NURS 6512 Lab Assignment: Differential Diagnosis for Skin Conditions (SOAP Note for differential diagnosis)

NURS 6512 Lab Assignment: Differential Diagnosis for Skin Conditions (SOAP Note for differential diagnosis)

Sample Paper

Skin Condition Picture # 5

Patient Initials: ___AB_____   Age: _____23__   Gender: ___M____

Chief Complaint (CC): Painful rash and joint pain

History of Present Illness (HPI): During the day, AB a 23-year-old lady was presented to the clinic with an onset of painful plague like rashes and pain her joints that started two weeks ago. She added that the rashes started on her knees and later to her elbows and scalps. She further reported the rashes are itchy and sore and complained her joints have painful for the past three weeks. The condition makes her annoyed and worsens as the days go by. More importantly, she added she takes painkillers (Ibuprofen 400mg three times a day) to relieve the pain as well change her laundry detergent with no improvement on her condition.

Onset – Rashes three days

Location – Knee

Duration – Three weeks ago

Character- gradual

Associated symptoms – none

Relieving factors – Painkillers

Treatment – None

Severity – 6/10


Takes Ibuprofen 400mg three times a day as prescribed in her local pharmacy.

Multivitamin for women I tablet daily

Allergies: Denies drug or food allergies.

Past Medical History (PMH):

Frequent Tonsillitis

Past Surgical History (PSH):

Tonsillectomy 2006

Caesarian section 2014

Sexual/Reproductive History: 

In a monogamous relationship

Menarche 9 years and 8 months

Gravida 1, Parity 0

She experiences regular menstruation

Denies any history of sexually transmitted diseases

She is on Nexplanon contraception for 3 years now

She has her last pap smear in 2018 and results were normal

Social History:

Denies smoking and ETOH intake or substance abuse. She maintains a balanced diet and exercises when she can.

Immunization History:

AB is immunization is up to date according to the World Health Organization. She had a flu vaccine towards the end of last year and her Tdap in 2017 does not fulfill the standards for pneumonia immunization.


AB has been working as a receptionist in a local insurance company for the last three months now. AB lives with her elder sister after she had broken up with her boyfriend two years ago. However, she is looking for her own apartment since they have had some differences with her sister. Her sister’s apartment is quite confined after she delivered a baby some months ago as she uses AB’s room as her child’s newborn nursery. As such, she is forced to sleep on the couch with her child. In addition, she helps in nursing her sister and stays late in the night helping with the baby. Luckily, AB has her own health insurance policy and she usually has regular health examination, takes a balanced diet and goes to the gym thrice in a week. More importantly, she agrees the family support is tense due to the newborn and barely have friends to visit her.

Family History

According to AB reports, her father is 47 years of age, and her 43 years old. She is a second born in a family of 4. Both her maternal grandmother mother and paternal grandfather aged 65 and 68 years old respectively have a history of psoriasis and eczema as well as psoriasis arthritis and psoriasis respectively. His father although separated with her mum now, he has a history of multiple allergies and psoriasis. In addition, her mother was diagnosed with breast cancer in 2013 and she is currently in remission. Her two younger brothers were recently diagnosed with an unknown fungal infection.  

Review of Systems: 

General: Denies having fever, chills, fatigue, night sweats, or significant weight changes


Head/face: No hair loss or head injury, denies headache,

Eyes: Round pupils and reactive to light, Moist mucus Membranes

Ears: Denies having any hearing problems. No tinnitus, no drainage

Nose: No epistasis, nasal congestion, denies having allergies and nasal drainage.

Mouth/Throat/ Neck: Denies sore throat, supple neck, no stiffness, no thyromegaly, no

Lymphadenopathy, no toothache. She had the last dental exam on 20th August 2018.

Musculoskeletal: Positive for diffuse joint pain.No cyanosis, no edema or clubbing. No tenderness on her scapular. Positive dorsalis and radial pulses (2+). Denies any history for gout, arthritis fractures or trauma.  

Psychiatric: AB is experiencing social problems, increased stress and sleep problems. However, denies having anxiety depression or suicidal thoughts in the past.

Skin: Polycyclic and pinkish orange-colored plaques approximately 1 cm in size present on her knees, elbows, and scalp, sore and pruritic. No pigment change noticed.

Allergic/Immunologic: Denies any history of drug or food allergies. No known seasonal allergies or immunological condition.


Physical Exam:

Vital signs: SpO2: 98% tympanic;Ht: 5’7”, Wt: 131lbs, BMI: 23.8, BP 112/68 right arm, sitting, regular adult cuff; Pain severity 6/10; Respiratory Rate- 17, non-labored.

General: AAOx4.Appears neat with a well-kempt hair. Maintains eye contact, fluent in speech and


HEENT: PERRLA, EOMI, normal head traumatic and cephalic, dry oral mucosa, pure oropharynx. Identical pupils, no nasal deviation.

Musculoskeletal: Positivemild swelling on the wrist, knee, and ankle joints bilaterally with pain present. Symmetric muscle development

Skin:  Pinkish orange-colored, hoary, polycyclic plaques approximately 1cm in size with discrete borders present on the scalp, elbows, and knees. Sore and a bit painful to palpation. Thick acrylic nails present, limiting nail assessment

Lab Tests and Results:

 A complete blood count (CBC) – white blood cells counts (WBC) – 8,500 cells/mcL


  • Skin biopsy
    • Positive for psoriasis.
    • Negative for fungal infection


Primary Diagnosis: Psoriasis

Differential Diagnoses:

  1. Nummular eczema
  2. Lichen Planus
  3. Mycosis Fungoides
  4. Allergic contact dermatitis
  5. Duhring’s disease

            Based on the clinical manifestation presented characterized by rashes and joints paints, it is evident the patient is suffering from psoriasis. Psoriasis is a common condition characterized by dry, raised and red skin lesions covered with silvery scales anywhere in the body such as genitals and on soft tissue. Moreover, plaques or lesions might be itchy and painful (Langley, 2014). Anyone can develop psoriasis. However, family history is one of the most significant risk factors. AB’s family has a history of Psoriasis condition. According to the client, both her maternal grandmother and paternal grandfather suffered from psoriasis and eczema as well as psoriasis arthritis and psoriasis respectively putting her at higher risk of developing the condition. In addition, life stressors can impact significantly on the immune system. As such, high-stress levels increase the risk of psoriasis (Di Meglio & Nestle, 2017). The descriptions of the rashes and their location point out towards the diagnosis of psoriasis. Upon diagnosis of psoriasis, the patient complains of joint pains suggesting she might be suffering from psoriasis arthritis (Ball, Dains, Flynn, Solomon, & Stewart, 2015).

            However, despite the lesions/plagues being pinkish orange, all the other differential diagnosis was ruled through skin biopsies. More importantly, Mycosis Fungoides and Lichen Planus are caused by fungi and the skin biopsy results were negative for fungal infection and lichen planus plaques are white (Napolitano,2016). In addition, the patient does not have any allergies to foods and drugs or immunization disorder hence she could not be diagnosed with allergic contact dermatitis. Furthermore, the patient could not be diagnosed with nummular eczema are allergic related, but the patient does not have any allergic or immunization disorder and the plaques are associated with extensive scratching


Ball, J. W., Dains, J. E., Flynn, J. A., Solomon, B. S., & Stewart, R. W. (2015). Seidel’s guide to physical examination (8th ed.). St. Louis, MO: Elsevier Mosby.

Napolitano, M., Caso, F., Scarpa, R., Megna, M., Patrì, A., Balato, N., & Costa, L. (2016). Psoriatic arthritis and psoriasis: differential diagnosis. Clinical rheumatology, 35(8), 1893-1901.

Di Meglio, P., & Nestle, F. O. (2017). Immunopathogenesis of Psoriasis. In Clinical and Basic Immunodermatology (pp. 373-395). Springer, Cham.

Langley, R. G., Elewski, B. E., Lebwohl, M., Reich, K., Griffiths, C. E., Papp, K., … & Rivas, E. (2014). Secukinumab in plaque psoriasis—results of two phases 3 trials. New England Journal of Medicine371(4), 326-338.