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The Skin Exam
A thorough examination is crucial to making a correct diagnosis. Follow the steps below to learn how to perform a complete skin exam.
Select Step 1 to begin.
Morphology Identification: self-paced quiz
- After studying the test image, submit your answer. To submit an answer, select a skin lesion from the dropdown menu.
- If you need some help, you can click the Examination Tools button to get clues to help you identify the lesion(s).
- If you have answered correctly, you will be shown the correct diagnosis and brief description. You may move on to the next question by clicking the 'Next Image' button that appears. The question will be marked 'correct' with a green dot indicator.
- If you answered incorrectly, you may try again.
- You may also review any answered quiz questions during the test by clicking the red or green dots directly below the test image.
Distribution and Body Location
Skin lesions or rashes can occur at a discrete body location or form a distribution pattern by involving multiple body surfaces. Both Location and Distribution can be powerful clues in the process of developing a differential diagnosis.
Click here to learn about differential diagnosis by body location.
Click here to learn about differential diagnosis by distribution.
Our free LearnDerm resources have been developed for students and educators in an effort to help supplement the overloaded curriculums of today's medical schools. Drawing upon our expertise in visual diagnosis and diagnostic decision support, we have crafted 3 unique tools that drive effective learning and teaching for dermatology: LearnDerm Tutorial, LearnDerm Pocket Reference, and LearnDerm Lecture Presentation for Educators.
The LearnDerm Tutorial is an interactive and engaging self-study learning environment. The LearnDerm Tutorial replaces the Morphology Tutorial previously found on this Web site. The new expanded tutorial includes new material in every area of the dermatology fundamentals. Now consisting of 5 lessons, the LearnDerm Tutorial covers the basic skin exam, lesion types, distribution and body location, configurations, and an introduction to disease variation.
The combination of the LearnDerm Tutorial, LearnDerm Pocket Reference, and LearnDerm Lecture Presentation for Educators brings a strong dermatology learning program to any medical education curriculum.
Have a question or comment? Get in touch.
A type of surface change. It results from excess stratum corneum (the most superficial layer of the skin) that accumulates in flakes or plates. Scale usually has a white or gray color.
It is important to note whether a raised lesion is scaly or non-scaly, as the differential diagnosis of raised scaly lesions is quite different from that of raised smooth lesions.
A flat, generally greater than 0.5-cm area of skin or mucous membrane with a color different from that of surrounding tissue. Patches (also called large macules) may have non-palpable fine scale.
Select the word that best describes the distribution pattern for each image.