SOAP Note For Differential Diagnosis For Skin Conditions
Differential Diagnosis for Skin Conditions
Assignment 1: Lab Assignment: 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 Discussion, 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.
Note: Your Discussion post should be in the SOAP (Subjective, Objective, Assessment, and Plan) note format, rather than the traditional narrative style Discussion posting format. 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.
· Review the Skin Conditions document provided in this week’s Learning Resources, and select two conditions to closely examine for this Discussion.
· Consider the abnormal physical characteristics you observe in the graphics 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.
A description of the two graphics you selected (identify each graphic by number). Use clinical terminologies to explain the physical characteristics featured in each graphic. Formulate a differential diagnosis of three to five possible conditions for each. Determine which is most likely to be the correct diagnosis, and explain your reasoning.
Please follow the Note above. Do SOAP note format and check it out on the uploaded file the SOAP template as your outline for your writings… No traditional essay on this assignment, again use SOAP note. Thank you.
|Note: Because the information in this course is so vital, a large number of resources are provided in various formats to facilitate your competence in diagnosing a wide variety of health conditions. When multiple resources are available on the same topic, select those that best meet your personal learning needs to prepare you to accurately diagnose patient health problems.|
|Note: To access this week’s required library resources, please click on the link to the Course Readings List, found in the Course Materials section of your Syllabus.|
· Ball, J. W., Dains, J. E., Flynn, J. A., Solomon, B. S., & Stewart, R. W. (2015). Seidel’s guide to physical examination (8th ed.). St. Louis, MO: Elsevier Mosby.
o Chapter 8, “Skin, Hair, and Nails” (pp. 114-165)
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.
· Dains, J. E., Baumann, L. C., & Scheibel, P. (2016). Advanced health assessment and clinical diagnosis in primary care (5th ed.). St. Louis, MO: Elsevier Mosby.
o Chapter 28, “Rashes and Skin Lesions” (pp. 325-343)
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 Adult Examination Checklist and the Physical Exam Summary when you conduct your video assessment of the skin, hair, and nails.
· Seidel, H. M., Ball, J. W., Dains, J. E., Flynn, J. A., Solomon, B. S., & Stewart, R. W. (2011). . In Mosby’s guide to physical examination (7th ed.). St. Louis, MO: Elsevier Mosby. SOAP Note For Differential Diagnosis For Skin Conditions
This Adult Examination Checklist: Guide for Skin, Hair, and Nails was published as a companion to Seidel’s guide to physical examination (8th ed.), by Ball, J. W., Dains, J. E., & Flynn, J. A. Copyright Elsevier (2015). From
· Seidel, H. M., Ball, J. W., Dains, J. E., Flynn, J. A., Solomon, B. S., & Stewart, R. W. (2011). . In Mosby’s guide to physical examination (7th ed.). St. Louis, MO: Elsevier Mosby.
This Skin, Hair, and Nails Physical Exam Summary was published as a companion to Seidel’s guide to physical examination(8th ed.), by Ball, J. W., Dains, J. E., & Flynn, J. A. Copyright Elsevier (2015). From
· Chadha, A. (2009). Assessing the skin. Practice Nurse, 38(7), 43–48.
Retrieved from the Walden Library databases.
In this article, the author explains how to take a relevant skin health history. In addition, the article defines common terms used to describe skin lesions and rashes.
· Ely, J. W., & Stone, M. S. (2010). The generalized rash: Part I. Differential diagnosis. American Family Physician, 81(6), 726–734.
This article focuses on common, uncommon, and rare causes of generalized rashes. The article also specifies tests to diagnose generalized rashes.
· Ely, J. W., & Stone, M. S. (2010). The generalized rash: Part II. Diagnostic approach. American Family Physician, 81(6), 735–739.
This article revolves around the diagnosis of generalized rashes. The authors describe clinical features that may help in distinguishing generalized rashes.
· Everyday Health, Inc. (2013). Resources for dermatology and visual conditions. Retrieved from
This interactive website allows you to explore skin conditions according to age, gender, and area of the body.
This document contains five images of different skin conditions. You will use this information in this week’s Discussion.
Online media for Seidel’s Guide to Physical Examination
In addition to this week’s media, it is highly recommended that you access and view the online resources included with the course text, Seidel’s Guide to Physical Examination. Focus on the videos and animations in Chapter 8 that relate to the assessment of the skin, hair, and nails.
The following suturing tutorials provide instruction on the basic interrupted suture, as well as the vertical and horizontal mattress suturing techniques:
· Tulane Center for Advanced Medical Simulation & Team Training. (2010, July 8). Suturing technique.Retrieved from
· Mikheil. (2014, April 22). Basic suturing: Simple, interrupted, vertical mattress, horizontal mattress. Retrieved from
· LeBlond, R. F., Brown, D. D., & DeGowin, R. L. (2009). DeGowin’s diagnostic examination (9th ed.). New York, NY: McGraw Hill Medical.
o Chapter 6, “The Skin and Nails”
In this chapter, the authors provide guidelines and procedures to aid in the diagnosis of skin and nail disorders. The chapter supplies descriptions and pictures of common skin and nail conditions.
· Ethicon, Inc. (n.d.a). Absorbable synthetic suture material. Retrieved from
· Ethicon, Inc. (2006). Dermabond topical skin adhesive application technique. Retrieved from
· Ethicon, Inc. (2001). Ethicon needle sales types. Retrieved from
· Ethicon, Inc. (n.d.b). Ethicon sutures. Retrieved from
· Ethicon, Inc. (2002). How to care for your wound after it’s treated with Dermabond topical skin adhesive. Retrieved from
· Ethicon, Inc. (2005). Knot tying manual. Retrieved from
· Ethicon, Inc. (n.d.c). Wound closure manual. Retrieved from
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: _______
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.
- Lisinopril 10mg daily
- Combivent 2 puffs every 6 hours as needed
- Serovent daily
- Salmeterol daily
- Over the counter Ibuprofen 200mg -2 PO as needed
- Over the counter Benefiber
- Flonase 1 spray each night as needed for allergic rhinitis symptoms
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
5.) Allergic rhinitis
Past Surgical History (PSH):
- Cholecystectomy 1994
- Total abdominal hysterectomy (TAH) 1998
Non-menstrating – TAH 1998
She has smoked 2 packs of cigarettes daily x 30 years; denied ETOH or illicit drug use.
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.
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.
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
Lab Tests and Results:
CBC – WBC 15,000 with + left shift
SAO2 – 98%
CXR – cardiomegaly with air trapping and increased AP diameter
Normal sinus rhythm
Differential Diagnosis (DDx):
- Acute Bronchitis
- Pulmonary Embolis
- Lung Cancer
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.]