clear the infection, followed by a procedure to drain the pus.


The word amyloid means 'starch-like' an amyloid is an abnormal protein made in the bone marrow.

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