Please use the box on the right to navigate to the area you are interested in.
However, the resources listed just below cover the whole field of dermatology and have been selected as the best general sites to either learn dermatology from or use as reference tools, with the caveat that most resources are produced in countries where fair caucasian skin predominates.
The first resource is my pick as it covers just about everything dermatological.
- If you were to use just one on-line site for dermatology this would be it. Contains a comprehensive A-Z topic index of dermatological conditions and their treatment, tutorials, quizzes/ questions (case based), powerpoints, on-line courses and links to other external resources. The only criticism is that although there are lots of clinical photo... read more
These are handbooks for novices.
- 2 hours67 page PDF document which matches the UK medical student dermatology curriculum. Easy to read and good clinical photos, but although learning outcomes are clearly listed, there are no educational activities to help achieve the outcomes, and the format is easier to use as a pocket book than on-screen.
- 2 hoursThis 62 page PDF document covers the basics including taking a history and skin examination, and divides skin diseases into those affecting adults and those affecting children. The section on practical advice on topical treatments is particularly well written by the nursing authors (although UK trade names of steroid preparations are used). The... read more
These next resources are courses which aim to teach dermatology to medical students.
- Longer than 4 hoursThis course is easy to use and covers the most important topics in dermatology. The powerpoint slide section covering lectures is less helpful as there is no audio. We have linked to individual sections pertaining to our curriculum further down the dermatology page.
- Longer than 4 hoursThis does require login which is free for any university student. It is very worthwhile for medical students with an interest in dermatology or trainees in dermatology early in their career. It is interactive, systematic and case orientated, with many hours worth of resources which are grouped into a sensible curriculum. There are 'cyberlectur... read more
- Longer than 4 hoursA series of powerpoint presentations with key facts and patient cases (I think the cases are this resource's strongest point). The order in which to do the modules is suggested by The American Academy of Dermatologists, and they suggest some are "optional". Each module has a short multiple choice quiz. As the format is powerpoint presentatio... read more
This has a comprehensive list of patient information leaflets and links to clinical guidelines.
- Open access to patient information leaflets (click on patient information leaflets box on right hand side of screen) on most diseases affecting the skin. The leaflets are accurate and comprehensive enough to be used for learning by medical students but they are text only with no clinical photos. Specific information leaflets also contain links to... read more
These sites cover dermatology – please browse to see which suit your purpose.
- Dermatological conditions are listed in alphabetical order, with related conditions easily accessed by hyperlinks. The clinical photos are generally pretty good. Text is concise and well structured. Ideal for the busy general practitioner/student as a reference. The Primary Care Dermatology Society's (link to home page) website is also wort... read more
- Membership is required, but if dermatology is your specialty then it is probably worthwhile joining the "community for practicing dermatologists". Free access to several journals (British Journal of Dermatology, Clinical and Experimental Dermatology, Contact Dermatitis and the Journal of Cutaneous Pathology) as well as dermatopathology quizz... read more
- This site requires registration, but it is free and highly recommended. The reference section has a comprehensive list of dermatology conditions and presents them in a standardised manner (overview, presentation, differential diagnosis [with easy links to these pages], workup, treatment and follow up). There is also an education section with va... read more
And now on to some more specific resources:
Anatomy, physiology and pathology
As the primary interface between ourselves and our environment the skin has several important functions including thermoregulation, mechanical protection, immunological protection, metabolic functions and sensation. The anatomy of the skin reflects this functional complexity. The first resources introduce skin anatomy/pathology and the later resources are for those with more knowledge.
- 30-60 minsThis site gives an overview of the structure of the skin using histopathological slides to illustrate. The notes are easily comprehensible and there are hyperlinks to other pertinent notes. There is an interactive skin biopsy specimen to interpret and multiple choice questions.
- 30-60 mins40 minute online lecture aimed at medical students. The lecturer illustrates the link between the anatomy of the skin and clinical cases of skin disease using powerpoint/screengrab and audio. As lectures go this is pretty good, despite the coughing and clearing of throat, but as it's difficult to dip in and out, or to target learning it can sco... read more
- 4 hoursThis has sections on specimen preparation and special stains, and then pathology is grouped into 3 main sections: infection, tumours and inflammatory diseases. Excellent terminology glossary. Learning objectives are clearly laid out and examples are illustrated with pathology slides, but the slides are not labelled, and unless you have some pri... read more
- 10-30 minsPathology slides of common dermatological conditions with concise labelled microscopic detail and in most cases a linked clinical photograph. Nice to see some clinicopathological correlation.
- Less than 10 minsChapter on skin in this online histology atlas. Matched electron and light microscopic pictures in black and white. 'Each picture tells a thousand words' - but unfortunately only 3 pictures of squirrel monkey pathology, and I'm not sure how much more information is given by the electron microscopic images anyway. Accompanying text is good, an... read more
- 10-30 minsGood quality slide images of normal skin types can be examined interactively by zooming in and using arrow keys in a google-map type fashion. Click on 'show description' for text and questions. Requires large band-width. Here is a related page (still LUMEN) which needs less bandwidth but is less interactive. Select part 13: Skin (integumen... read more
- 30-60 minsRealistic virtual recreation of the experience of looking at skin biopsies - the closest you'll get to looking down a microscope instead of at snapshots showing ‘typical’ lesions. However, one has to know what one is looking at, as there are no text or arrows showing the salient features. Requires good bandwidth to work well.
- 10-30 minsA test of pathology knowledge - there are currently 20 dermatology cases grouped under dermatopathology. A short case history is given and a histology slide. It is possible to magnify one part of the slide up in a new window. You are then asked for a diagnosis, before the diagnosis is revealed with a link to more information on the subject if... read more
A careful history and thorough examination of the skin, nails, hair and mucous membranes is necessary to make the correct diagnosis. It is important to be able to accurately describe the skin rash or lesion, and these resources contain the necessary terminology.
- 30-60 minsThis module aims to help the learner describe and identify the major types of skin lesions. Examples of primary and secondary skin lesions are defined and shown in photos as well as examples of a variety of patterns and distributions of lesions. A self assessment quizz tests knowledge gained. There are 3 tutorials, each should take approx 30 minutes.
- 30-60 mins5 lessons on how to perform a skin exam, identifying skin lesions, distribution, location, configuration and morphologic variation. Quite slick,and easy to use, good picture quality, and useful self tests on terminology and distribution. Guidance times for each lesson are stated.
Judicious use of further specific tests such as dermatoscopy, Wood’s light examination, biospy (+/- immunofluorescence) – please see pathology resources above, microbiology (mycology, bacteriology, virology), patch testing, prick tests and phototesting, may aid diagnosis.
full descriptionA simple guide as to what is involved in patch testing can be found on the DermNetNZ site. There are several photos of possible reactions. 10 minutes max. Allergy UK has an 11 minute video showing a patch test consultation using a commercially available test, along with a commentary about patch testing.... read more
full descriptionThese sites offer education in dermatoscopy in slightly different ways, and score 4-5 stars: An introduction to dermoscopy (danderm: Danish National Service on Dermato-venereology). A short introduction to dermatoscopy with good photos of features seen dermatoscopically. There are 30 cases for self assessment. Dermoscopy made simple (Aust... read more
- Less than 10 minsImmunology tests often used in skin disease are explained simply.
Skin infections and infestations
The first resources listed here cover infections that medical students would be expected to know about. The next resources are specific for particular infections.
- Less than 10 minsThese are 8 simple protocols for managing common skin conditions caused by infection, and particularly useful in areas where investigations and drugs are limited. Unfortunately only folliculitus, ecthyma, cellulitis, impetigo, scabies, tinea and tropical ulcer are covered and there are no clinical photos.
- 10-30 minsThis is factual information on common bacterial, fungal and viral infections of the skin. There is no educational activity to accompany and so although accurate and nicely presented can only score max 3 stars.
- 30-60 minsThis resource covers bacteria, fungi, viruses, exanthems, arthropods and parasites. There is a brief illustrated overview of the topic and links to other resources, key point exercises and case challenges.
- 30-60 minsThis course is aimed at doctors. Learning objectives are clearly stated and then text and photos cover clinical features, differential diagnosis and management. The educational activities are slightly convoluted.
Skin disease and infection slideshows (Medscape Reference)
full descriptionYou have to register with medscape for free to view. The slideshows are brief (less than 30 slides each) with generally good quality pictures, accompanying text and questions. Skin manifestations of viral diseases A drop down box links to further reference pages on emedicine site if required. Hard-to-diagnose bacterial infections of the sk... read more
full descriptionHere are 2 excellent resources for learning about Buruli Ulcer. The first, and more basic, (Buruli Ulcer: basic course) was published in 2004 and covers the topic with text and photos. The second (Buruli Ulcer: interactive module) was made in 2009 and consists of videos, lectures, text and photos, with several cases for self assessment.... read more
- 30-60 minsPDF publications available to download (and also available in other languages) with the aim on practical advice on how to diagnose and manage leprosy. Also available are guides for training in leprosy (for those who run training activities) and technical guides for those in charge of leprosy programmes. No self assessment activities.
- Less than 10 minsInformation leaflet for patients, contains all you need to know about scabies. Also links at the foot of the information to the relevant Clinical Knowledge Summary and guidelines from the British Association for Sexual Health and HIV. No learning activities. A few annoying adverts, but the information contained in the leaflet is good, and well w... read more
- 10-30 minsThis is a US site with initial US epidemiology, but following that the objectives are global. Unfortunately the clinical photos are on powerpoint slides and are not of great quality. There are, however, study MCQ questions available on most pages, and then a case with questions.
- 10-30 minsThis is one of the freely available modules provided by BMJ learning. Requires registration which is free. There are loads more modules which are probably more useful, but require login via your institution/BMA membership/or if in a developing country the HINARI initiative. See learning.bmj.com. Links to a BMJ article on a random... read more
The three most common inflammatory skin diseases are acne, eczema and psoriasis. Guidelines on their management can be found on the related page [DERMATOLOGY GUIDELINES]. The first resources have been grouped to cover these most common conditions. The next resources cover other inflammatory skin disorders.
- 10-30 minsA downloadable powerpoint presentation, with hyperlinks which link to a glossary if you stay on-line, and interactive case presentations/questions. Difficult to dip in and out of - like a lecture, but doesn't take too long. Self assessment in MCQ format in 'learners quiz'.
- 30-60 minsAcne, rosacea and their treatments are covered in this module from the University of Auckland. As in the other modules which cover the dermatology curriculum there are tutorials with key facts with links to DermNetNZ for more information, followed by self assessment 'key points tests' and case challenges.
- 30-60 minsThis is one of several free modules provided by BMJ learning. It requires registration and login which is free. Information and practical advice on prescribing isotretinoin are presented in fully referenced text and then tested with 10 MCQs. It's not a subject that everyone needs to know about, but is useful for those referring patients for ... read more
- 10-30 minsThis has links to all the DermNetNZ pages related to eczema. Pretty comprehensive and easy to search as subjects are listed alphabetically. If you want educational activities then DermNetNZ does have a dermatitis module, which gives structure to learning, however I wager that not many people will bother to complete the activities, which seem to b... read more
- Longer than 4 hoursNeed to register for free to login, for this pharmaceutical sponsored site. Aimed at pharmacists and nurses, could also be useful for medical students and junior doctors. 12 tutorials about eczema grouped into disease, treatment, providing support and minimising the impact of eczema. Takes the format of key facts and practical tips along with... read more
- 30-60 minsPsoriasis and its treatments are covered. There is also a section on other inflammatory scaly skin disease. As in the other modules which cover the dermatology curriculum there are tutorials with key facts with links to DermNetNZ for more information, followed by self assessment ‘key points tests’ and case challenges.
collection30-60 minsThis site has 6 video lectures of varying lengths by Ian McColl which are good if you have the patience to sit through remote lectures. A similar chatty style is used on his blog postings, which are helpfully categorised by morphology of skin lesions.
- 2 hoursThis module includes wound healing, leg ulceration, pigmentary disorders, dermatoses of pregnancy, photosensitivity and heat and cold induced skin disorders.
- 30-60 minsA textbook which sets the scene with chapters on basic skin anatomy and ultraviolet radiation, before chapters on non-melanoma skin cancers, melanomas and skin cancer mimics. Self assessment questions at the end of each short chapter and a gallery of images of skin cancers and their mimics.
- 30-60 minsThis has modules covering benign skin lesions as well as melanoma and non-melanoma skin cancer. As with the rest of this course, which covers most dermatological subjects, it is engaging. There are multiple opportunities to test knowledge with tests of key facts and of diagnostic skills.
- Less than 10 minsThis sets out all skin lesions (benign and malignant) according to appearance or body site and should help novices with diagnosis. The clinical photos are generally excellent and the accompanying text brief but helpful, with links on the page to the British Association of Dermatologists webpage for patient information leaflets.
- 30-60 minsAn interactive case which helps dermatologists learn of the latest treatments for melanoma.
- 10-30 minsRequires free registration. Three case challenges (links to individual cases below). Learning objectives are clearly stated, the case is presented and unfolds according to your choices. The supporting data is then reviewed. Treatment of early-stage CTCL in a 56-year-old black male patient Treatment of a 54-year-old male with tumor-stage ... read more
Basic skin surgery techniques may be viewed here:
- Less than 10 minsLink to UK Primary Care Dermatology Guidelines (PDF) with accompanying video clips. The videos are often slightly out of focus, have (annoying) background music as well as commentary, and don't always promote good habits (no gloves on when giving local anaesthetic, for example), but they are short and targeted.
Signs of systemic disease
- 30-60 minsAn overview of the topic is given (topics covered: connective tissue disease, cutaneous medicine, genetic skin diseases, signs of internal malignancy, vasulitis, drug eruptions and inflammatory reactions), and there are self assessment tests on key points, diagnostic challenges and cases.
- 30-60 minsA short course to to aid revision of skin conditions indicative or related to endocrine, gastrointestinal, haematological and nutritional diseases. Quite a brief summary but helpful as an exam revision aid or quick reference guide. This resource is not in alphabetical order and therefore it is difficult to look for specific information.
- Less than 10 minsAn index and reference point to search for information on Dermatology in systemic disease on the excellent DermNetNZ website. This cannot be used as a general guide to Dermatology in systemic disease but is useful to look for specific conditions which may present with skin manifestations, and is pretty comprehensive.
- 30-60 minsBrief summaries of many conditions, divided into sections depending on organ system involved (difficult to pick out specific diseases without scanning the whole page as it is not arranged in alphabetical order). Nicely presented, pity there's no associated self assessment.
collectionLess than 10 minsRegister with Medscape Reference for free. These slideshows are in Medscape's image collection and each covers a different aspect, but generally involves a picture + accompanying text with links to Medscape pages at the end of the show for more detailed information. Nice 'bite sized chunks'. The best shows include some simple questions as ... read more
Most of the resources discussed already contain information about disease management and treatment in each relevant chapters. However there are some specific resources discussing ultraviolet therapy,……
Clinical cases: self assessment
- Although not exclusively 'dermatological', the majority of these images are of the skin. You are given a choice of 5 possible diagnoses to choose from. The answer is explained briefly and you can see how others who took the test responded.
- Less than 10 minsRandom selection of a clinical photograph with a very limited description. Covers rare presentations as well as common ones, so better for those with some dermatology experience. The photos are of good quality, but without more history it is difficult to give the correct answer. May be useful for brushing up on spot diagnoses.
- Less than 10 mins36 clinical cases at ideal level for medical students. Last updated 2001, but still relevant. Cases consist of clinical photos with a brief history and if required further clues to answer multiple choice question. The answers are short but comprehensive. The clinical photos open in a new window, but unfortunately they are still too small for ... read more
- 10-30 minsThis link takes you to some of the cases seen in 2012, but there is an archive of cases from previous years too. Not all are relevant to dermatology. The thumbnails have images from the case, so it's easy to select ones with skin involvement, if that's what you're after. The cases themselves are comprehensive, with a full history and laborato... read more
- 10-30 minsYou need to register with Medscape for free. Teaching cases in slideshow format - direct links to the cases below. Arthralgia with a chronic verrucous rash Burning pain with a spreading rash and blisters Rash and fever heralding a possibly severe recurrence Strange skin patches with syncope and palpitations Systemic symptoms maskin... read more
- This is a joint effort of doctors in various countries to cover the spectrum of skin disease in all skin colours and races. A short clinical history is included with the clinical photo. You can search images by body site, morphology of rash, diagnosis, the most recent submissions to the site, submissions by a particular author and key words fro... read more
- This is a massive database (nearly 13 000 images) of skin conditions and skin histology submitted by hundreds of individuals from over 80 countries. Photos are accompanied by a small clinical history, with links to resources with the same diagnosis (such as eMedicine and Dermatology online). There is a multiple choice quiz using images from the... read more
- Image atlases with diagnosis and brief information on the diagnosis, synonyms and a comprehensive list of differential diagnoses with easy links to those images.
- At least 1300 clinical photos with accompanying short description. The photos open in a new window. They are loosely grouped under 9 different headings, and although there is a search facility it is sometimes a little difficult to find what you are looking for. No quiz/self assessment, but very good quality photos in the main.