Source:

Advances in Skin & Wound Care: The Journal for Prevention and Healing

February 2005, Volume 18 Number 1 , p 19 - 19 [FREE]

Author

  • Cathy Thomas Hess BSN, RN, CWOCN, Department Editor

Abstract

Outline

  • Identifying Primary and Secondary Skin Lesions

  • Primary lesions

  • Secondary lesions

  • Source

    Identifying Primary and Secondary Skin Lesions

    Primary skin lesions are present at the onset of a disease. In contrast, secondary skin lesions result from changes over time caused by disease progression, manipulation (scratching, picking, rubbing), or treatment. These 2 types of skin lesions can be differentiated as follows:

    Primary lesions

    * Bulla —a vesicle (see definition below) greater than 5 mm in diameter

    * Cyst —an elevated, circumscribed area of the skin filled with liquid or semisolid fluid

    * Macule —a flat, circumscribed area; can be brown, red, white, or tan

    * Nodule —an elevated, firm, circumscribed, and palpable area greater than 5 mm in diameter; can involve all skin layers

    * Papule —an elevated, palpable, firm, circumscribed ...

 

Primary skin lesions are present at the onset of a disease. In contrast, secondary skin lesions result from changes over time caused by disease progression, manipulation (scratching, picking, rubbing), or treatment. These 2 types of skin lesions can be differentiated as follows:

Identifying Primary and Secondary Skin Lesions

Primary skin lesions are present at the onset of a disease. In contrast, secondary skin lesions result from changes over time caused by disease progression, manipulation (scratching, picking, rubbing), or treatment. These 2 types of skin lesions can be differentiated as follows:

Primary lesions

 

* Bulla-a vesicle (see definition below) greater than 5 mm in diameter

 

* Cyst-an elevated, circumscribed area of the skin filled with liquid or semisolid fluid

 

* Macule-a flat, circumscribed area; can be brown, red, white, or tan

 

* Nodule-an elevated, firm, circumscribed, and palpable area greater than 5 mm in diameter; can involve all skin layers

 

* Papule-an elevated, palpable, firm, circumscribed area generally less than 5 mm in diameter

 

* Plaque-an elevated, flat-topped, firm, rough, superficial papule greater than 2 cm in diameter; papules can coalesce to form plaques

 

* Pustule-an elevated, superficial area that is similar to a vesicle but filled with pus

 

* Vesicle-an elevated, circumscribed, superficial, fluid-filled blister less than 5 mm in diameter

 

* Wheal-an elevated, irregularly shaped area of cutaneous edema; wheals are solid, transient, and changeable, with a variable diameter; can be red, pale pink, or white.

 

Secondary lesions

 

* Crust-a slightly elevated area of variable size; consists of dried serum, blood, or purulent exudate

 

* Excoriation-linear scratches that may or may not be denuded

 

* Lichenification-rough, thickened epidermis; accentuated skin markings caused by rubbing or scratching (eg, chronic eczema and lichen simplex)

 

* Scale-heaped-up keratinized cells; flakey exfoliation; irregular; thick or thin; dry or oily; variable size; can be white or tan.

 

Source

 

Hess CT. Clinical Guide: Wound Care. 5th ed. Philadelphia, PA: Lippincott Williams & Wilkins; 2005.