Category Archives: Dermatology

Atopic Dermatitis (“Eczema”): How to Control it

Step 1: First of all, make sure it’s really atopic dermatitis! Atopic dermatitis is a pruritic, immune-mediated skin condition that is common in all age groups, but is particularly common among infants, toddlers and small children. It is commonly called eczema by clinicians and laypersons alike. There are three different highly pruritic skin conditions that you absolutely need… Read More »

Teach Yourself Dermatology!

You can become good to excellent at dermatology with the aid of no more than three books: Andrews’ Diseases of the Skin: Clinical Dermatology, 11e (2011): this book is king when it comes to a profoundly medicine-based understanding of dermatology. I seldom, if ever, recommend textbooks – and this one is more than 1210 pages long. You don’t… Read More »

Hand Infections You Don’t Want to Miss

Here are some questions that you should ask (or at least think about!) when evaluating patients with hand infections to help make sure that you don’t miss anything big. Other than this pain, redness, swelling here (etc.), did you hurt your hand in any way? This is perhaps better than asking “Did you punch anyone?” or “Did you… Read More »

Angioedema without Urticaria

The differential diagnosis for angioedema without urticaria (“hives”) is fairly narrow, and requires a unique workup and management strategy. Clinical presentation Patients present with sudden, profound, non-erythematous, non-pruritic localized edema of distensible tissues such as lips, eyelids, tongue and external genitalia. The key here is that they are negative for hives, itching, or bronchospasms. Two things that one… Read More »

Systemic Causes of Pruritus (Itching)

The main systemic causes of itching are: Cholestasis Uremia Pregnancy-related problems Lymphoproliferative (especially systemic mastocytosis) and hematopoietic disorders, including iron deficiency anemia Endocrinal problems such as hypothyroidism and diabetes mellitus Drug side effects, such as opioids and drugs which cause cholestasis. Allergic reactions Therefore, in the absence of primary skin findings, a basic workup for itching might include: CBC with… Read More »

Book Review: Skin Disease, Diagnosis and Treatment, Third Edition (2011) by Thomas P. Habif MD

Skin Disease: Diagnosis and Treatment, Third Edition (2011), by Thomas P. Habif MD, does an excellent job at detailing what primary care physicians need to know when it comes to dermatology. The pictures are excellent, and the text is efficient, smart and readable. It feels as though one is listening to the sage advice of a seasoned attending. I think this… Read More »