Medical Definition of Papules

  • Medical Author:
    William C. Shiel Jr., MD, FACP, FACR

    Dr. Shiel received a Bachelor of Science degree with honors from the University of Notre Dame. There he was involved in research in radiation biology and received the Huisking Scholarship. After graduating from St. Louis University School of Medicine, he completed his Internal Medicine residency and Rheumatology fellowship at the University of California, Irvine. He is board-certified in Internal Medicine and Rheumatology.

Papules: Small solid rounded bumps rising from the skin that are each usually less than 1 centimeter in diameter (less than 3/8 inch across).

The term "papule" is derived from Latin from "papula," a pimple.

Dermatologists call any small solid circumscribed bump in the skin a papule, as opposed to a vesicle which contains fluid or a macule which is flat and even with the surrounding skin.

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Reviewed on 12/11/2018

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