Skin changes

The following is an overview and brief description of the most important skin changes. You will receive information about the individual skin florescences and the typical clinical pictures in which they occur. In each section, you also have the possibility to access our main articles and receive further information.

Forms of skin changes

The skin lesions listed below describe in layman’s terms used by a dermatologist to describe skin lesions in a medically precise manner. Skin lesions are called skin florescences. All skin diseases can be described with the help of these efflorescences.

Skin florescences can be roughly divided into two groups:

  • Primary efflorescences are skin changes that are directly caused by a skin disease
  • Secondary chlorescence Secondary chlorescence results either from a primary fluorescence or from external damage to the skin

Here is an overview of the primary efflorescences:

  • The macula is a circumscribed, non-palpable skin change. So you can easily recognize the borders of this spot, but the spot itself is not raised. This means that you cannot feel the change by simply stroking the macula over the skin.

    The macula is limited in its extension to the uppermost skin layers.

  • The papula, also called nodule or papule, is a small circumscribed sublimity. There are papules of the upper, but also of the lower skin layers. Papules are found, for example, in acne.
  • The mode, or node, is a circumscribed substance proliferation in or under the skin.

    They are larger than a papule.

  • The urtica, or wheal, is a fuzzily defined flat relief.
  • The vesicle, or blister, is a fluid-filled cavity in the upper layer of skin, the epidermis.
  • The bulla, the bladder, is similar to a vesicle, only larger. These large bubbles filled with liquid often develop from small vesicles.
  • The pustula, the pustule, is a sterile, yellowish accumulation of leukocytes (white blood cells) in a cavity in the epidermis (upper layer of skin). Pustules are found, for example, in psoriasis and acne.

A short overview of secondary fluorescences:

  • Squama, the scale, is characterized by an increased accumulation of horn lamellae.

    These scales occur mainly in psoriasis.

  • Crusta, the crust, is a deposit of dried secretion.
  • Cicatrix, the scar, is characterized by a healing of a previous defect. The scar can be either atrophic (less tissue than before) or hypertrophic (with increased tissue growth).
  • The rhagade, or fissure, is a cleft-shaped tear that extends into the dermis. At not keratinized skin-mucous membrane regions they are called fissures.

    They often occur in the corners of the mouth.

  • Erosion (abrasion) is a superficial defect that heals without scarring.
  • An excoratio is a defect that extends into the dermis (lower layer of skin). Nevertheless, the excoratio usually heals without scarring. The defect is therefore deeper than with erosion.
  • An ulcer or tumor describes a deeper reaching defect that leaves a scar after healing.
  • Atrophy is a loss of tissue without previous defect.
  • A pustula (pustule) can also occur as a secondary chlorescence.