PHYSICAL ASSESSMENT OF THE INTEGUMENTARY SYSTEM
Examination of the integumentary system is a vital tool to the Medical NCO in
recognition and diagnosis of a wide range of disorders. The physical assessment, when
properly performed and acted upon, may play an integral role in the health care of your
a. General Information. The patient's history helps the doctor in diagnosing a
skin problem. Skin is the barrier between man and his environment. Physical and
chemical agents in the environment--poison ivy, insecticides, sunlight, cold, heat,
contact allergens, and so forth--act on the skin and cause a variety of skin disorders.
To understand what the patient's skin has been exposed to over time, the examiner
must obtain the following information:
The patient's occupation.
The patient's experience with drugs.
The season of the year when the skin problem is most evident.
(5) The patient's immediate environment including contact with plants,
animals, metal, and so forth.
Physiologic state of the patient; pregnant, menses.
Foods recently eaten.
The patient's hobbies.
The patient's emotional state.
(10) Symptoms at the skin lesions--burning, itching, pain, and so forth.
(11) Patient's allergies.
(12) Previous treatment for this skin problem if it has occurred before.