Primary Care Dermatology Module
Nomenclature of Skin Lesions

Developed by Gary Williams, M.D. and Murray Katcher, M.D. Ph.D, Department of Pediatrics
with funding and support from the Wisconsin Area Health Education Center (AHEC) System

University of Wisconsin

The intent of this module is to help the learner describe and identify the major types of skin lesions. This process of description of lesions is a necessary step toward the identification of diseases of the skin or diseases that may have cutaneous manifestations. The accurate description and identification of skin lesions are processes that can be learned and can provide the practitioner with the valuable skill of being able to approach cutaneous problems systematically rather than having to rely on guesswork and gestalt.

Examples of the primary and secondary skin lesions are defined and shown as well as examples of a variety of patterns and distributions of lesions that are helpful to recognize and describe. The differentiation between the primary and secondary lesions are not always clear. Sometimes a primary lesion in one disease may be a secondary lesion in another. Please note it is the types of skin lesions that are defined and discussed and not the diseases with which they are associated. A wide variety of diseases may be associated with any of these lesions.

Click on any blue words or blue-framed pictures for more information. For help with navigation or further resources please see the help section.

Tutorials
Walk through three lessons on skin lesions, then test your knowledge with a quiz.

Master Index
Find a certain skin lesion example and explanation through an alphabetical listing.

Text Only
View the complete material on skin lesions as a text only document.

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If you have questions regarding the content of this site, please contact Dr. Gary Williams, gpwillia@pediatrics.wisc.edu