Dermatology

Dermatology is the branch of medicine that deals with the body’s largest organ, the skin.  Shown here is a selected set of resources which have been graded by specialists in dermatology, and arranged to follow the curriculum on the right. Generally, resources which are interactive and/or include self assessment score more stars than those without.

SEE ALSO [Dermatology Resources] and [Dermatology Guidelines]

Please use the box on the right to navigate to the area you are interested in.

However, the  resources listed just below cover the whole field of dermatology and have been selected as the best general sites to either learn dermatology from or use as reference tools, with the caveat that most resources are produced in countries where fair caucasian skin predominates.

The first resource is my pick as it covers just about everything dermatological.

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    Level ALevel BLevel C

    Dermnet NZ

    more info full description    link view external resource

    If you were to use just one on-line site for dermatology this would be it. 킠Contains a comprehensive A-Z topic index of dermatological conditions and their treatment, tutorials, quizzes/ questions (case based), powerpoints, on-line courses and links to other external resources. 킠The only criticism is that although there are lots of clinic... read more

These are handbooks for novices.

These next resources are courses which aim to teach dermatology to medical students.

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    Level ALevel B

    Duration
    Longer than 4 hours

    Dermatology course for Auckland medical students

    more info full description    link view external resource

    This course is easy to use and covers the most important topics in dermatology. 킠The powerpoint slide section covering lectures is less helpful as there is no audio. We have linked to individual sections pertaining to our curriculum further down the dermatology page.
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    Level ALevel B

    Duration
    Longer than 4 hours

    DOIT: Dermatology online with interactive technology

    more info full description    link view external resource

    This does require login which is free for any university student. 킠It is very worthwhile for medical students with an interest in dermatology or trainees in dermatology early in their career. 킠It is interactive, systematic and case orientated, with킠many hours worth of resources which are grouped into a sensible curriculum. There are ... read more
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    Level ALevel B

    Duration
    Longer than 4 hours

    Dermweb web teaching

    more info full description    link view external resource

    This is not a flashy site, but it does cover most of dermatology in lecture note format.킠킠 Illustrated with clinical photos and with a chance to test yourself in the 'dermatologic lookalikes' section.
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    Level ALevel B

    Duration
    Longer than 4 hours

    Medical student core curriculum (AAD)

    more info full description    link view external resource

    A series of powerpoint presentations with key facts and patient cases (I think the cases are this resource's strongest point).킠 The order in which to do the modules is suggested by The American Academy of Dermatologists, and they suggest some are "optional".킠 Each module has a short multiple choice quiz. As the format is powerpoint pre... read more

This has a comprehensive list of patient information leaflets and links to clinical guidelines.

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    Level ALevel BLevel CLevel C Plus

    British Association of Dermatologists (BAD)

    more info full description    link view external resource

    Open access to patient information leaflets (click on patient information leaflets box on right hand side of screen)킠on most diseases affecting the skin. The leaflets are accurate and comprehensive enough to be used for learning by medical students but they are text only with no clinical photos.킠Specific information leaflets also contain ... read more

These sites cover dermatology – please browse to see which suit your purpose.

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    Level ALevel B

    Clinical A-Z list (Primary Care Dermatology Society)

    more info full description    link view external resource

    Dermatological conditions are listed in alphabetical order, with related conditions easily accessed by hyperlinks. 킠The clinical photos are generally pretty good. 킠Text is concise and well structured. 킠Ideal for the busy general practitioner/student as a reference. 킠The Primary Care Dermatology Society's (link to home page) webs... read more
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    Level CLevel C Plus

    Dermquest

    more info full description    link view external resource

    Membership is required, but if dermatology is your specialty then it is probably worthwhile joining the 킠"community for practicing dermatologists". 킠 킠Free access to several journals (British Journal of Dermatology, Clinical and Experimental Dermatology, Contact Dermatitis and the Journal of Cutaneous Pathology) as well as dermatopat... read more
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    Level BLevel CLevel C Plus

    Medscape/Emedicine Dermatology

    more info full description    link view external resource

    This site requires registration, but it is free and highly recommended. 킠The reference section has a comprehensive list of dermatology conditions and presents them in a standardised manner (overview, presentation, differential diagnosis [with easy links to these pages], workup, treatment and follow up). 킠There is also an education section... read more
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    Level BLevel C

    The Electronic Textbook of Dermatology

    more info full description    link view external resource

    This e-book contains 킠referenced factual 킠information. The index is on the left hand side of the screen and hyperlinks to topics. 킠The text is quite turgid and there are no clinical photos/self assessment material.

And now on to some more specific resources:

Anatomy, physiology and pathology

As the primary interface between ourselves and our environment the skin has several important functions including thermoregulation, mechanical protection, immunological protection, metabolic functions and sensation. The anatomy of the skin reflects this functional complexity.  The first resources introduce skin anatomy/pathology and the later resources are for those with more knowledge.

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    Level ALevel B

    Duration
    30-60 mins

    Introduction to skin histology

    more info full description    link view external resource

    This site gives an overview of the structure of the skin using histopathological slides to illustrate. The notes are easily comprehensible and there are hyperlinks to other pertinent notes. 킠There is an interactive skin biopsy specimen to interpret and multiple choice questions.
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    Level ALevel B

    Duration
    30-60 mins

    Skin structure and function

    more info full description    link view external resource

    40 minute online lecture aimed at medical students. 킠The lecturer illustrates the link between the anatomy of the skin and clinical cases of skin disease using powerpoint/screengrab and audio. 킠As lectures go this is pretty good, despite the coughing and clearing of throat, but as it's difficult to dip in and out, or to target learning it... read more

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    Level BLevel C

    Duration
    4 hours

    Dermatopathology course (DermNet NZ)

    more info full description    link view external resource

    This has sections on specimen preparation and special stains, and then pathology is grouped into 3 main sections: infection, tumours and inflammatory diseases. 킠Excellent terminology glossary. 킠Learning objectives are clearly laid out and examples are illustrated with pathology slides, but the slides are not labelled, and unless you have ... read more
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    Level ALevel B

    Duration
    10-30 mins

    The pathology of dermatologic conditions (Dermweb)

    more info full description    link view external resource

    Pathology slides of common dermatological conditions with concise labelled microscopic detail and in most cases a linked clinical photograph. 킠Nice to see some clinicopathological correlation.
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    Level ALevel B

    Duration
    Less than 10 mins

    Skin: Histology text atlas book (Visualhistology)

    more info full description    link view external resource

    Chapter on skin in this online histology atlas. 킠Matched electron and light microscopic pictures in black and white. 킠'Each picture tells a thousand words' - but unfortunately only 3 pictures of squirrel monkey pathology, and I'm not sure how much more information is given by the electron microscopic images anyway. 킠Accompanying text... read more
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    Level ALevel B

    Duration
    10-30 mins

    Integumentary system (Blue Histology)

    more info full description    link view external resource

    Notes and pictures to give a good overview of skin pathology for the beginner. 킠Quiz tests knowledge covered.
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    Level ALevel B

    Duration
    10-30 mins

    Skin and oral cavity (LUMEN)

    more info full description    link view external resource

    Good quality slide images of normal skin types can be examined interactively by zooming in and using arrow keys in a google-map type fashion. 킠Click on 'show description' for text and questions. 킠Requires large band-width. Here is a related page (still LUMEN) which needs less bandwidth but is less interactive. 킠Select part 13: Ski... read more
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    Level CLevel C Plus

    Duration
    30-60 mins

    Virtual skin histopathology (U of Iowa)

    more info full description    link view external resource

    Realistic virtual recreation of the experience of looking at skin biopsies - the closest you'll get to looking down a microscope instead of at snapshots showing í¢’‚¬Ëœtypicalí¢’‚¬’„¢ lesions. 킠However, one has to know what one is looking at, as there are no text or arrows showing the salient features. Requires good bandwidth to work well.  
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    Level BLevel C

    Duration
    10-30 mins

    epathologies: quiz

    more info full description    link view external resource

    A test of pathology knowledge - there are currently 20 dermatology cases grouped under dermatopathology. 킠A short case history is given and a histology slide. 킠It is possible to magnify one part of the slide up in a new window. 킠You are then asked for a diagnosis, before the diagnosis is revealed with a link to more information on th... read more

 

Clinical examination

A careful history and thorough examination of the skin, nails, hair and mucous membranes is necessary to make the correct diagnosis.  It is important to be able to accurately describe the skin rash or lesion, and these resources contain the necessary terminology.

Judicious use of further specific tests such as dermatoscopy, Wood’s light examination, biospy (+/- immunofluorescence) – please see pathology resources above, microbiology (mycology, bacteriology, virology), patch testing, prick tests and phototesting, may aid diagnosis.

Emergency dermatology

 

Drug eruptions

Cutaneous reactions induced by drugs are common (approximately 3% of hospital in patients will have one) and the majority are mild.  Serious drug eruptions are estimated to occur in around 1 in 1000 patients. There may be some overlap in resources addressing these serious adverse cutaneous events and those in emergency dermatology above.

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    Level ALevel B

    Duration
    10-30 mins

    Drug eruptions (DermNetNZ)

    more info full description    link view external resource

    This is a general킠 and comprehensive overview of all types of adverse cutaneous drug reactions (drug exanthems, urticaria, fixed drug eruption, purpura, photosensitivity, pigmentary changes).킠 The learning objectives are to identify and manage drug eruptions. It provides the non-specialist with a good overview but it would perhaps have be... read more
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    Level ALevel B

    Duration
    10-30 mins

    Cutaneous manifestations of drug eruptions slideshow (Medscape)

    more info full description    link view external resource

    Requires a free login. 킠32 slides with pretty good quality photos of skin eruptions secondary to drugs. 킠2 slides for each eruption with the first slide describing usually seen features and causative drugs and the second telling the diagnosis and prognosis. 킠So although there are no self-assessment questions as such, one could test o... read more

Skin infections and infestations

The first resources listed here cover infections that medical students would be expected to know about. The next resources are specific for particular infections.

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    Level ALevel B

    Duration
    Less than 10 mins

    Management protocols for skin infection

    more info full description    link view external resource

    These are 8 simple protocols for managing common skin conditions caused by infection, and particularly useful in areas where investigations and drugs are limited. 킠Unfortunately only folliculitus, ecthyma, cellulitis, impetigo, scabies, tinea and tropical ulcer are covered and there are no clinical photos.
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    Level ALevel B

    Duration
    10-30 mins

    Common skin infections (Cleveland Clinic)

    more info full description    link view external resource

    This is factual information on common bacterial, fungal and viral infections of the skin.킠 There is no educational activity to accompany and so although accurate and nicely presented can only score max 3 stars.
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    Level ALevel B

    Duration
    30-60 mins

    Skin infections (Auckland course for medical students)

    more info full description    link view external resource

    This resource covers bacteria, fungi, viruses, exanthems, arthropods and parasites.킠 There is a brief illustrated overview of the topic and links to other resources, key point exercises and case challenges.
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    Level BLevel C

    Duration
    30-60 mins

    Bacterial skin infections course (DermNetNZ)

    more info full description    link view external resource

    This course is aimed at doctors.킠 Learning objectives are clearly stated and then text and photos cover clinical features, differential diagnosis and management.킠 The educational activities are slightly convoluted.
  • collection

    Level ALevel B

    Duration
    10-30 mins

    Skin disease and infection slideshows (Medscape Reference)

    more info full description   

    You have to register with medscape for free to view. 킠The slideshows are brief (less than 30 slides each) with generally good quality pictures, accompanying text and questions. Skin manifestations of viral diseases킠A drop down box links to further reference pages on emedicine site if required. Hard-to-diagnose bacterial infections o... read more
  • collection

    Level ALevel B

    Buruli Ulcer

    more info full description   

    Here are 2 excellent resources for learning about Buruli Ulcer.킠 The first, and more basic, (Buruli Ulcer: basic course) was published in 2004 and covers the topic with text and photos.킠 The second (Buruli Ulcer: interactive module) was made in 2009 and consists of videos, lectures, text and photos, with several cases for self assessment.... read more
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    Level BLevel C

    Duration
    10-30 mins

    HIV: dermatological manifestations

    more info full description    link view external resource

    Six cases with good clinical photos (although you have to click on them to enlarge). A multiple choice question leads to a referenced discussion.
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    Level ALevel BLevel C

    Duration
    30-60 mins

    Leprosy (ILEP Learning Guides)

    more info full description    link view external resource

    PDF publications available to download (and also available in other languages) with the aim on practical advice on how to diagnose and manage leprosy. 킠Also available are guides for training in leprosy (for those who run training activities) and technical guides for those in charge of leprosy programmes. 킠No self assessment activities.
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    Level ALevel B

    Duration
    30-60 mins

    Leprosy: AIFO courses

    more info full description    link view external resource

    Six leprosy tutorials aimed at health care workers in the field.킠 Approximately 30 slides each, consisting of photos with a small amount of text.킠 Some contain cases, with questions on management.
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    Level ALevel B

    Duration
    Less than 10 mins

    Scabies (patient.co.uk)

    more info full description    link view external resource

    Information leaflet for patients, contains all you need to know about scabies.킠Also links at the foot of the information to the relevant Clinical Knowledge Summary and guidelines from the British Association for Sexual Health and HIV. 킠No learning activities. A few annoying adverts, but the information contained in the leaflet is good, an... read more
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    Level B

    Duration
    10-30 mins

    Self study STD module: syphilis

    more info full description    link view external resource

    This is a US site with initial US epidemiology, but following that the objectives are global.킠 Unfortunately the clinical photos are on powerpoint slides and are not of great quality.킠 There are, however, study MCQ questions available on most pages, and then a case with questions.
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    Level BLevel C

    Duration
    10-30 mins

    Verrucae: cryotherapy versus salicylic acid for treatment of plantar warts (BMJ)

    more info full description    link view external resource

    This is one of the freely available modules provided by BMJ learning. 킠Requires registration which is free. 킠There are loads more modules which are probably more useful, but require login via your institution/BMA membership/or if in a developing country the HINARI initiative. 킠See learning.bmj.com.   Links to a BMJ article... read more

Inflammatory diseases

The three most common inflammatory skin diseases are acne, eczema and psoriasis.  Guidelines on their management  can be found on the related page [DERMATOLOGY GUIDELINES]. The first resources have been grouped to cover these most common conditions.  The next resources cover other inflammatory skin disorders.

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    Level ALevel B

    Duration
    10-30 mins

    Acne and rosacea (AAD)

    more info full description    link view external resource

    A downloadable powerpoint presentation, with hyperlinks which link to a glossary if you stay on-line, and interactive case presentations/questions.킠 Difficult to dip in and out of - like a lecture, but doesn't take too long.킠 Self assessment in MCQ format in 'learners quiz'.
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    Level ALevel B

    Duration
    30-60 mins

    Follicular diseases (Auckland medical student course)

    more info full description    link view external resource

    Acne, rosacea and their treatments are covered in this module from the University of Auckland.킠 As in the other modules which cover the dermatology curriculum there are tutorials with key facts with links to DermNetNZ for more information, followed by self assessment 'key points tests' and case challenges.
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    Level BLevel C

    Duration
    30-60 mins

    Acne: a guide to prescribing isotretinoin (BMJ)

    more info full description    link view external resource

    This is one of several free modules provided by BMJ learning. 킠It requires registration and login which is free. Information and practical advice on prescribing isotretinoin are presented in fully referenced text and then tested with 10 MCQs. 킠It's not a subject that everyone needs to know about, but is useful for those referring patie... read more
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    Level ALevel BLevel C

    Duration
    10-30 mins

    Eczema, dermatitis and allergies (DermNetNZ)

    more info full description    link view external resource

    This has links to all the DermNetNZ pages related to eczema. Pretty comprehensive and easy to search as subjects are listed alphabetically.킠 If you want educational activities then DermNetNZ does have a dermatitis module, which gives structure to learning, however I wager that not many people will bother to complete the activities, which seem ... read more
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    Level ALevel B

    Duration
    30-60 mins

    Dermatitis (Auckland Medical Student Course)

    more info full description    link view external resource

    Key facts are presented, with links to DermNetNZ for more information if required.킠 Knowledge is then tested by MCQ in the 'key points test' and then by 'case challenge'.  
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    Level ALevel B

    Duration
    Longer than 4 hours

    Eczpert

    more info full description    link view external resource

    Need to register for free to login, for this pharmaceutical sponsored site. 킠Aimed at pharmacists and nurses, could also be useful for medical students and junior doctors.킠 12 tutorials about eczema grouped into disease, treatment, providing support and minimising the impact of eczema.킠 Takes the format of key facts and practical tip... read more

Skin tumours

Basic skin surgery techniques may be viewed here:

Signs of systemic disease

Treatments

Most of the resources discussed already contain information about disease management and treatment in each relevant chapters.

Clinical cases: self assessment

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    Level ALevel BLevel C

    Image Challenge (NEJM)

    more info full description    link view external resource

    Although not exclusively 'dermatological', the majority of these images are of the skin. You are given a choice of 5 possible diagnoses to choose from. 킠The answer is explained briefly and you can see how others who took the test responded.
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    Level B

    Duration
    Less than 10 mins

    Dermatology Grand Rounds (AOCD)

    more info full description    link view external resource

    Approximately 30 dermatology cases with short history, photos and pathology.킠 Choose from multiple choice differential diagnosis and then the actual diagnosis is discussed.킠 Each case takes 5-10 minutes.
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    Level ALevel B

    Duration
    10-30 mins

    Dermatology quizzes (DermNetNZ)

    more info full description    link view external resource

    Approximately 500 short cases (each 2-5 mins), grouped in manageable 'chunks' of 7-12 cases.킠 Photos, and questions with free text boxes for your answers, before clicking on what the experts say.
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    Level BLevel CLevel C Plus

    Duration
    Less than 10 mins

    Global skin atlas quiz

    more info full description    link view external resource

    Random selection of a clinical photograph with a very limited description. 킠Covers rare presentations as well as common ones, so better for those with some dermatology experience. 킠The photos are of good quality, but without more history it is difficult to give the correct answer. 킠May be useful 킠for brushing up on spot diagnoses.
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    Level ALevel B

    Duration
    Less than 10 mins

    Dermatology teaching cases (University of Melbourne)

    more info full description    link view external resource

    36 clinical cases at ideal level for medical students. 킠Last updated 2001, but still relevant. 킠Cases consist of clinical photos with a brief history and if required further clues to answer multiple choice question. 킠The answers are short but comprehensive. The clinical photos open in a new window, but unfortunately they are still to... read more
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    Level CLevel C Plus

    Duration
    10-30 mins

    Cases from the Gorgas Course in Tropical Medicine

    more info full description    link view external resource

    This link takes you to some of the cases seen in 2012, but there is an archive of cases from previous years too. 킠Not all are relevant to dermatology. 킠The thumbnails have images from the case, so it's easy to select ones with skin involvement, if that's what you're after. 킠The cases themselves are comprehensive, with a full history ... read more
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    Level B

    Duration
    10-30 mins

    Skin cases (Medscape Reference)

    more info full description    link view external resource

    You need to register with Medscape for free. 킠Teaching cases in slideshow format - direct links to the cases below. Arthralgia with a chronic verrucous rash Burning pain with a spreading rash and blisters Rash and fever heralding a possibly severe recurrence Strange skin patches with syncope and palpitations Systemic symptoms ma... read more

Dermatology atlases

Others

Written by Ann Sergeant, Consultant Dermatologist NHS Fife, with contributions from Catriona Sinclair and Victoria Scott-Lang, Specialist Trainees in Dermatology, Edinburgh
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