- Ivan Bristow
Dermatology - creating the right image
As with most things these days, if you need quick information on a subject there are a lot of materials and information that can be found on-line through search engines and links pages and this is no different for dermatology. A common question which comes up from students is where can I see pictures of skin conditions? And this is important, as the subject is very much visually driven. So below I have listed my top three which contain useful slides of skin conditions and some with additional clinical information. Direct links are provided by clicking the titles.
Dermnet is a long established website which holds a lot of useful information on specific skin conditions and alongside this, has many good quality images. This US website first started in 1989, by a dermatologist wanting to offer a site for dermatological education. Over this time the site has grown and now contains over 23 000 images of skin conditions along with videos and various articles. The site recently has had a make over and now has more videos available. The site allows free access to all of its resources but makes it clear that they cannot be used elsewhere for any purpose without consent from the website owners.
Another favourite website of mine is this one. Its labelled as "the learning resource for dermatologists" and contains a large image library of skin conditions. This is another US site which has more of community feel to it than Dermnet as alongside the images there are case reports and correspondence from dermatologists on specific cases which are presented. The videos are on a range of topics and not always focussed on specific clinical conditions. The library includes practice management, procedures and cosmetic dermatology for example. The case notes section contain a range of patients with an image and their symptoms in which you can attempt to make a diagnosis. The section labelled "Journals" is still under construction but suggests a future addition to this otherwise excellent resource. The final point to make is that the image bank can be searched for by anatomical location and currently a search under "feet" return over 1200 images - more than enough to keep you educated. The site allows you to freely download any images and use them for educational purposes providing the copyright notices remain on the image. Ideal for students wanting to illustrate their assignments!
The Dermatology Information System (DermIS) is another online atlas of common and not-so-common skin conditions. The site explains it is primarily an atlas of skin disorders with case reports and additional information. The site is European in origin and hosts over 6000 images. A search just on one type of melanoma yielded over 39 images. A unique point about this is that when you pull up a particular slide of a condition, on the right hand side it lists potential differential diagnoses and links to those as well which is helpful for learning.
Alongside of this there are also some other learning modules free to access. The range is short but contains some on skin cancer, the history of dermatology amongst other topics. The information here feels a little basic and sparse but that hopefully maybe updated soon.