dermatology mnemonics
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Dermatology Mnemonics: The National Board of Examinations (NBE) conducts national-level postgraduate entrance exams for medical students. Preparation for NEET-PG requires a thorough understanding of the medical subjects. The short time to prepare for the exam is a virtual litmus test of the aspirant’s ability to memorize and retrieve the knowledge. Considering the stiff competition and shortage of time, one must find ways to study smartly instead of getting bogged down by the massive syllabus.

Using memory aids, mental models, and mnemonics will boost your confidence level for facing the examination. Many successful candidates confirm that studying smart is the best and only option to crack the NEET-PG entrance exam. Dermatology is a short subject, but it can help you score a hundred percent if you follow the proper method to study the topics. Memory aids will significantly improve your exam scores for competitive examinations.

What are mnemonics?

Mnemonics are simple phrases and acronyms that help establish an instant correlation with a topic, otherwise difficult to remember conventionally. Remembering mnemonics is a lot easier than mugging up the actual terminologies, which may appear abstract.

Mnemonics are familiar terms from everyday life that enhance the process of memorizing and retrieving. These easy, creative, and sometimes funny memory aids help students avoid stressfully cramming knowledge. The use of mnemonics is vital, especially when you are running short on time and there is too much to study.

Using dermatology mnemonics

Dermatology mnemonics help you remember and recall complex topics, groups of symptoms or signs, concepts, disorders, and diseases. Mnemonics in dermatology (or any other subject) ultimately enrich your knowledge in different topics and medical terminologies as you gain greater confidence to recollect complex medical terms.

The use of dermatology mnemonics can also help you easily remember the following aspects of different skin conditions:

  • Signs 
  • Symptoms
  • Causes
  • Differential diagnoses

Dermatology mnemonics contain letters providing links to the topics and vital bits of knowledge. A mnemonic chart is a smart way to revise a myriad of diseases, signs, symptoms, and other concepts in dermatology with a single glance. You can even browse through dermatology mnemonics while on the go.

Here are some interesting and popular dermatology mnemonics for your reference:

1Drugs causing PemphigusPenicillamine PenicillinCaptoprilRifampicinPCR
2Skin pigmentationArsenic, Amiodarone
Busulphan, BleomycinClofzamine, Contraceptive, ChlorpromazineDapsoneMinocyclinePsoralens
3Descriptors for Lichen planusPlain-topped (Planar)PlaquePolygonalPruriticPurplePapules6 P’s
4Koebner’s/ isomorphic phenomenaLichen planusPsoriasisKaposi sarcomaMolluscum contagiosumWartsVitiligoDLELittle Plans Kan Make Win Very Decent
5Diet restricted in patients with Dermatitis HepatiformisBarleyRyeOat WheatBROW
6Drugs causing Toxic Epidermal NecrolysisPhenytoin, penicillinNSAIDsBarbiturates
Punjab National Bank S
7Drug causing SLEHydralazineIsoniazideProcainamideHIP
8Warning signs of melanomaAsymmetryBorder irregularityColor variationDiameterEvolving, growing, or changing over timeABCDE
9Cytological layers of epidermis, superficial to deepCorneumLucidum Granulosum SpinosumBasalisCalifornians Love Gorillas in String Bikinis
10Generalized hyperpigmentation, differentialPregnancyAddison’s diseaseRenal failureExcess ironDrugs (e.g., amiodarone, minocycline)No skin sPARED
11Papulosquamous eruption- differentialLupusLichen planus (including other lichenoid reactions)Lichen simplex chronicus (LSC)Lichen nitidusLues (an old name for syphilis)PsoriasisPityriasis rosea Pityriasis lichenoides et varioliformis acuta (PLEVA)/pityriasis lichenoides chronica (PLC)Parapsoriasis Pityriasis rubra pilaris (PRP)Seborrheic dermatitisAdverse drug reactionTineaEczema/erythema annulare centrifugum (EAC)Neoplasm (e.g., MF)5L’s + 5P’S = A TEN
12Persistent red face, differentialDermatomyositisRosacea Mastocytosis Carcinoid Lupus Erythematosis Autoimmune connective tissue disease or Polycythemia veraDr. McLeap
13White skin patch, differentialVitiligoPityriasis alba/Post-inflammatory hypopigmentationAge-related hypopigmentation (e.g., idiopathic guttate hypomelanosis)Tinea versicolor/Tuberous sclerosis (ash-leaf macules)Congenital birthmark (e.g., Hypomelanosis of Ito)Hansen’s disease (leprosy)Vitiligo PATCH
14Painful cutaneous nodule, differentialBlue rubber nevusEccrine spiradenoma/erythema nodosumNeurilemmoma/neuromaGlomus tumor/granular cell tumorAngiolipoma/angioleiomyoma/angiosarcoma/arthopod biteLeiomyomaDercum’s disease/dermatofibromaOsler’s node/osteoma cutisCalcinosis cutis/cutaneous endometriosisSweet’s SyndromeBENGAL DOCS
15Small blue cell tumor, differentialLymphomaEwing’s SarcomaMerkel cell carcinoma and MelanomaOat cell carcinoma of the lungNeuroblastomaSmall cell endocrine tumorLEMONS
16Exfoliative dermatitis, differentialRadiationEczema/psoriasisDrugsMalignancy (MF, lymphoma)Autoimmune (rare DM)No cause foundRED MAN
17Layers of scalpSkinConnective tissueAponeurosis (epicranial)Loose areolar connective tissue PeriosteumSCALP
18Exfoliative dermatitis, differentialSeborrheic dermatitisContact dermatitisAtopic dermatitisLymphoma/leukemiaPsoriasisIdiopathic (possibly most common) Drug allergySCALP ID
19Black eschar, differentialClostridiumAspergillus (deep fungal, e.g., fusarium)/AnthraxGroup B strepEcthyma gangrenosum (i.e., pseudomonas)Spider bite (possible cause)CAGES
20Symptoms of Behcet’s syndromeRecurrent genital ulcerationOral ulceration*Skin lesions (e.g., erythema nodosum, subcutaneous thrombo- phlebitis, cutaneous hypersensitivity)Eye lesions (e.g., iridocyclitis, chorioretinitis)Positive pathergy test*Oral ulceration is a central criterion for diagnosisROSE Path
21Features of transient acantholytic dermatosesMenAcantholysisPruriticSun-exposed sitesMAPS
22Drug rash with eosinophilia and systemic symptoms, featuresDrugsRashEosinophiliaSystemic manifestationsSensitization
It happens due to Drugs like anticonvulsants, sulfonamides, or allopurinol. Skin signs usually begin with a Rash starting on the face with sterile folliculitis. Eosinophilia is almost always present, and Systemic manifestations are common, particularly of the liver. There can also be evidence of Sensitization previously (even with contactants)
23Subepidermal split with neutrophils in dermal papillae, causesPemphigoid (bullous)Lupus (i.e., bullous SLE)Acquista (Epidermolysis Bullosa Acquista)IgA linearDermatitis herpetiformisPLAID
24Spindled cells against epidermis- \differentialSpindle cell squamous cell carcinoma (Keratin+)Leiomyosarcoma (SMA+)Atypical fibroxanthoma* (CD68+, Vimentin+, CD99+, Procollagen-1), orMelanoma (S100+)*Note: Atypical fibroxanthoma is a diagnosis of exclusionSLAM
25Albright syndrome, symptomsGiant melanosomesAlopeciaMacules (e.g., café au lait spots)Endocrine dysfunctionOsteomas, andFibrous dysplasiaGAME OF
26Waardenburg Syndrome types 1-4, associated genesPAX3 (type I), MITF (type II), PAX3 (type III), SOX10 (type IV)Pack your Mittens, Pack your SOX
27Spongiotic dermatitis with epidermal eosinophil- differentialHerpes gestationisArthropod/Allergic contactPemphigusPemphigoidIncontienta pigmentiErythema toxicum, or Drug reactionHAPPIED
28Spongiotic dermatitis with dermal eosinophils, differentialDermatophytesId reactionDrug reactionArthropod biteContact dermatitisAtopiaNummular dermatitis on the differentialDID A CAN


Using dermatology mnemonics is a proven technique of improving your exam scores in medical entrance tests like the NEET-PG entrance examination. These simple acronyms enhance your understanding of complex topics, treatments, differential diagnoses, and symptoms of skin disorders. eGurukul by DBMCI is your dependable online resource to learn result-oriented techniques to crack the entrance examinations. You will gain easy access to India’s most reputable medical experts to stay ahead of the competition by clearing doubts and assessing your paper-solving skills.

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