Health Encyclopedia


Health Encyclopedia Home

Describing a Skin ConditionDescripción de una Condición de la Piel

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:


Thin, wrinkled

Blister or vesicle

Fluid-filled bump

Crust or scab

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 

Hives or wheals

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

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


Flat, large discolored spot with smooth surface

Pustule (pimple)

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

Related Items
Drug Reference
  Bacitracin; Hydrocortisone; Neomycin; Polymyxin B
  Ammonium Lactate
Daily News Feed
  Bedsores More Common Than Thought for Hospitalized Kids
  Skin Allergies Can Flare Up in Summer Heat
  Earlier Acne Outbreaks May Be Caused by Earlier Puberty: Experts
  Health Tip: Giving Your Skin What it Needs
  Health Tip: Shopping for Skin Care Products
  Health Tip: Help Sun-Damaged Skin
  FDA Approves 1st Topical Gel to Ease Redness of Rosacea
  Sleep May Aid in Brain Repair, Mouse Study Finds
  Use of Low-Dose Steroid Creams During Pregnancy Won't Affect Baby: Study
  Health Tip: Troubled by an Ingrown Toenail?
  High Blood Sugar May Raise Risk for Surgical Wound Problems: Study
  Your Aquarium Can Be Source of Skin Infections
  Health Tip: Caring for Calluses
  Study Sees Link Between Psoriasis, Kidney Problems
  Lawsuits Involving Laser Treatments by Non-Docs on the Rise
  Reports of U.S. Cases of Flesh-Eating Drug Questioned
  Staph Bacteria May Play Role in Eczema-Like Rash, Mouse Study Finds
  Study Finds Links Between Psoriasis, Heart Failure
  Immune System May Affect Germs on Your Skin
  Coping Tips for Winter Skin
  Newer Foam Mattresses May Help Prevent Bedsores in Nursing Homes
  Dermatologist Offers Tips on Dry Winter Skin
  Health Tip: Understanding Age Spots
  Preservative in Baby Wipes Linked to Rashes in Some Children
  Health Tip: Ward Off Dry Skin
  Steroids Often Prescribed for Psoriasis, Countering Guidelines
  Younger Skin Cancer Survivors May Be at Risk for Other Cancers
  Rashes From Wipes, Liquid Soaps on the Rise
  Health Tip: Washing Baby's Clothes
  Health Tip: Caring for a Hangnail
  College Women: Have a Healthy Spring Break
  Experts Warn About Skin Cancer 'Treatments' Sold Online
  Childhood Eczema Often Persists Into Adulthood, Study Finds
  Health Tip: Protect Your Skin
  Free Drug Samples for Doctors Might Prove Costly for Patients
  Stem Cells Yield Lab-Grown Skin, Researchers Say
  Skin Cancer Prevention Tips
  It's Better to Prevent a Sunburn Than to Treat One, Dermatologist Says
  Health Tip: Choosing a Moisturizer
  Health Tip: Easing Baby's Cradle Cap
  Health Tip: Stay Cool to Prevent Heat Rash
  Tick Exposure Can Occur in a Minute in Infested Areas
  Indoor Tanning Ups Melanoma Risk, Even Without Burning: Study
  New Approaches to Acne Treatment
  Moles May Be Harbinger of Higher Breast Cancer Risk
  Mouse Study Supports Notion of 'Tanning Addiction'
  Sivextro Approved for Severe Skin Infections
  Some Acne Products Can Trigger Severe Allergic Reactions: FDA
  High Blood Pressure May Up Psoriasis Risk for Women
  New Eczema Drug Shows Promise in Early Trials
  iPads Can Trigger Nickel Allergies in Kids
Adult Diseases and Conditions
  Common Skin Disorders
  Skin Growths and Pigmentation Disorders
  Home Page - Dermatology
  Other Benign Skin Growths
  Topic Index - Dermatology
  Laser Surgery for Lesions and Skin Conditions
  Skin Conditions
Pediatric Diseases and Conditions
  Common Skin Disorders in Children
  Describing a Child's Skin Condition
  Noninfectious Skin Conditions