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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 in providing a more accurate description:

Atrophic Thin, wrinkled
Blister or vessicle Fluid-filled bump
Crust or scab Formation of dried blood, plasma, or other skin fluid over a break in the skin
Cyst Deeply seated sac that contains material
Excoriation A scratch or erosion caused by scratching
Hives or wheals Pink or white localized swelling of the skin that is usually itchy
Lichenification Skin that has become thickened, hardened, or leathery from chronic scratching
Macule Flat, discolored spot
Nodule or papule Solid, raised bumps. A nodule is greater than 0.5 cm and a papule is less than or equal to 0.5 cm. 
Raised bumps Bumps that stick out above the skin surface
Patch Flat, large discolored spot with smooth surface
Pustule (pimple) Inflamed, elevated lesions that appear to contain pus
Scales A buildup of dead skin cells that form flakes
Scar Fibrous tissue that forms after a skin injury

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Online Resources of Dermatology

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