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May 1998

On Standard Dermatologic Definitions

Arch Dermatol. 1998;134(5):635-636. doi:

Dermatologic description is important because it enables us to describe accurately and document what we see and to communicate these descriptions to others. By characterizing lesions via morphologic similarity, one may also gain a clue to underlying similarities in pathologic features. Consequently, effective terms should be comprehensive and flexible enough to differentiate among the morphologic configurations one is likely to encounter and intuitive enough to be agreed on by those using them. Ideally, the gross morphologic terms should also have some correspondence to relevant underlying pathologic features. With this in mind I would like to comment on a recent letter to the ARCHIVES in which Lewis et al1 revived a much-needed discussion on the terms of basic dermatologic lesions.

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