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GENERAL PRINCIPLES

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DIAGNOSIS OF SKIN DISORDERS

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Examination of the skin requires that the entire surface of the body be palpated and inspected in good light. The onset and duration of each symptom should be recorded, together with a description of the primary lesion and any secondary changes, using the terminology in Table 15–1. In practice, characteristics of skin lesions are described in an order opposite to that shown in the table. Begin with distribution, then configuration, color, secondary changes, and primary changes. For example, guttate psoriasis could be described as "generalized, discrete, red, or scaly papules."

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Table 15–1.Examination of the skin.

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