Dermatology in practice - 2002

Comment: What’s happening in the stars this month?
Neil Cox
pp 4-4
The government recently produced its star rating system for hospitals. At first glance, this appears to reward those who already have everything they need, but to penalise those who are struggling. This editorial looks further at this topic. Doctors in secondary care will be aware of this new bit of bureaucracy but for those in general practice who may think that the hospital star ratings are irrelevant, don't be too complacent.
Topical treatment for acne – recent additions
Shernaz Walton and Prakash Gowda
pp 6-8
Acne is a chronic inflammatory disorder of the pilosebaceous units. It is characterised by the formation of comedones, erythematous papules and pustules and, less frequently, by nodules and cysts – leading to scarring in some cases.
Folliculitis – the clinical types and their management
Allan Ah-Weng and James AA Langtry
pp 10-14
Folliculitis is superficial inflammation of the hair follicle at its opening to the skin surface (ostium or infundibulum), although the process may extend deeper down the hair shaft. It is characterised by inflamed papules and pustules centered around hair follicles. Causes include various infections and noninfective injury, although often a combination of these aetiological factors is responsible (Table 1). For a few individuals, the treatment of folliculitis can be difficult.
Single gene disorders and dermatology
Jemima Mellerio
pp 16-19
The last decade has witnessed phenomenal advances in our understanding of the molecular basis of an ever-increasing number of inherited diseases. To date, more than 1,000 different single-gene disorders have been characterised, of which more than 300 affect the skin or its appendages. This explosion of information has had a significant impact at a basic science level in unravelling much about the structure and function of normal skin, and has started to lead to more logical classification systems based on specific causative molecular pathology.
Blistering diseases
Alexander J Chamberlain and Vanessa A Venning
pp 22-25
Cutaneous blistering has clinical significance because it may pose diagnostic difficulties and occasionally has life-threatening potential. This article provides a practical approach to blistering based on clinical features and basic investigations, including the key aspects that differentiate the immunobullous disorders from the more common causes.
Monk's moments: Lost property
Barry Monk
pp 31-31
The development of penicillin by Florey and Chain in Oxford in 1940 is one of the most famous stories in medical history. Unfortunately, they failed to patent their discovery, so that by 1945 Britain was being forced to buy imported penicillin from the USA. The lesson was rapidly learned, and in 1946 the rights to erythromycin were sold by Oxford University for £2 million (perhaps equivalent to £50 million at today’s prices).