Dermatology’s finest art is the recognition and naming of physical warning signs and illness. As experts we are called upon to engage with patients and assess them to the fullest of our abilities, yet as communication is an imperative of any medical professional, we must do more to be explicit and effective relators of comprehensible advice and diagnosis.
Warning The nomenclature of dermatological disease is huge. Terms such as macule, papule, or nodule and the distribution of rashes are useful, yet more so for communicating from one expert to another.
Diagnosis in the developed world increasingly relies on the laboratory. Where there is no access to such, it is too costly or where there is no refrigeration of reagents, simple and cost effective training procedures such as the algorithm are used to determine therapy. For example, rapid identification of snake or spider bite and access to anti-venoms are essential and must be sought quickly.
Action The skin carer can recognise function and especially signs of skin failure; failure of barrier, thermoregulation, sensory system, and communication through the skin. We must strive to maximise understanding wherever possible, in as simple a way possible, coupled with looking and touching appreciated as involvement and as an indicator of care. Recognising predisposition and weaknesses in the constitution are more characteristic of Asian systems of medicine. Culturally, they give more time to questioning, detecting changes in the constitution using terms that indicate excitability or lethargy, overheating or cooling. They use Tongue and Pulse diagnosis. They are concerned with balance.
In the rapid assessment of illness, we must tap into technological advancements such as developing aids and technological portals including mobile phone apps and smartphone technology for people to access with a clear and simple interface in a changing world of communication and access to information.