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April 1995

Differential Diagnosis in Dermatology

Author Affiliations

Boston, Mass

Arch Dermatol. 1995;131(4):500. doi:10.1001/archderm.1995.01690160130032

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Daily, the practicing dermatologist rapidly packages the distribution, type, texture, color, and time course of numerous dermatoses into working diagnoses. However, flowcharting the fuzzy logic employed in assembling a differential diagnosis for a particular eruption is a difficult task. The second edition of Differential Diagnosis in Dermatology successfully details the basic decision trees climbed regularly, yet often subconsciously, by the dermatologist. Furthermore, this book provides key diagnostic and thera- peutic pointers for all of the skin diseases considered. Classic photographs accent and reinforce the most common clinical entities.

The first two pages briefly explain how to describe a cutaneous eruption in the following terms: site, acute vs chronic, erythematous vs nonerythematous, lesion type (ie, macules, papules, bulla, and ulcer), number of lesions, and surface features (ie, normal, scaly, keratotic, and warty). Once these details of a cutaneous eruption have been categorized, the index of algorithms supplies the most appropriate differential

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