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Dark skin Assessment Questionnaire

Questions Your Doctor May Ask - and Why!

During a consultation, your doctor will use various techniques to assess the symptom: Dark skin. These will include a physical examination and possibly diagnostic tests. (Note: A physical exam is always done, diagnostic tests may or may not be performed depending on the suspected condition) Your doctor will ask several questions when assessing your condition. It is important to openly share any pertinent information to help your doctor make an accurate diagnosis.

It is also very important to bring an up-to-date list of all of your all medical conditions, medications including dosages, and names of numbers of any specialist you see.

Create your printable checklist by answering questions that your doctor may ask below:

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  1. How long have you noticed the dark skin?

    Why: to determine if acute or chronic.

  2. Is the skin darkness localized or generalized?

    Why: if generalized should consider jaundice (yellow discoloration), chronic liver disease and hemochromatosis ( bronze discoloration).

  3. If localized darkness to skin, what areas of the body are affected?

    Why: may assist in diagnosis e.g. "sun kissed" pigmentation of the nipples, palmar creases, pressure area and mouth in Addison's disease; isolated dark-brown to light brown patches which tend to remain on one side of the midline especially on the back, buttocks or scalp are characteristic of McCune-Albright syndrome; darkened skin on cheeks and forehead called cloasma in pregnancy; hyperpigmented eyelids with atopic dermatitis (eczema); reddish purple flush around the eyes associated with swelling is characteristic of dermatomyositis; blotchy brown pigmentation on one shoulder of teenage boys is characteristic of Becker's nevus; velvety thickened hyperpigmentation in axilla is characteristic of acanthosis nigricans.

  4. Sun exposure?

    Why: exposure to ultraviolet radiation increases the melanin in the skin and causes darkening of skin in exposed areas called tanning.

  5. Past medical history?

    Why: e.g. peripheral vascular disease may suggest gangrene if black dead skin in extremities; hemochromatosis; systemic sclerosis; systemic sclerosis; Addison's disease; neurofibromatosis and phaeochromocytoma are associated with Café au lait patches; Diabetes mellitus, Cushing's disease, Addison's disease, hypothyroidism, bowel cancer and obesity may be associated with acanthosis nigricans.

  6. Medications?

    Why: the following are some of the drugs capable of inducing increased pigmentation of the skin:- amiodarone, chloroquine, quinine, minocycline, zidovudine, silver, gold, estrogen hormones, chlorpromazine, phenytoin, bleomycin, cyclophosphamide, doxorubicin, 5-fluorouracil, iron intramuscular injections.

  7. Dietary history?

    Why: e.g. ingestion of large quantities of beta-carotene containing vegetables e.g. carrots can cause darkening of the skin.

  8. Alcohol history?

    Why: relevant if jaundice is diagnoses.

  9. Family history?

    Why: e.g. hemochromatosis, atopic dermatitis (eczema), malignant melanoma, acanthosis nigricans.

  10. Itch?

    Why: may suggest eczema, malignant change in a mole.

  11. Hair growth in localized pigmentation?

    Why: may suggest Becker's nevus.

  12. Symptoms of Addison's disease?

    Why: e.g. pigmentation on the nipples, palmar creases, pressure areas and mouth, tiredness, weight loss, reduced appetite, nausea, diarrhea, passing urine at night.

  13. Symptoms of hemochromatosis?

    Why: e.g. bronze pigmentation, fatigue, loss of libido, painful joints, symptoms of diabetes, symptoms of congestive cardiac failure.

  14. Symptoms of systemic sclerosis?

    Why: e.g. plaques of thickened reddened skin that cause darkened skin patches on resolution, symptoms of Raynaud's syndrome, heartburn, acid reflux, pain with swallowing.

  15. Symptoms of sarcoidosis?

    Why: e.g. shortness of breath, cough, tiredness, skin symptoms occur in 10% of cases and may include purple or brown plaques or nodules on face, nose, ears and neck in chronic sarcoidosis.

  16. Symptoms of gangrene?

    Why: e.g. dead tissue (black skin that gradually contracts into a crinkled, withered, hard mass) in most distal parts of the limbs with defined border (line of demarcation) where blood supply is sufficient to maintain tissue viability.

  17. Symptoms of malignant change in a mole?

    Why: e.g. increase in size, shape or thickness, itch, change in color, bleeding, enlarged local lymph nodes.

Conditions listing medical symptoms: Dark skin:

The following list of conditions have 'Dark skin' or similar listed as a symptom in our database. This computer-generated list may be inaccurate or incomplete. Always seek prompt professional medical advice about the cause of any symptom.

Select from the following alphabetical view of conditions which include a symptom of Dark skin or choose View All.

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Conditions listing medical complications: Dark skin:

The following list of medical conditions have 'Dark skin' or similar listed as a medical complication in our database.


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