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Skin Deep is a blog for dermatologists and skin care professionals with focus on theoretical, cosmetic and aesthetic dermatology. This blog is associated with ‘Dermatologists Sans Borders’ one of the largest curated groups of skin care professionals on facebook. If you are looking for non-technical information, please visit

DermKnowledgeBASE - A Dermatology Knowledge Base

DermKnowledgeBASE is a knowledge base for dermatology. Knowledge base is a kind of database for knowledge management.

Ok! Let me try to explain it in simple terms.

If your daughter asks you what does the word ‘animal’ mean you may tell her :
animals are living-things. 
You are actually telling her a statement from a knowledgebase where animal is the subject ‘are’ is a predicate and living-thing is an object. You may also inform her that ‘humans are animals’. If she is intelligent (like you) she will know that  humans are living things too. This is called ‘Reasoning’. In fact you can describe an entire domain like dermatology in the above form. This is called Ontology and ‘OntoDerm’ is a domain ontology for dermatology, started by me.

Now if you may decide to go a step ahead and tell your daughter that
your mother ‘is an’ animal :)
Your grandmother ‘is an’ animal :)

Once you start defining individuals in this form an ontology becomes a knowledge-base (you are crossing the line!) and DermBASE is just that(No I don’t define any dermatologist as an animal here :) )

English: inductive and deductive reasoning
English: inductive and deductive reasoning (Photo credit: Wikipedia)
But what is the use?
A knowledge base can be used for automated deductive reasoning. You can ask the knowledge base complicated questions like

What are the symptoms common for Psoriasis, Atopic Dermatitis and Lichen Planus?
You can even ask the DermBASE to give differential diagnosis for the patient sitting in front of you!!!!! as in Virtual Dermatologist.

Wow! Can I try it then?
Well you can try! but it may not tell you much now, because it still knows only very little. I need your help to teach DermBASE some useful stuff.

HAHA! Do you expect me to go to library again, find useful rules and type it somewhere?
Not really. DermKnowledgeBASE will do that for you!!!!! But it will ask for you, to confirm what it has found!!! So teaching DermBASE can be fun!!! and you may learn too along with DermBASE!!!

Great! Please show me how: 
Sure! Click the banner below:

If you want to join DermKnowledgeBASE as a curator shoot me an email please.
Welcome to ONTODerm community!

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About Me

As a Dermatologist and Informatician my research mainly involves application of bioinformatics techniques and tools in dermatological conditions. However my research interests are varied and I have publications in areas ranging from artificial intelligence, sequence analysis, systems biology, ontology development, microarray analysis, immunology, computational biology and clinical dermatology. I am also interested in eHealth, Health Informatics and Health Policy.


Bell Raj Eapen
Hamilton, ON