The 2016 International League of Dermatological Societies' revised glossary for the description of cutaneous lesions

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In order to facilitate effective communication in dermatology, a clearly defined glossary with precise descriptions is essential. The International League of Dermatological Societies' (ILDS) ‘Glossary of basic dermatology lesions’ was first published in 1987. A quarter of a century later, the ILDS made the decision to revise and expand this nomenclature.


Revision and expansion of an international nomenclature for the description of cutaneous lesions.


The ILDS nominated a committee on nomenclature. Based on a review of the literature and major textbooks, the committee assembled a list of terms and definitions. National member societies of the ILDS were then invited to participate in a Delphi voting exercise (two rounds for basic descriptive terms, one round for additional terms). The committee reviewed and consolidated comments and consented the final version.


The revised and expanded version of the ILDS nomenclature includes 13 basic terms and over 100 additional descriptive terms. Forty-six and then 34 national member societies participated in the first and second voting rounds, respectively.


A unifying nomenclature is crucial for effective communication among dermatologists and those who care for skin diseases. The next step will be a roll-out programme to national member societies of the ILDS that will include translations into languages other than English and adaptations reflecting local circumstances.

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