In the first of a regular series, Susannah Baron tells you why dermatology is so important and how to approach clinical cases
Piezogenic pedal papules: what sort of a name is that? Once you can see past the thousands of unintelligible names in dermatology you will be all right. In fact all would be fine if we still had a classical education, with a firm grounding in Latin and Greek. Dermatology is a visual specialty and the names often describe what you can see in front of you. For example, erythema nodosum simply means red lumps, and the word eczema comes from the Greek “ek” - out - and “zeein” - to boil.
There is no reason to be intimidated by skin disease. Dermatology just needs to be approached in a fashion identical to other medical specialties: take a full history, examine the patient, and perform the relevant investigations. In fact, as dermatologists we have a definite advantage in that we can easily see and more importantly feel the problem, and that