What Are The Different Types of Primary Skin Lesions?

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A skin lesion is described as any area of the skin that differs from the surrounding skin in terms of color, shape, size, and texture. There are mainly two types of skin lesions: Primary Skin Lesions and Secondary Skin Lesions. In this article we will cover all types of primary skin lesions.

Types of Primary Skin Lesions:


Macule and Patch

Macules are nonpalpable, flat lesions with a diameter of less than 10 mm. Macules are represents color change on the skin that is not raised or depressed in comparison to the skin’s. A huge macule is a patch only. Examples are, freckles, flat moles, tattoos, and port-wine stains, as well as the rashes of rickettsial diseases, rubella, measles (which can include papules and plaques), and various allergic medication eruptions.



Papules are raised lesions with a diameter of less than 10 mm that can be felt or palpated. Nevi, warts, lichen planus, insect bites, seborrheic keratoses, actinic keratoses, certain acne lesions, and skin cancers are examples of papules. The term maculopapular is commonly and incorrectly used to describe a variety of red rashes; it should be avoided because it is nonspecific and easily misunderstood.

Plaque: Plaque: A plaque is defined as a large papule or a confluence of papules with a diameter of 10 mm or more, or as a raised, plateau-like lesion with a diameter greater than its depth.

Nodules: Firm papules or lesions that extend into the dermis or subcutaneous tissue are known as nodules. Cysts, lipomas, and fibromas are examples of nodules. Nodules is similar to a papule. However, it is distinguished by the fact that it’s centered deeper in the dermis or subcutis.

Vesicle: Vesicles are small, clear, fluid-filled blisters with a diameter of less than 10 mm. Herpes infections, acute allergic contact dermatitis, and other autoimmune blistering diseases all include vesicles (eg, dermatitis herpetiformis). The fluid present in them is a serous fluid.

Bulla: Bulla is a large blister. Bullae are clear, fluid-filled blisters with a diameter of more than 10 mm. Burns, bites, irritating contact dermatitis or allergic contact dermatitis, and medication responses can all cause them. Pemphigus vulgaris and bullous pemphigoid are two common autoimmune bullous diseases. Bullae can also be found in inherited skin fragility disorders. A bulla contains serous or seropurulent fluid.



A pustule is a tiny bump on the skin that contains murky or purulent material (pus), which is usually necrotic inflammatory cells. These can be either white or red in color. Pustules are common in bacterial infections and folliculitis, and they can also arise in inflammatory conditions including pustular psoriasis.



Urticaria (wheals or hives) is a skin condition characterized by raised lesions caused by localized edema. The wheals are itchy and red. Wheals are a common manifestation of hypersensitivity to medications, stings or bites, autoimmunity, and, less commonly, physical stimuli such as temperature, pressure, or sunlight. The average wheal lasts about 24 hours.

Burrow: A burrow is a slightly raised, grey, tortuous line in the skin caused by burrowing organisms.



Telangiectasia aka spider veins are small, permanently dilated blood vessel foci that can develop as a result of sun damage, rosacea, systemic diseases (especially systemic sclerosis), inherited diseases (e.g., ataxia-telangiectasia, hereditary hemorrhagic telangiectasia), or long-term topical fluorinated corticosteroids therapy. ​1​



Scars are patches of fibrosis that appear after an injury and replace normal skin. Some scars thicken and raise, becoming hypertrophic. Keloids are hypertrophic scars that extend past the wound’s original margin.


  1. 1.
    Benedetti Julia . Description of Skin Lesions. msdmanuals. Published 2019. Accessed 2021. https://www.msdmanuals.com/en-in/professional/dermatologic-disorders/approach-to-the-dermatologic-patient/description-of-skin-lesions

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