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An overview of common skin complaints seen in primary care

The knowledge needed to diagnose skin conditions in primary and community care can be elusive, daunting and confusing. By using thorough history-taking, excellent physical assessment skills and thinking ‘outside the box’, healthcare professionals can formulate a differential and working diagnosis to improve patient access to appropriate management, including medications, lifestyle changes and referral as needed. Simple history-taking tools, relevant mnemonics and good resources can help patients to be managed quickly and effectively, and thereby improve outcomes and reduce the need for time delay in diagnosis. This article intends to demystify the dermatology conundrum and give healthcare professionals the tools to simplify the treatment of common skin conditions.