Describing a Skin Condition

How to describe a skin condition

A doctor may ask you to describe your dermatological condition and its location. Here are some of the more common terms that may help you provide a more accurate description:

Atrophic

Blister or vesicle

Crust or scab

Cyst

Excoriation

Hives or wheals

Lichenification

Macule

Nodule or papule

Raised bumps

Patch

Pustule (pimple)

Scales

Scar

Thin, wrinkled

Fluid-filled bump

Formation of dried blood, plasma, or other skin fluid over a break in the skin

Deeply seated sac lesion that contains material

A scratch or erosion caused by scratching 

Pink or white localized swelling of the skin that is usually itchy

Skin that has become thickened, hardened, or leathery from chronic scratching

Flat, discolored spot

Solid, raised bumps. A nodule is greater than 0.5 cm and a papule is less than or equal to 0.5 cm. 

Bumps that stick out above the skin surface

Flat, large discolored spot with smooth surface

Inflamed, elevated lesions that appear to contain pus

A buildup of dead skin cells that form flakes

Fibrous tissue that forms after a skin injury