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The Dermatologic History.


McKay M.


In: Walker HK, Hall WD, Hurst JW, editors.


Clinical Methods: The History, Physical, and Laboratory Examinations. 3rd edition. Boston: Butterworths; 1990. Chapter 104.


To the dermatologist, the history of the disorder is of less importance than the physical examination. Because skin lesions are visible, the patient is more likely to draw his or her own, often erroneous, conclusions regarding the development of the problem. The likelihood is also extremely high that the patient has attempted to alter the course of the skin problem by applying some type of medication to the area, and this may affect what the doctor is able to see when the patient presents to the office. The purpose of the dermatologic history is: (1) to allow the patient to verbalize the complaint and develop a rapport with the physician; (2) to determine factors that may have set off or aggravated the problem; (3) to determine the course of the disorder, whether it is acute or chronic; (4) to determine whether there are associated systemic complaints. Probably the single most important question that should be asked is the duration of the disorder.

Copyright © 1990, Butterworth Publishers, a division of Reed Publishing

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