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SKIN EXAMINATION

Statistics shows that up to 20% of general practitioners´ patients suffer from some skin disease.

On examining skin, it is necessary to assess the overall health status. Therefore, the physician is interested in serious diseases occurring in the family, as well as those that the patient has suffered from, including operation interventions. It is also important to be informed of the medicaments used and of possible allergic reactions suffered in the past. In case of taking a larger number of medicaments it is advisable to have their list.

The physician asks about the patients about their professions and leisure-time activities – sports, hobbies, presence of domestic animals (risk of allergies, fungal and infectious diseases etc.).

To assess a skin lesion, sometimes it is enough just to watch it. However, it is often necessary to assess other changes of the skin, or possibly the nails, hair or tissues. An important additional examination consists in using a magnifying glass, which might be illuminated.

Laboratory tests are used too – blood taking, swabs, taking scales from the surface of a skin lesion or also so-called biopsies, i.e. a small skin sample taken via a minor surgical intervention and examined under a microscope. In case of eczema diseases we add allergy tests. Some examinations might bring about the result within a single day, while others may take weeks to be processed.

The examination of skin lesions may become more complicated because of previous self-medication. It is advisable to remember the names of medical products applied or to bring them at the moment of the examination.

Skin lesions may be associated with some – e.g. internal – diseases. In such a case, further clinical examinations are recommended too.

As in any other field, prophylaxis, i.e. an effort to prevent the emergence of a disease, plays a major role. Preventive skin examination is, as a rule, carried out during a period in which the skin is not freshly suntanned. However, should you discover a suspicious skin lesion, please do not hesitate to consult a specialist immediately.