Table 3

 Common terms used to describe physical changes in the skin associated with the presence of a rash

TerminologyDescriptionClinical examples
MacularNon-infiltrated flat lesions which differ in colour from adjacent areas of skinErythema, purpura
PapularWell demarcated raised lesions in the skin of varying sizesUrticarial wheals, planar warts
VesicularSmall protuberances with a central cavity containing clear liquidChickenpox
ExcoriationsVery superficial wounds in the surface of the skinScratches
PurpuraSmall patches of non-blanching discolouration caused by bleeding from small superficial blood vessels in the skinMeningococcal disease
Petechiae—small spots of purpuraIdiopathic thrombocytopaenic purpura (ITP)
Ecchymoses—large confluent patches of purpuraHenoch Schonlein purpura (HSP)