Differential Diagnosis Concerning Dermal Conditions

Week 4 Discussion: Differential Diagnosis for Skin Conditions

Differential Diagnosis Concerning Dermal Conditions – Properly identifying the cause and type of a patient’s skin condition involves a process of elimination known as differential diagnosis. Using this process, a health professional can take a given set of physical abnormalities, vital signs, health assessment findings, and patient descriptions of symptoms, and incrementally narrow them down until one diagnosis is determined as the most likely cause.

In this Discussion, you will examine several visual representations of various skin conditions, describe your observations, and use the techniques of differential diagnosis to determine the most likely condition.

Note: Your Discussion post should be in the SOAP (Subjective, Objective, Assessment, and Plan) note format, rather than the traditional narrative style Discussion posting format. Refer to Chapter 2 of the Sullivan text and the Comprehensive SOAP Template in this week’s Learning Resources for guidance. Remember that not all comprehensive SOAP data are included in every patient case.

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To prepare for Differential Diagnosis Concerning Dermal Conditions:

Review the Skin Conditions document provided in this week’s Learning Resources, and select two conditions to closely examine for this Discussion.

Consider the abnormal physical characteristics you observe in the graphics you selected. How would you describe the characteristics using clinical terminologies?

Explore different conditions that could be the cause of the skin abnormalities in the graphics you selected.

Consider which of the conditions is most likely to be the correct diagnosis, and why.

By Day 3 of Differential Diagnosis Concerning Dermal Conditions

Post a description of the two graphics you selected (identify each graphic by number). Use clinical terminologies to explain the physical characteristics featured in each graphic. Formulate a differential diagnosis of three to five possible conditions for each. Determine which is most likely to be the correct diagnosis, and explain your reasoning.

Read a selection of your colleagues’ responses.

By Day 6 of Differential Diagnosis Concerning Dermal Conditions

Respond to at least two of your colleagues on two different days. Make sure that you respond to colleagues who selected at least one graphic that is different from the ones you selected. For each, address all of the following:

  1. Critique your colleague’s clinical description of the physical characteristics of each.
  2. Suggest an additional possible condition for each graphic, and explain your reasoning.
  3. Provide an alternative correct diagnosis, and explain your reasoning.
  4. Validate an idea with your own experience and additional research.