Discussion: diagnosis and management of skin disorders

 Dermatologic disorders can present due to an actual skin problem or as the result of a systemic problem that manifests in the skin. Depending on the type of disorder, the presentation might be unique, making a quick diagnosis possible. However, some disorders have similar presentations in terms of symptoms and appearance, making diagnosis more difficult. Skin color and tone can also contribute to difficulty in diagnosis, making it important to consider cultural variations during assessments. In this Discussion, you examine the following case studies of skin disorders.

Case Study 1

An adolescent presents to your office with a complaint of an itchy, red rash that first appeared on his lower legs 1 week ago after he returned from a camping trip. The rash has since spread to the upper legs, trunk, and groin. He denies fever or other systemic symptoms.

Case Study 2

An 8-month-old presents to your office with a rash on both cheeks that has progressively worsened over the last week. Mom first noticed the rash after his 6-month checkup. He has generalized dry skin and rubs at his cheeks often.

Case Study 3

A 24-month-old presents with a red rash that began on his trunk yesterday and has now spread to the face and upper extremities. His grandmother reports that earlier in the week, the toddler had intermittent fevers up to 101.5°F without other symptoms. The fever broke approximately 48 hours ago and the rash began a few hours later.

Case Study 4:

You see a 9-year-old male who presents with a white, scaly patch on the back of his head. There is some alopecia in the area with hair breakage noted at the scalp.

To prepare:

  • Review the DermNet NZ and Dermnet Skin Disease Atlas websites in this week’s Learning Resources.
  • Select one of the four case studies of skin disorders. Analyze the skin disorder in the case you selected including lesion type, lesion distribution, color, and any ancillary findings.
  • Consider a differential diagnosis for the skin disorder in the case study you selected. Determine the most likely diagnosis for the patient.
  • Think about a treatment and management plan for this disorder. Consider appropriate dosages for any recommended treatments.

By Day 3

Post an explanation of the skin disorder in the case study you selected. Include in your explanation the lesion type, lesion distribution, color, and any ancillary findings. Then, present a differential diagnosis and explain which is the most likely diagnosis for the patient and why. Finally, explain a treatment and management plan for the patient’s skin disorder, including appropriate dosages for any recommended treatments.

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