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Bedside Diagnostic Techniques in Dermatology

Abstract

Purpose of Review

To review bedside diagnostic techniques in the modern dermatologic landscape.

Recent Findings

Microscopy has been a commonly used bedside technique for the diagnosis of various fungal, parasitic, and bacterial infections. Tzanck smears are another useful technique often used for diagnosing herpesvirus lesions, but evidence shows that its use could be expanded to include other conditions as well. Wood’s light fluorescence is a simple non-invasive technique that has often been utilized to diagnose various bacterial, fungal, and pigmentation disorders, although its list of uses has not been exhausted. Cellophane tape scraping can provide a scalpel-free alternative to traditional scrapings. With the ever-decreasing costs of technologies such as PCR, swabbing for PCR may become a more common method of diagnosing more infectious skin pathologies.

Summary

Bedside diagnostic techniques in dermatology are a useful adjunct to the dermatologic physical exam to confirm a diagnosis rapidly, affordably, and accurately.

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Papers of particular interest, published recently, have been highlighted as: • Of importance •• Of major importance

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Correspondence to John C. L. Trinidad.

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Goldenberg, M., Liao, YT., Libson, K. et al. Bedside Diagnostic Techniques in Dermatology. Curr Derm Rep (2021). https://doi.org/10.1007/s13671-021-00336-3

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Keywords

  • Bedside diagnostics
  • Dermatology
  • Scrapings
  • Tzanck smear
  • Dermoscopy
  • Microscopy