Skin Investigations


bacterial culture

viral culture


skin biopsy

allergy testing


patch testing



Physical examination is the most important thing in dermatology;

spend a lot of time describing what you see:

type of lesion

pattern of eruption: localized, generalized, symmetric.


When diagnosing skin conditions, look for patterns, ie location.


amount of involvement: localized vs generalized

primary vs secondary lesions (ie something the patient has done, ie scratching, treatments). Ask patient - show me a new lesion, something that has just come out..

pattern: linear, annular, symmetric


when deciding what vehicle to use:

ointments are greasy

lotions for the scalp

creams are white (more cosmetically pleasing)


rule out contraindications

drug allergies

drug interactions