Dermatology in practice - 2001


Comment: IN with the IN crowd
Neil Cox
pp 4-4
Those who know me will appreciate that I am an IN-person. This is not meant to be a description of trendy personal qualities, but is just to introduce a neologism (introducing a new term to the medical literature is next best after describing an eponymous syndrome). An IN-person, I regret to admit, is Internet Naïve.
Use of wigs and appliances in hair loss
Harriet A Cheesbrough and Michael J Cheesbrough
pp 6-8
‘A hair in the head is worth two in the brush’ (Oliver Herford 1863–1935) Baldness or hair loss is distressing to most patients and often leads to very difficult consultations. Provision of a wig, while not as satisfactory as regrowth of the hair, helps to restore self-confidence and self-esteem and allows patients to lead a normal life.
Paediatric dermatology
Nerys Roberts
pp 9-11
While debate continues about whether skin problems in children are more appropriately treated by paediatricians or dermatologists, there can be no doubt that the subspecialty is now well established. It is little over a decade since the British Society of Paediatric Dermatology was founded, yet it is now a rapidly growing society and the number of publications on the subject is expanding. Happily, we start the new millennium with the comprehensive Textbook of Pediatric Dermatology, which stretches to two volumes. Although children can present with skin complaints comparable to those in adults, many skin conditions in childhood are rare in adulthood, and some are unique to the paediatric population.
Cryosurgery for the GP
Arthur Jackson
pp 14-17
Cryosurgery involves the use of local freezing for the controlled destruction of unwanted living tissue. Since the technique involved is simple, cryosurgery lends itself to use in the treatment of skin lesions in general practice. However, it is important to have a clear understanding of the principles involved. Inappropriate treatment of even benign skin lesions can lead to unnecessary complications and complaints, while poor selection and inadequate treatment of malignant tumours can result in poor outcomes and serious problems for the patient. This article is confined to the management of benign and premalignant skin lesions.
Bullying and eczema
Marie Retzback
pp 18-20
A 1999 report on a survey carried out by the charity Kidscape estimated that up to 1.5 million British schoolchildren were victims of bullying. 1 Severe, persistent bullying can drive children to attempt suicide. Adults who were bullied at school are up to seven times more likely to attempt suicide than those who were not. As physical appearance is one of the chief reasons victims of bullying are chosen, children with eczema can be vulnerable to persecution. GPs and practice nurses who treat children with eczema should be alert to the possibility that their patient is being bullied and to the effect this can have on quality of life.
Hidradenitis suppurativa
Jan von der Werth
pp 22-25
Hidradenitis suppurativa was first described by the French physician Velpeau in 1839. Some patients may feel that over the past 160 years we have not made much progress in our attempts to successfully treat this condition. Is this so? Have we really failed to advance significantly on this disease despite our powerful array of modern medicaments and surgical techniques? I guess in the eyes of many who suffer from HS the answer would be: yes. Hands up all those who feel comfortable when confronted with a hidradenitis patient. So, what is the cause for this lack of progress and do we really have so little to offer for this condition?
Care of chronic wounds
Deborah Hofman
pp 28-29
In the second of this two-part article on wound management, practical issues of wound care and dressings are discussed. When deciding on a regimen of care for a patient with a chronic wound, it is important to take into account the patient’s wishes. Many patients will have had previous experience of dressings and bandages and will know what suits them. A patient should never be allowed to leave the surgery with a bandage or dressing in place that causes pain or discomfort.
Monk's moments: The benefit of the doubt
Barry Monk
pp 31-31
There are few easier ways for politicians to get themselves a cheer from the tabloid newspapers than by calling for yet another ‘crackdown’ on ‘benefit cheats’. No doubt some of the very large amounts of public money spent on the benefit system are misapplied, but the purpose of the system is to help those in greatest need of help, not to boost political egos.