How to Recognize the General Symptoms of Skin Disease

This article gives an overview about the most common skin disorders that are present in most skin diseases of humans. These skin changes occur in pathological conditions of the skin that range from very mild and benign disorders to the most malignant form of skin disorders. If you want to be able to spot skin disease, follow these steps. While the diagnosis of skin disease is best left to professionals, it may come in handy being able to recognize major skin diseases, whether you're interested in helping people, or are trying to avoid disease (such as if you have an autoimmune disorder and could suffer fatally if infected with a contagious disease).


  1. 1
    Look for a color change in the skin that is at the skin level. This is a macule. It can adopt several colors such as the blue nevus and black nevus which occur in typical moles. It can also occur in the condition which is called vitiligo which is a hypopigmentation of the skin due to the lack of the pigment melanin in the skin. It can also be pigmented as occurs in freckles. In addition it can be red as occurs in the skin condition of hemangioma. Macule are only a skin change in color and there are no elevations or depressions in the skin surface such as occurs in papules.
  2. 2
    Check for a relatively small elevation of the skin above its normal level (usually is less than 5 mm in diameter). This is a papule. These papules or skin elevations can adopt several forms. They can be flat topped as occurs in the skin condition of lichen planus. It can also adopt a dome shaped structure such as occurs in xanthoma which is a skin condition that is often triggered by increased lipids in the blood or hyperlipidemia.
  3. 3
    Identify nodules. A skin nodule has similarity to a papule except its being larger than papules. They are usually larger than 5 mm in diameter. It can involve any one layer of the skin whether it is the epidermis or the dermis. It can also be edematous or solid. Examples of skin nodules include dermatofibroma which is a benign skin neoplasm. Another example is dermal nevus and nodular melanoma.
  4. 4
    Look for any skin change which is a relatively small blister which is usually less than 5 mm in diameter. This is a vesicle. It contains fluid that is accumulated or below the epidermis. Vesicles can occur in groups such as occurs in dermatitis herpetiformis which is a subepidermal disease of the skin.
  5. 5
    Identify a collection of pus in a blister as a pustule. They can be caused by infection such as occurs in bacterial skin disease of furuncle. It can also be caused due to non-infectious cause such as occurs in psoriasis of the skin.
  6. 6
    Identify cysts. A given cyst is a nodule which contains fluid and is lined by epithelial cavity that is filled with fluid that is semisolid in its form. A cyst is a benign tumor that can be drained by a needle.
  7. 7
    Check for a compressible papule or plaque of dermal edema. This is a wheal. It can be white or red in color. It occurs for example in the allergic skin condition of urticaria.
  8. 8
    Check for a flat elevation of the skin which bigger that 2 centimeter (0.8 in) in diameter. This is a plaque. It can be considered as a type of papule which is extended. Examples of diseases which are manifested clinically by plaques are the malignant skin condition of mycosis fungoides in addition one type of psoriasis which is the plaque psoriasis.
  9. 9
    Recognize an accumulation of keratin layer in the skin. This is a scale. It usually indicates an inflammation and thickening of the epidermis.
  10. 10
    Identify any ulcers. A skin ulcer is defined as a depression of the skin lesion below the normal skin surface due to loss of skin tissue which can result from impairment of the vascular supply to the affected area including lack of nutrients supply.

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Categories: Skin Conditions | Health Care and Medical Information