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Clinical and Pathologic Differential Diagnosis
Ronald P Rapini

This introductory section covers the process of making a diagnosis, providing the reader with a guide to start a search through this book for detailed information regarding a diagnostic dilemma. Beginners in dermatology may enjoy some of the basic dermatology books that are referenced[1–6]. Further help may be found in other dermatology books[7–12] and atlases[13–18]. When confronted with a clinical problem, the physician must assimilate the history, physical findings and laboratory results toward a diagnosis. In many instances, instead of one single obvious diagnosis, there is a list of possibilities that vary with respect to relative probabilities. Common diseases are common, and these deserve a higher ranking with respect to likelihood. When the physician ‘hears hoof beats’, it is most likely due to ‘a horse rather than a zebra’. The rare ‘zebra’ diseases should also be kept in mind, especially when the rare disorder is …