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Common skin problems in primary and community care

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Even a minor nail infection can indicate disease Even a minor nail infection, such as this Tinea infection of a big toenail, can indicate systemic disease

Community nurses and those working in primary care will encounter a wide variety of skin conditions. Some of these conditions, such as eczema and dermatitis, are allergic in nature. There may be some unusual issues that seem complex at the outset, but with some careful questioning: the cause, extent and treatment of the disease can be revealed. Examples of these may be skin infections such as cellulitis or shingles or infestations such as scabies or head lice.

Elderly patients living alone may have poor nutrition and hygiene, which can affect skin health as well as general health.1 Ensuring patients are well hydrated, coping at home and eating a balanced diet can be difficult, but in an ageing population this can make all the difference to long-term outcomes.

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