Dermatologic nomenclature

Primary lesions

Dermatology Nomenclature

Small lesions (<0.5cm)

Name Raised/Palpable Fluid-Filled Other Description Diagram
Macule No None flat, cirumscribed, colored Macule.png
Papule Yes None Solid Papule.png
Vesicle Yes Clear Vesicles (2).png
Pustule Yes Pus Leukocytes or keratin Pustules.png

Large lesions (>0.5cm)

Name Raised/Palpable Fluid-Filled Other Description Diagram
Patch No None Large macule (flat, colored) Patch.png
Plaque Yes None Superficially raised, circumscribed solid area Plaque.png
Nodule Yes None Distinct large papule Nodules.png.png
Bulla Yes Clear Large vesicle/blister or exposed epidermal layer Bulla.png
Wheal Yes Edema Firm and edema of dermis


Ulcer, fissue, and erosion

Secondary lesions

Section One

  • Scales – dead epidermal cells (dry white dandruff)
  • Cursts – dead epidermal cells + serum (oily secretions)/pus
  • Erosion –focal effacement of epidermis
  • Ulcer – focal effacement of epidermis +dermis
  • Fissure – linear crack into epidermis +dermis
  • Atrophy – thinning of epidermis +dermis
  • Scar – healed skin with connective and epithelialized granulation tissue
  • Lichenification – thickened epidermis
  • Petechia – non-blanching, micro- hemorrhages (3mm) into the dermis
  • Purpura - non-blanching, small hemorrhage (0.5-1cm) into dermis
  • Ecchymoses – large area of hemorrhage into dermis (a.k.a bruising)

See Also