Skin Deep - Clinical & Cosmetic Dermatology Blog

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

DermGrandRounds - Gamified Dermatology Diagnosis

English: The crowdsourcing process in eight steps.
The crowdsourcing process in eight steps. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)
In our discussion on the #DicoDerm initiative we discussed the challenges of the newly emerging online dermatology diagnosis. We also touched upon the growing importance of crowdsourcing in dermatological diagnosis.  As the facebook kawasaki diagnosis story demonstrates crowdsourcing is here to stay. Patient privacy is the prime concern in the use of social media platforms such as facebook for clinical diagnosis. Dr Howard Green’s DermGrandRounds initiative introduces a secure platform for crowdsourcing that takes it to an exciting new level of gamification! Dermatologists and other associated clinicians participate in a competition to collectively identify difficult dermatology clinical images in a “gamified” process of crowd intelligence. DermGrandRounds also has a dermatology specific wiki. The highest contributors to the crowd sourced diagnosis and the dermatology wiki are rewarded twice weekly. There are no regional barriers to who can participate. DermGrandRounds has a mobile app as well.

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Bell’s methodology and Bell’s law on derma-neologisms?

English: Various coquina shells. Individuals i...
English: Various coquina shells. Individuals in the mollusk species Donax variabilis show diverse coloration and patterning in their phenotypes. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)
Few of my friends posted on Dermatologists Sans Borders about the frustrations of having a unique and rare name. How it is misspelt and how people invent new pronunciations. But there is an upside to this as well. If you discover a “unique” variant of a disease, you can give it your name! Bell’s palsy, disease and sign are already taken :(

Find a unique pattern of vitiligo lesions or LP sparing one side of the wrist and give it your name. You also have the option of naming procedures as well. Hold the scalpel at 47 degrees and call it xyz technique. (Is there a Bell’s procedure? If not, I should register it for future use) Our journals play a major role in encouraging these derma-neologisms. Our dermatology teaching curriculum is also to blame. I am sure the topper in any dermatology postgraduate department will be the student who knows the maximum number of names.

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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