A picture is worth a thousand words, says the old adage. And this is especially true in dermatology. So, before you even set off to read about skin diseases, it is probably worth you checking out what these skin lesions actually look like. If you're finding it hard to distinguish a papule from a vesicle, then you might be interested in brushing up your clinical examination skills with the extremely well organised tutorials provided by the University of Wisconsin (www.pediatrics.wisc.edu/education/derm/tutorials.html). The site is divided into three sections-primary lesions, secondary lesions, and patterns and distribu-tion of lesions. The master index at www.pediatrics.wisc.edu/education/derm/master.html gives each entity a brief but clear description.
If you want to then do some background reading on the subject, there are some good free electronic textbooks online (http://telemedicine.org/stamford.htm and www.hkmj.org.hk/skin/content.htm). The first is not impressive at first glance-the graphics and the organisation are poor-but the content is extensive.