Dermatology in practice - 2014

Comment: Teamwork and balance
Neill Hepburn
pp 3-3
At the end of my training in Edinburgh, I spent two days working with the dermatology nurses in the dressing clinic. These proved to be two of the most useful days of my training. I learnt how to apply ichthammol under tube gauze suits; how to apply paste bandages; how to soak weepy skin in potassium permanganate; and other techniques. At first my efforts to apply dressings looked pretty poor, but they did improve.
Using paste bandages – application and treatment
Jane Watts
pp 4-7
Paste bandages are central to the treatment of various dermatological conditions, including: eczema, leg ulceration, lichen simplex, lichen planus and localised psoriasis. This article explains when paste bandages should be used and describes two methods of application, with step-by-step instructions, to ensure that the bandages are applied correctly.
A guide to nail disorders – clinical features and treatment options
Emma Howard
pp 8-13
Fingernails add function to the hands by acting as tools (for example, to pull or scrape) and as a counterforce, thereby enhancing the sensitivity of the fingertip. They also protect the terminal digits and surrounding soft tissues from injury. In addition, many people feel that both their fingernails and toenails have a cosmetic importance, which they wish to preserve. Diseases both of and affecting the nail apparatus thus have potentially important physical and psychological consequences for patients.
Bookshelf: Treatment of Skin Disease, 4th edition
Neill Hepburn
pp 13-13
As a self-confessed bibliophile, I have many books – some I have not even opened but just enjoy having while others are real workhorses that I use most days. Treatment of Skin Disease is firmly in the second category. I have bought every edition and used each one almost every day in the clinic. Its simple layout makes it easy to find what you are looking for. In each chapter there is a consistent format of: a brief synopsis (which I usually ignore); a suggested management strategy; and specific investigations followed by therapies, which are divided into first-line, second-line and third-line.
PCDS update
Neil Shroff
pp 16-16
The PCDS celebrated its 20th anniversary in style at Kenilworth, from 14–16 March. I think I am still recovering from it! The Friday evening included a fun, esoteric quiz by an Exeter consultant, Dr Chris Bower, during which we learnt about camel bites and the habits of Eskimos. This was followed by a quick overview of genitourinary medicine (GUM) and a presentation on dealing with the media delivered by Colm O’Mahony, a GUM consultant.
Monk's moments: A penny for your thoughts
Barry Monk
pp 17-17
The ‘Penny Black’, first issued in 1840, was the world’s first postage stamp. Prior to that time, the cost of delivering letters was the responsibility of the recipient, and since the charge was quite high, people often refused to take the letter, especially if they thought that it might be a bill or a writ. The unique feature of the new postal service was that, for the payment of just one (old) penny, you could be certain that the letter you posted would arrive.
Controversies in dermatology: the possible benefits of sunlight
Richard Weller
pp 18-20
In 1928, Dr G Findlay, working at the Imperial Cancer Research laboratories in London, showed that ultraviolet (UV) radiation was carcinogenic in mice. His work published in The Lancet confirmed the suspicions of doctors held over the previous 50 years: that sunlight could indeed be carcinogenic in a white-skinned population.
A non-surgical approach to nonmelanoma skin cancer – part 2
Sweta Rai and Stephen Keohane
pp 22-25
In the first part of our two-part article published in Dermatology in practice Vol 20 No 1, the importance of primary and secondary prevention of non-melanoma skin cancer (NMSC) was discussed. In this second part, we focus on the management of pre-cancerous lesions, such as actinic keratosis (AK), and the most common forms of NMSC in the UK: basal cell carcinoma (BCC) and squamous cell carcinoma (SCC). We discuss both established treatments and newly emerging therapies, as well as their potential benefits and adverse effects.
Spotlight: Colchicine: what you need to know
Adam Daunton and Jon Goulding
pp 26-26
Although colchicine was first isolated only in the 19th century, members of the plant genus colchicum have been used since at least the 6th century for the relief of joint discomfort. A basic understanding of its potent inhibitory impact on cell division by arresting mitosis in metaphase was reached in the late 19th century. It is now known that this results from its inhibitory effects on microtubule formation.