Necessary Elements of a Dermatologic History and Physical Evaluation

Janet M. Cole, Deanna Gray-Miceli


Dermatology Nursing. 2002;14(6) 

In This Article

Hair and Scalp

Hair. Texture, color, quantity, distribution, brittleness, diffuse hair loss, pattern thinning, patchy loss, and excessive hair in females should be noted. Observe for broken hair shafts, chemical or mechanical (pulling, twisting). Note the presence of nits or parasites. Examine the scalp for scales, crusts, or lesions. Inspect facial hair distribution, quantity, texture, hirsutism in females.

Nails. Length, color, configuration, symmetry, hygiene, thickness, deformities, new hyperpigmented band, pitting, and splinter hemorrhages should be noted.

Complete descriptions of all findings should be documented to facilitate making diagnoses and plans of care, as well as providing a baseline against which to measure the patient's progress.