Differential Diagnosis For Skin Conditions

Differential Diagnosis For Skin Conditions

Properly identifying the cause and type of a patient’s skin condition involves a process of elimination known as differential diagnosis. Using this process, a health professional can take a given set of physical abnormalities, vital signs, health assessment findings, and patient descriptions of symptoms, and incrementally narrow them down until one diagnosis is determined as the most likely cause.
In this Lab Assignment, you will examine several visual representations of various skin conditions, describe your observations, and use the techniques of differential diagnosis to determine the most likely condition.
To Prepare
Review the Skin Conditions document provided in this week’s Learning Resources, and select one condition to closely examine for this Lab Assignment.
Consider the abnormal physical characteristics you observe in the graphic you selected. How would you describe the characteristics using clinical terminologies?
Explore different conditions that could be the cause of the skin abnormalities in the graphics you selected.
Consider which of the conditions is most likely to be the correct diagnosis, and why.
Search the Walden library for one evidence-based practice, peer-reviewed article based on the skin condition you chose for this Lab Assignment.
Review the Comprehensive SOAP Exemplar found in this week’s Learning Resources to guide you as you prepare your SOAP note.
Download the SOAP Template found in this week’s Learning Resources, and use this template to complete this Lab Assignment.
The Lab Assignment
Choose one skin condition graphic (identify by number in your Chief Complaint) to document your assignment in the SOAP (Subjective, Objective, Assessment, and Plan) note format rather than the traditional narrative style. Refer to Chapter 2 of the Sullivan text and the Comprehensive SOAP Template in this week’s Learning Resources for guidance. Remember that not all comprehensive SOAP data are included in every patient case.
Use clinical terminologies to explain the physical characteristics featured in the graphic. Formulate a differential diagnosis of three to five possible conditions for the skin graphic that you chose. Determine which is most likely to be the correct diagnosis and explain your reasoning using at least three different references, one reference from current evidence-based literature from your search and two different references from this week’s Learning Resources.
REQUIRED READINGS
Ball, J. W., Dains, J. E., Flynn, J. A., Solomon, B. S., & Stewart, R. W. (2019). Seidel’s guide to physical examination: An interprofessional approach (9th ed.). St. Louis, MO: Elsevier Mosby.
Chapter 9, “Skin, Hair, and Nails”
This chapter reviews the basic anatomy and physiology of skin, hair, and nails. The chapter also describes guidelines for proper skin, hair, and nails assessments.
Colyar, M. R. (2015). Advanced practice nursing procedures. Philadelphia, PA: F. A. Davis.
Credit Line: Advanced practice nursing procedures, 1st Edition by Colyar, M. R. Copyright 2015 by F. A. Davis Company. Reprinted by permission of F. A. Davis Company via the Copyright Clearance Center.
This section explains the procedural knowledge needed prior to performing various dermatological procedures.
Chapter 1, “Punch Biopsy”
Chapter 2, “Skin Biopsy”
Chapter 10, “Nail Removal”
Chapter 15, “Skin Lesion Removals: Keloids, Moles, Corns, Calluses”
Chapter 16, “Skin Tag (Acrochordon) Removal”
Chapter 22, “Suture Insertion”
Chapter 24, “Suture Removal”
Dains, J. E., Baumann, L. C., & Scheibel, P. (2019). Advanced health assessment and clinical diagnosis in primary care (6th ed.). St. Louis, MO: Elsevier Mosby.
Credit Line: Advanced Health Assessment and Clinical Diagnosis in Primary Care, 6th Edition by Dains, J.E., Baumann, L. C., & Scheibel, P. Copyright 2019 by Mosby. Reprinted by permission of Mosby via the Copyright Clearance Center.
Chapter 28, “Rashes and Skin Lesions”
This chapter explains the steps in an initial examination of someone with dermatological problems, including the type of information that needs to be gathered and assessed.
Note: Download and use the Student Checklist and the Key Points when you conduct your assessment of the skin, hair, and nails in this Week’s Lab Assignment.
Ball, J. W., Dains, J. E., Flynn, J. A., Solomon, B. S., & Stewart, R. W. (2019). Skin, hair, and nails: Student checklist. In Seidel’s guide to physical examination (9th ed.). St. Louis, MO: Elsevier Mosby.
Credit Line: Seidel’s Guide to Physical Examination, 9th Edition by Ball, J. W., Dains, J. E., Flynn, J. A., Solomon, B. S., & Stewart, R. W. Copyright 2019 by Elsevier Health Sciences. Reprinted by permission of Elsevier Health Sciences via the Copyright Clearance Center.
Ball, J. W., Dains, J. E., Flynn, J. A., Solomon, B. S., & Stewart, R. W. (2019). Skin, hair, and nails: Key points. In Seidel’s guide to physical examination: An interprofessional approach (9th ed.). St. Louis, MO: Elsevier Mosby.
Credit Line: Seidel’s Guide to Physical Examination, 9th Edition by Ball, J. W., Dains, J. E., Flynn, J. A., Solomon, B. S., & Stewart, R. W. Copyright 2019 by Elsevier Health Sciences. Reprinted by permission of Elsevier Health Sciences via the Copyright Clearance Center.
Sullivan, D. D. (2019). Guide to clinical documentation (3rd ed.). Philadelphia, PA: F. A. Davis.
Chapter 2, “The Comprehensive History and Physical Exam” (Previously read in Weeks 1 and 3)
VisualDx. (n.d.). Clinical decision support. Retrieved June 11, 2019, from http://www.skinsight.com/info/for_professionals
This interactive website allows you to explore skin conditions according to age, gender, and area of the body.
Clothier, A. (2014). Assessing and managing skin tears in older people. Nurse Prescribing, 12(6), 278–282.
This document contains five images of different skin conditions. You will use this information in this week’s Discussion.
Document: Comprehensive SOAP Exemplar (Word document)
Comprehensive SOAP Exemplar
Purpose: To demonstrate what each section of the SOAP note should include. Remember that Nurse Practitioners treat patients in a holistic manner and your SOAP note should reflect that premise.
Patient Initials: _______ Age: _______ Gender: _______
SUBJECTIVE DATA:
Chief Complaint (CC): Coughing up phlegm and fever
History of Present Illness (HPI): Sara Jones is a 65 year old Caucasian female who presents today with a productive cough x 3 weeks and fever for the last three days. She reported that the “cold feels like it is descending into her chest”. The cough is nagging and productive. She brought in a few paper towels with expectorated phlegm – yellow/brown in color. She has associated symptoms of dyspnea of exertion and fever. Her Tmax was reported to be 102.4, last night. She has been taking Ibuprofen 400mg about every 6 hours and the fever breaks, but returns after the medication wears off. She rated the severity of her symptom discomfort at 4/10.
Medications:
1.) Lisinopril 10mg daily
2.) Combivent 2 puffs every 6 hours as needed
3.) Serovent daily
4.) Salmeterol daily
5.) Over the counter Ibuprofen 200mg -2 PO as needed
6.) Over the counter Benefiber
7.) Flonase 1 spray each night as needed for allergic rhinitis symptoms
Allergies:
Sulfa drugs – rash
Past Medical History (PMH):
1.) Emphysema with recent exacerbation 1 month ago – deferred admission – RX’d with outpatient antibiotics and an hand held nebulizer treatments.
2.) Hypertension – well controlled
3.) Gastroesophageal reflux (GERD) – quiet on no medication
4.) Osteopenia
5.) Allergic rhinitis
Past Surgical History (PSH):
1.) Cholecystectomy 1994
2.) Total abdominal hysterectomy (TAH) 1998
Sexual/Reproductive History:
Heterosexual
G1P1A0
Non-menstrating – TAH 1998
Personal/Social History:
She has smoked 2 packs of cigarettes daily x 30 years; denied ETOH or illicit drug use.
Immunization History:
Her immunizations are up to date. She received the influenza vaccine last November and the Pneumococcal vaccine at the same time.
Significant Family History:
Two brothers – one with diabetes, dx at age 65 and the other with prostate CA, dx at age 62. She has 1 daughter, in her 50’s, healthy, living in nearby neighborhood.
Lifestyle:
She is a retired; widowed x 8 years; lives in the city, moderate crime area, with good public transportation. She college graduate, owns her home and receives a pension of $50,000 annually – financially stable.
She has a primary care nurse practitioner provider and goes for annual and routine care twice annually and as needed for episodic care. She has medical insurance but often asks for drug samples for cost savings. She has a healthy diet and eating pattern. There are resources and community groups in her area at the senior center and she attends regularly. She enjoys bingo. She has a good support system composed of family and friends.
Review of Systems:
General: + fatigue since the illness started; + fever, no chills or night sweats; no recent weight gains of losses of significance.
HEENT: no changes in vision or hearing; she does wear glasses and her last eye exam was 1 ½ years ago. She reported no history of glaucoma, diplopia, floaters, excessive tearing or photophobia. She does have bilateral small cataracts that are being followed by her ophthalmologist. She has had no recent ear infections, tinnitus, or discharge from the ears. She reported her sense of smell is intact. She has not had any episodes of epistaxis. She does not have a history of nasal polyps or recent sinus infection. She has history of allergic rhinitis that is seasonal. Her last dental exam was 3/2014. She denied ulceration, lesions, gingivitis, gum bleeding, and has no dental appliances. She has had no difficulty chewing or swallowing.
Neck: no pain, injury, or history of disc disease or compression. Her last Bone Mineral density (BMD) test was 2013 and showed mild osteopenia, she said.
Breasts: No reports of breast changes. No history of lesions, masses or rashes. No history of abnormal mammograms.
Respiratory: + cough and sputum production (see HPI); denied hemoptysis, no difficulty breathing at rest; + dyspnea on exertion; she has history of COPD and community acquired pneumonia 2012. Last PPD was 2013. Last CXR – 1 month ago.
CV: no chest discomfort, palpitations, history of murmur; no history of arrhythmias, orthopnea, paroxysmal nocturnal dyspnea, edema, or claudication. Date of last ECG/cardiac work up is unknown by patient.
GI: No nausea or vomiting, reflux controlled, No abd pain, no changes in bowel/bladder pattern. She uses fiber as a daily laxative to prevent constipation.
GU: no change in her urinary pattern, dysuria, or incontinence. She is heterosexual. She has had a total abd hysterectomy. No history of STD’s or HPV. She has not been sexually active since the death of her husband.
MS: she has no arthralgia/myalgia, no arthritis, gout or limitation in her range of motion by report. No history of trauma or fractures.
Psych: no history of anxiety or depression. No sleep disturbance, delusions or mental health history. She denied suicidal/homicidal history.
Neuro: no syncopal episodes or dizziness, no paresthesia, head aches. No change in memory or thinking patterns; no twitches or abnormal movements; no history of gait disturbance or problems with coordination. No falls or seizure history.
Integument/Heme/Lymph: no rashes, itching, or bruising. She uses lotion to prevent dry skin. She has no history of skin cancer or lesion removal. She has no bleeding disorders, clotting difficulties or history of transfusions.
Endocrine: no endocrine symptoms or hormone therapies.
Allergic/Immunologic: this has hx of allergic rhinitis, but no known immune deficiencies. Her last HIV test was 10 years ago.
OBJECTIVE DATA
Physical Exam:
Vital signs: B/P 110/72, left arm, sitting, regular cuff; P 70 and regular; T 98.3 Orally; RR 16; non-labored; Wt: 115 lbs; Ht: 5’2; BMI 21
General: A&O x3, NAD, appears mildly uncomfortable
HEENT: PERRLA, EOMI, oronasopharynx is clear
Neck: Carotids no bruit, jvd or tmegally
Chest/Lungs: CTA AP&L
Heart/Peripheral Vascular: RRR without murmur, rub or gallop; pulses+2 bilat pedal and +2 radial
ABD: benign, nabs x 4, no organomegaly; mild suprapubic tenderness – diffuse – no rebound
Genital/Rectal: external genitalia intact, no cervical motion tenderness, no adnexal masses.
Musculoskeletal: symmetric muscle development – some age related atrophy; muscle strengths 5/5 all groups.
Neuro: CN II – XII grossly intact, DTR’s intact
Skin/Lymph Nodes: No edema, clubbing, or cyanosis; no palpable nodes
ASSESSMENT:
Lab Tests and Results:
CBC – WBC 15,000 with + left shift
SAO2 – 98%
Diagnostics:
Lab:
Radiology:
CXR – cardiomegaly with air trapping and increased AP diameter
ECG
Normal sinus rhythm
Differential Diagnosis (DDx):
1.) Acute Bronchitis
2.) Pulmonary Embolis
3.) Lung Cancer
Diagnoses/Client Problems:
1.) COPD
2.) HTN, controlled
3.) Tobacco abuse – 40 pack year history
4.) Allergy to sulfa drugs – rash
5.) GERD – quiet on no current medication
PLAN: [This section is not required for the assignments in this course, but will be required for future courses.]

 

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