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Identifying skin Lesions

macule (solid)

Flat pigmented circumscribed area less than 1 cm in diameter.
Example: freckle, flat mole, or rash that occurs in rubella

Papule (solid)

Solid, elevated lesion less than 1 cm in diameter that may be the same color as the skin or pigmented. Examples: nevus, wart, pimple, ringworm, psoriasis

Nodule (solid)

Palpable, circumscribed lesion, larger and deeper than a papule (up to 2 cm) extends into the dermal area. Example: intradermal nevus, benign or malignant tumor.

Tumor (solid)

Solid, elevated lesion larger than 2 cm in diameter that extends into the dermal and subcutaneous layers. Example: lipoma, steatoma, dermatofibroma, hemangioma

Wheal (solid)

Elevated, firm, rounded lesion with localized skin edema (swelling) that varies in size, shape, and color; paler in the center than it's surrounding edges; accompanied by itching. Examples: Hives, insect bites

Vesicle (fluid-filled)

Elevated, circumscribed, fluid-filled lesion less than 0.5 cm in diameter. Example: poison ivy, shingles

Pustule (fluid-filled)

Small, raised circumscribed lesion that contains pus, usually less than 1 cm in diameter. Examples: acne, furuncle, pustular psoriasis, scabies

Bulia (fluid filled)

A vesicle or blister larger than 2 cm in diameter. Examples: second degree burns, severe poison oak, poison

Excoriations (secondary, depressed lesions)

Linear scratch marks or traumatized abrasions of the epidermis. Examples: scratches, abrasions, chemical or thermal burns

Fissure (secondary lesions, depressed lesions)

Small slit or crack like sore that extends into the dermal layer, could be caused by continuous inflammations and drying.

Ulcer (secondary lesions, depressed lesions)

An open sore or lesion that extends to the dermis and usually heals with scarring. Example: pressure sore, basal cell carcinoma.

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