So you want to be a junior dermatologist?

Women pick at skin lesions, growths, cysts and spots. It is hard wired into our DNA. The first rule in medicine is to know what you know, know what you don’t know, and know that you know the difference.

Women pick at skin lesions, growths, cysts and spots. It is hard wired into our DNA. The first rule in medicine is to know what you know, know what you don’t know, and know that you know the difference.

So junior dermatologist, let’s take a pre-test.

Dr. Elaine’s “So you think you can dermatology?” Quiz

 

What is a good reason to pick at a skin spot?

  1. It is there
  2. It hurts
  3. I really think I can get it better
  4. Makeup makes it look worse
  5. I have a date tonight
  6. I am stressed

How many times should I try to pick at something before I give up?

  1. One
  2. Three
  3. Ten
  4. Thirty-seven
  5. Four Hundred
  6. Never give up

What is a good indicator that a pimple will respond to picking by getting better?

  1. I want it to be gone
  2. It is deep and painful
  3. It is red
  4. I can see pus at the top
  5. It is draining
  6. I have a date tonight

What is a good indicator that a pimple will respond to picking by getting worse?

  1. I want it to be gone
  2. It is deep and painful
  3. It is red
  4. I can see pus at the top
  5. It is draining
  6. I have a date tonight

I am deep enough in the skin to cause scarring when I see?

  1. Redness
  2. Pus
  3. Blood
  4. Muscle
  5. China
  6. 4 or 5
  7. 3, 4, or 5

What things should I not pick at?

  1. Red bump filled with pus
  2. Deep tender pimple that I feel but can’t see
  3. Little white beads under the skin
  4. Moles
  5. The spot I have been picking at for 6 months
  6. Growths
  7. 2 and 4
  8. 2, 4, 5, and 6

When should I pull the flaky crust off?

  1. This instant
  2. When I want it gone so my makeup will go on smoothly
  3. When I can rip it off with tweezers and get good, fresh blood
  4. When the edges are lifted but the center is still stuck down
  5. When it completely lifts off by itself
  6. Never

What is the best way to remove those little white beads under the skin?

  1. Apply Retin-A 37 times over 24 hours
  2. Squeeze them until they pop through the skin like “Aliens”
  3. Scrape them off with a fingernail
  4. Prick the top with a clean, sharp straight pen and squeeze gently. Once
  5. Do a reverse osmosis high colonic

What are the possible complications from picking?

  1. Scarring
  2. Permanent pigmentation changes
  3. Infection
  4. Delaying treatment of a skin cancer
  5. Continual harassment from my husband
  6. All of the above

How do I know I am picking too much?

  1. When I have to use medical makeup meant to cover birthmarks and severe burn scars
  2. When I spot the Intervention production crew talking to my husband
  3. I keep a 10x magnifying mirror and tweezers at my side 24/7/356
  4. I keep picking when I know there no chance that it will help
  5. When Dr. Elaine tells me so
  6. All of the above

When should I stop playing junior dermatologist and see a real one?

  1. When I see scarring
  2. When I see increased redness, pain, bleeding, or pigment
  3. When it is not getting better within one week
  4. For any brown, black, growing, bleeding, or tender growth or persistent sore
  5. Any growth that I am not absolutely sure is not skin cancer
  6. When I want the best result possible
  7. All of the above

Answers: Give yourself one point for each correct answer

  1. 3
  2. 2
  3. 4
  4. 5
  5. 6
  6. 8
  7. 5
  8. 4
  9. 6
  10. 6
  11. 7

Score

1-3 Surrender your magnifying mirror, tweezers, and surgical instruments

4-6 Return to Google Medical School

7-9 You may proceed, but you are on academic probation

10-11 Apprentice junior dermatologist—proceed

12 Grab your white coat and join me in clinic

Note: maximum score is 11

Next: Review of test answers