Definition of Macular (skin)

Macular (skin): Adjective referring to macules which are circumscribed changes in the color of skin that are neither raised (elevated) nor depressed. Macules are never large. They are little spots or blemishes in the skin. They are entirely flat and can only be appreciated by visual inspection; they cannot be seen from the side.

Dermatologists call small flat skin spots on the skin macules, as opposed to papules which are small solid bumps that rise up above the surrounding skin and vesicles which are small blisters that contain fluid (before they burst).

The word macular comes from the Latin macula meaning a small spot or blemish.

Note -- Macular vision refers to the macula lutea (yellow spot), or simply as the macula, a spot in the retina where vision is keenest. Macular degeneration pertains to the macula and involves partial or total loss of macular vision.


Last Editorial Review: 9/20/2012

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