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Dermatological anamnesis is a fundamental process for identifying and diagnosing skin diseases. It consists of the detailed collection of patient information, allowing the healthcare professional to better understand the symptoms and signs presented, as well as the patient's medical history.

Additionally, dermatological anamnesis involves assessing environmental factors, lifestyle habits, and possible exposures to irritating or allergenic substances that may affect skin health. This holistic approach is crucial for formulating an accurate diagnosis and developing a personalized treatment plan, ensuring a better quality of life for the patient.

In this article, we will cover the essential steps for conducting an effective dermatological anamnesis, highlighting the importance of each stage and providing practical guidance for professionals in the field.

Before we continue, we need to ask: Are you already familiar with Ninsaúde Clinic? Ninsaúde Clinic is a medical software with an agile and complete schedule, electronic medical records with legal validity, teleconsultation, financial control and much more. Schedule a demonstration or try Ninsaúde Clinic right now!

Initial Preparation

Before starting the anamnesis, it is important to create a comfortable and private environment for the patient. Ensure you have all necessary materials at hand, including paper and pen for notes or an electronic device for recording.

Dermatology professionals can use the Ninsaúde Clinic medical software to record notes through the electronic medical record. This system allows for secure and organized storage of patient information, facilitating access and review of clinical data. Additionally, the professional can also use the existing form templates in the system, which are especially useful for anamneses.

Ninsaúde Clinic Dermatological Form Template

With the Ninsaúde Clinic forms, the dermatologist can create personalized anamnesis templates for each type of patient, ensuring that all relevant information is collected systematically and efficiently. These forms can include specific questions about medical history, current symptoms, lifestyle habits, and other important factors for the diagnosis and treatment of dermatological conditions.

Patient Identification

Before beginning any procedure, it is essential to collect basic information about the patient to ensure a detailed and personalized record:

  • Full name: Fundamental for patient records.
  • Age: Important for adapting treatment protocols based on age group.
  • Sex: Relevant for diagnoses, as some dermatological conditions are more common in certain sexes.
  • Profession: Can influence diagnosis since certain professions expose individuals to conditions that may affect the skin.
  • Address: Allows regional analysis of diseases and access to information about local environmental factors.
  • Telephone contact: Essential for direct communication about test results, changes in treatments, and guidance.
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In addition to these basic details, it is advisable to obtain additional information that may influence patient care, such as marital status, which can impact the patient's emotional and social support, and information about the health insurance plan to understand available treatment coverage. Collecting this initial data helps to contextualize the patient's medical and social history, providing a more complete view that will aid in diagnosis and therapeutic planning.

Chief Complaint

Begin the consultation by asking the patient the reason for their visit. The chief complaint should be clearly described in a detailed and objective manner. It is crucial to investigate various aspects to fully understand the issue:

  • Symptoms: Specifically identify what the patient is feeling, such as itching, pain, burning, scaling, or any other discomfort. Ask about the intensity and frequency of these symptoms.
  • Location of the lesions: Ask the patient to describe where the lesions or skin changes are located. If possible, observe directly to assess the extent and type of lesion.
  • Duration of symptoms: It is important to know how long the patient has been experiencing the symptoms. This can provide clues about the chronic or acute nature of the condition.
  • Factors that worsen or improve the condition: Inquire about any circumstances or activities that seem to intensify or relieve the symptoms. This includes exposure to the sun, contact with known allergens, use of personal care products, dietary changes, or other environmental factors.

Additionally, investigate if there are specific times of the day when the symptoms worsen or improve and if there are seasonal variations associated with the symptoms. Also ask about any home treatments or medications the patient may have tried before the consultation. These details are essential for accurately diagnosing the condition and formulating an effective treatment plan.

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History of Current Illness

Investigate in detail the history of the current illness, focusing on the following aspects for a deeper understanding of the patient's condition:

  • Onset and Progression: Ask the patient exactly when the symptoms started and how they have evolved over time. It is important to determine if the progression was gradual or abrupt, and whether the symptoms have been fluctuating or consistently worsening.
  • Characteristics of the Lesions: Obtain a detailed description of the lesions, including color, size, shape, and number. Inquire about any changes in skin texture, such as hardening or scaling. Also assess whether the lesions are isolated or distributed in a symmetrical or asymmetrical manner across the body.
  • Associated Symptoms: Beyond the primary symptoms, identify the presence of pruritus (itching), pain, scaling, bleeding, secretion, or fever. These may indicate secondary infections or complications that require immediate attention.
  • Triggering Factors: Explore possible triggering factors by asking about exposure to new personal care or cleaning products, recent changes in diet, episodes of stress, recent travels that may have exposed the patient to new environments, and contact with animals or plants. These details can help identify specific allergens or irritants contributing to the condition.

Past Medical History

Obtain detailed information about the patient's medical history for a comprehensive and personalized assessment:

  • Pre-existing Diseases: Ask about chronic or past health conditions such as diabetes, hypertension, and autoimmune diseases. Understanding how these conditions might influence current and future treatments is crucial.
  • Previous Surgeries: Record any surgical procedures the patient has undergone, including minor surgeries and major interventions. Details such as the date, type of surgery, and any complications are essential for understanding the patient's current condition.
  • Medications in Use: Compile a complete list of prescribed medications, over-the-counter (OTC) drugs, and supplements that the patient is taking. This will help avoid drug interactions and adjust treatments accordingly.
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  • History of Allergies: Document all known allergies, including reactions to medications, foods, and environmental factors. In the Ninsaúde Clinic medical software, this information can be entered into the patient's medical record so that it can be pinned on a card at the top of the record, allowing quick access to these critical data during consultations and treatments.
  • Vaccinations: Knowing the patient's vaccination history is essential to ensure ongoing preventive health care. The Ninsaúde Clinic software has a specific tab for recording vaccinations in the patient's medical record, enabling easy and organized tracking of administered vaccines and those still needed.

Family, Social, and Occupational History

When assessing a patient's dermatological health, it is crucial to investigate both family and social and occupational histories. Start by exploring the presence of dermatological diseases or other health conditions in the family, as some skin diseases such as psoriasis, atopic dermatitis, vitiligo, and skin cancer have significant hereditary components.

Regarding social and occupational history, inquire about the patient's lifestyle habits and work environment. This includes:

  • Hygiene Habits: Explore what personal care products are used, the frequency of baths, and the types of soaps and lotions adopted.
  • Sun Exposure: Investigate the amount of time spent outdoors, the use of sunscreen, and the history of sunburns, which is particularly relevant to understanding risks for UV-induced skin conditions.
  • Dietary Habits: Gather details about the diet, alcohol consumption, and smoking, factors that can impact overall health and dermatological condition.
  • Lifestyle: Ask about the level of physical activity, stress management, and sleep patterns, as these can influence various dermatological conditions.
  • Work Environment: Include questions about exposure to chemicals, use of protective equipment, and the conditions of the work environment, such as heat and humidity, which can affect the skin.

Dermatological Physical Examination

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After gathering information, it is essential to perform a comprehensive physical examination of the skin, dividing the body into regions for a systematic evaluation. Start by examining the head and neck, including the scalp, face, ears, and neck. Proceed to inspect the trunk, looking at both the front and the back. Next, assess the upper extremities, observing the arms, hands, and nails, and the lower extremities, including legs, feet, and toenails. Do not forget the genitals and fold areas such as armpits, groin, and under the breasts, where dermatological issues are common in intertriginous areas.

During the examination, use a magnifying glass and a Wood's lamp if necessary, to better assess the lesions. It is important to take note of the distribution, shape, size, color, and any changes in the skin surface. This detailed process allows for the identification of specificities of dermatological conditions and significantly contributes to the diagnosis and treatment planning.

Diagnostic and Treatment Planning with Ninsaúde Clinic

Based on the information collected during the anamnesis and the dermatological physical examination, the first step is to create a list of possible differential diagnoses. This process involves considering both common and rare conditions and may require the support of additional diagnostic resources, such as skin biopsies, blood tests, microbiological cultures, and allergy tests to confirm clinical suspicion. The Ninsaúde Clinic software facilitates this process by allowing detailed recording of all test results directly into the patient's electronic medical record, providing easy access and quick reference during consultations.

Dermatological form being used in the Ninsaúde Clinic electronic medical record

After diagnosing, the next step is to develop a personalized treatment plan for the patient. This plan may include the prescription of topical or systemic medications, tailored to the specific needs of the case. Additionally, recommendations on skincare and lifestyle changes are crucial for the success of the treatment. The professional should provide guidance on the proper use of sunscreens and other dermatological products, especially if the patient shows sensitivity to specific components.

Ninsaúde Clinic also offers features that optimize treatment management, such as automatic reminders for scheduling follow-up appointments, ensuring effective continuity of care. This integration of tools facilitates the coordination between different stages of treatment and monitoring of patient progress, allowing adjustments as needed to achieve the best outcomes.

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