Lesions vary in size, shape and distribution. They are called punctate when they occur in dots or points; miliary, when the size of a millet seed; guttate, when the size of a drop of water; lenticular, when the size of a small pea or bean; and nummular, when the size of a small coin. Regarding their shape, lesions are said to be accuminate, when pointed; plane, when flat; conic, when cone-shaped; and umbilicated when depressed in the center. Regarding their location, they are described as isolated, when far apart; discrete, when not joined; confluent, when coalescing; and aggregated, when close together.
Patch signifies a single group of lesions or a distinct area of disease. Patches are composed of one or more types of lesions, thus macules, papules, vesicules or pustules may exist alone in one patch or may all be present in the same area, or the transitional varieties such as the papulovesicular or vesicopustular may predominate. The form, location, and relative arrangement of patches as well as individual lesions are influenced in a large degree by the direction of the bundles of connective tissue fibers which form the “lines of cleavage” of the skin, and the consequent vascular distribution to the different parts. The vasomotor centers located in the cord, which preside over certain vascular districts, furthermore influence the distribution of eruptions. When patches are limited in extent, they are said to be circumscribed; when distributed over a larger and irregular area, diffuse; when disposed in circular form or in sections of a circle, circinate; when in the shape of rings, annulate; when they have the appearance of concentric rings, iris; when the circles or rings, which have coalesced, fade away at the points of contact, gyrate or figurate; when one or more portions of the patch advances and another, usually an older part clears, the condition is called serpiginous; or when a patch shows an abrupt edge or is well defined, it is called marginate.
Eruption is the descriptive term signifying the totality of the objective manifestation, hence it includes all lesions, groups, areas or patches considered as a whole, no matter where located on the surface. When an eruption covers the entire cutaneous surface, it is said to be universal; when distributed over the whole body, with areas of sound skin between, general; when irregularly scattered over the surface, disseminate; when limited to one or a few regions, localized; when occurring alike on both lateral halves of the body, symmetrical; when limited to one side of the body, unilateral; when consisting of one type of lesions, uniform; or when presenting more than one variety of primary lesions, multiform or polymorphous.
Usually the meaning of the qualifying terms, employed to describe the peculiarities of lesions, patches and eruptions as regards their shape, color, distribution, cause and other features, is easily understood. However, for the convenience of the reader, the following list, alphabetically arranged, with the meaning briefly outlined, is added. It might be said that these terms are mostly in the Latin form and the exact termination to be used must be governed by the associated word or words. The equivalent English adjectives will readily suggest themselves.
ABDOMINALIS. Located on the abdominal surface.
ACQUISITUS. Acquired as contrasted to inherited.
ACUMINATUS. Having a pointed apex.
ACUTUS. Of acute course.
ADULTORIUM. Occurring in adult years.
AESTIVALIS. Occurring in the season of summer.
AGRIUS. Angry in appearance or malignant in character.
ALBIDUS. Of whitish color.
AREATUS. Occurring in circumscribed patches.
ARTIFICIALIS. Artificially produced.
ASYMMETRICALIS. Of different distribution on the two lateral halves of the body.
AUTUMNALIS. Occurring in the fall of the year.
BRACHIALIS. Occurring on the surface of the arm.
CACHECTICORUM. Occurring in debilitated subjects.
CAPITIS. Occurring on the head, usually the scalp.
CAVERNOSUS. Large chambered.
CHRONICUS. Chronic in course.
CIRCINATUS. Of circular outline.
CIRCUMSCRIPTUS. Having a definite contour.
CONFLUENS. Arranged so close as to coalesce.
CONTAGIOSUS. Capable of communication by contagion.
CORNEOUS. Horny or horn-like.
CORPORIS. Occurring on the surface of the body (employed to designate an eruption upon the trunk, as distinguished from that on other parts).
CRYSTALLINUS. Of clear appearance.
DIFFUSUS. Irregularly disposed.
DISCRETUS. Having isolated lesions.
DISSEMINATUS. Scattered, spread over a large area.
ERYTHEMATOSUS. Of a pink or red color.
EXFOLIATIVUS. Having a tendency toward scaling or epidermal shedding.
EXULCERANS. Having a tendency toward pronounced ulceration.
FACIALIS. Located on the face (usually as distinguished from the scalp).
FAVOSA. Showing symptoms of favus.
FEBRILIS. Accompanied by fever.
FEMORALIS. Occurring on the surface of the thigh.
FEROX. Malignant, severe.
FIBROSUS. Composed of fibrous tissue.
FIGURATUS. Having a figured appearance.
FOLIACEUS. Resembling a leaf or leaves.
FOLLICULARIS. Concerning the follicles.
FUNGOIDES. Resembling a fungus.
FURFURACEUS. Exhibiting fine, bran-like scales.
GUTTATUS. Of the size of a drop of water.
GYRATUS. Having a serpiginous or circular outline, usually the result of coalescence of imperfect circles or semicircles.
HEREDITARIUS. Transmitted from parent to offspring.
HERPETIFORMIS. Vesicular in type.
HEMALIS. Occurring in the winter season.
HUMIDUS. Accompanied by moisture.
HYPERTROPHICUS. Characterized by increase.
HYSTRIX. Having lesions projecting like quills.
IMBRICATUS. With crusts or scales overlaid like tiles.
INFANTILIS. Occurring in infancy.
INVETERATA. Obstinate, deep seated, long established.
IRIS. Occurring in more or less distinct concentric rings.
LABIALIS. Occurring upon the surface of the lip.
LAMMELLARIS. Having the nature of a thin scale or plate.
LENTICULARIS. Of the size of a small pea or bean.
LIVIDUS. Deeply colored.
MADIDANS. Characterized by moisture.
MARGINATUS. Having a defined margin.
MEDICAMENTOSUS. Produced by internal medication.
MELANODES. Of blackish color.
MILIARIS. Of the size of a millet-seed.
MITIS. Of mild, benign type (the reverse of agrius).
MULTIFORMIS. Exhibiting several types of elementary lesions.
NEONATORUM. Occurring in the newborn.
NEURITICUS. Having nervous association.
NIGRICANS. Of black or blackish color.
NODOSUS. With development of nodes or tubercles of the surface.
NUMMULARIS. Of the size of small coins.
OLEOSUS. Accompanied by an oily secretion.
PALMARIS. Occurring on the palms.
PARASITICUS. Produced by an animal or vegetable parasite.
PHLEGMONOSUS. Accompanied by deep-seated inflammation.
PIGMENTOSUS. Accompanied by pigmentation.
PILARIS. Related to the hair.
PLANTARIS. Situated on the soles of the feet.
POLYMORPHOUS. The Greek equivalent of the Latin multiform.
PREPUTIALIS. Situated upon the prepuce.
PROGENITALIS. Situated upon the exposed mucous surfaces of the genitalia.
PUBIS. Located upon the pubic region.
PUNCTATUS. Occurring in dots or points.
RHAGADIFORMIS. Fissured, or tending to produce fissures.
ROSACEUS. Having a rosy or pinkish hue.
RUBER. Red usually dark red in color.
SEBACEUS. Concerning the sebaceous glands or their secretion.
SENILIS. Occurring in advanced years.
SERPIGINOSUS. Extending in one direction while healing in another.
SICCUS. Dry, unaccompanied by moisture.
SYMMETRICALIS. Similarly distributed on the two lateral halves of the body.
UNIFORMIS. Exhibiting lesions of the same type.
UNIVERSALIS. Affecting the entire surface of the body.
URTICATUS. Accompanied by wheals.
UTERINUS. Associated with or pertaining to the uterus.
VARIEGATUS. Exhibiting several distinct features.
VARIOLIFORMIS. Resembling variola.
VASCULOSUS. Accompanied by blood-vessels.
VERSICOLOR. Exhibiting several degrees of the same color.
VULGARIS. The commonly observed form or type.