Bedside diagnostics in dermatology: Parasitic and noninfectious diseases

J Am Acad Dermatol. 2017 Aug;77(2):221-230. doi: 10.1016/j.jaad.2016.06.035.


In addition to aiding the diagnosis of viral, bacterial, and fungal diseases, mineral oil preparation, Tzanck smear, and other techniques can be used to diagnose parasitic infections, neonatal pustular dermatoses, blistering diseases, Stevens-Johnson syndrome, and a plethora of other benign and malignant conditions, including granulomatous diseases and tumors. In many cases, these techniques are specific, reliable, and easy to perform and interpret. In others, a certain amount of training and expertise are required. In the proper clinical scenario, these tests are rapid, economical, and compare favorably with other diagnostic methods.

Keywords: Tzanck smear; bedside diagnostic tests; mineral oil preparation; parasitic infections; quality improvement; rapid diagnosis; skin snip.

Publication types

  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Dermatology / methods*
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Leishmaniasis, Cutaneous / diagnosis
  • Mite Infestations / diagnosis
  • Onchocerciasis / diagnosis
  • Point-of-Care Testing*
  • Skin Diseases, Parasitic / diagnosis*
  • Skin Diseases, Vesiculobullous / diagnosis*
  • Skin Neoplasms / diagnosis*
  • Skin Neoplasms / pathology
  • Staining and Labeling
  • Vaginal Diseases / diagnosis
  • Vulvar Diseases / diagnosis