Dermatology in practice - 2000

Comment: Where are we going?
Neil Cox
pp 4-4
Writing this editorial for the new millennium (mill = empty, ennium = supermarkets) I ask myself what the future holds for those of us who survived the New Year celebrations. I am exercising editorial privilege in narrowmindedly concentrating on matters which affect dermatology and dermatologists. My greatest concern is the 'Big Brother' culture which has taken over medicine.
The dermo-epidermal junction: an important structure in dermatology
Vanessa Venning
pp 6-8
The dermo-epidermal junction comprises a complex network of interacting macromolecules, arranged to provide mechanical stability and adhesion between the epidermis and the underlying dermis. Disorders affecting the proteins of this region, whether resulting from genetic structural mutations or from attack by autoantibodies, result in defective adhesion producing either skin fragility or blistering. An understanding of this area helps to clarify the classification and pathogenesis of these diseases.
Cracked, painful lips
Iain Macleod
pp 12-14
The lips represent a transition between the oral mucosa and skin, and consequently are capable of taking part in pathological processes affecting either. Because of their mobility they are susceptible to both acute and chronic trauma. The lips have strong sensory innervation and are readily visible, so abnormalities are quickly apparent to the patient.
Skin disease – the returning traveller’s souvenir
Neill Hepburn
pp 16-18
Exotic travel was once the preserve of the wealthy few and those in the armed forces. Today, a glimpse through the Sunday papers will reveal holidays trekking throughout the Andes, canoeing up the Orinoco or overlanding in Africa. Many clearly enjoy the stimulation of adventure as an antidote to our increasingly safe and regulated lives. Consequently, we often see patients who have visited exotic places and brought back unwanted mementos of their holiday.
Nail fold changes in the fingers
David de Berker
pp 20-22
I remember, when doing the MRCP examination, using the term ‘nail fold changes’ and thinking that it was a sign of my expertise that I had managed not only to look at the nail folds, but also to determine that they had changed in some way. A few years and some thought later, I realise that there is much to be analysed in the appearance of the nail folds. They can provide the focus of a complaint, presenting with their own collection of rashes, infections and tumours which require interpretation and an approach to treatment which can differ from treatment of the same condition presenting elsewhere.
Wet wrap dressings part 2: the basic technique
David Atherton
pp 24-27
The last issue of Dermatology in Practice featured the first of a two-part series on ‘wet wrap’ dressing. ‘Wet wrap’ is a term used to describe a method for treating atopic eczema and the article addressed the concept, mode and strategy for its use in childhood atopic eczema. Here, in the second part, are essentially the instructions given to parents to help them at home.
Occupational dermatoses in miners
John English
pp 28-29
The coal industry has gone through a radical change in the past few decades with the numbers of miners drastically reduced; in future there will probably be even fewer miners mining coal underground. However, we still see miners in our clinics from time to time. Coal mining itself is extremely hazardous as it involves fairly heavy engineering, often several miles underground in a dark, dusty, dirty, warm, humid environment.
The Burns offering: And our next speaker is...
Tony Burns
pp 30-31
It has been a busy couple of months since I last rattled the computer keyboard. The ‘have slides, will travel’ season is in full swing, so I’ve been buzzing hither and thither, braving the vicissitudes of the privatised rail network and its bacon and tomato butties, to present myself in front of expectant audiences. As many of you will no doubt have to speak to medical audiences at some time, I thought that mention of a few aspects of this branch of entertainment might be of value. So, here goes with a brief overview of the Burns experience of the public verbals.