Lumps and bumps on the skin

When you have a skin condition such as eczema or psoriasis it is very beneficial to read as much as you can so that your knowledge of your condition is as broad as possible.  The problem is that many people write in terms that many of us do not understand.

What exactly is a macule?  Is it like a nodule or more like a papule?

It can get very confusing and trying to work out the terminology can take away from the information in what you are reading.

Below are a list of terms and their meanings commonly used to describe skin blemishes.

Blister:  Fluid enclosed in a small pocket under the upper layer of the skin (epidermis).  A blood blister is filled with blood and is the result of an injury.  A water blister is filled with clear serum.

Boil:  Tender, red, swollen area that is filled with pus.  It is an abscess on the skin and can be caused by bacteria, inflamed sweat glands or clogged sebaceous glands.

Cyst:  A closed capsule filled with fluid or a thick material.

Lesion:  A sore.

Macule:  A blemish on the skin that is flat.

:  whiteheads.

Nodule:  A small solid bump.  It may develop in any layer of the skin and be as big as 2 cm in diameter.

:  A small solid bump (usually smaller than 1 cm) that rises above the surface of the skin.  Also known as a pimple.

Pustule:  A small pimple in the skin filled with pus.  Usually arising from the sweat glands or hair follicles.

Vessicle:  A small blister.

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