Definition of Macules

Macules: Small circumscribed changes in the color of skin that are neither raised (elevated) nor depressed. Macules are never large. They are basically 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 macule comes from the Latin macula meaning a small spot or blemish.

Note -- The macula lutea (yellow spot), or simply as the macula, is a spot in the retina (where vision is keenest).


Last Editorial Review: 9/20/2012

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