To measure the size of a rash, skin lesion, laceration or an area of cellulitis when you do not have a ruler, just use your hand to approximate:

1 inch = width of the thumb

3 inches = width of the four fingers closely pressed together at the palm of the hand

9 inches = outstretched span of the hand

18 inches = length of the forearm from the elbow to the tip of the middle finger. — Deana Goldin, DNP, ARNP, FNP-BC, Miami (170-5)

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