I can't help but add to the list:
1. The baby rushed back by a nurse for omphalitis and mottled skin. I
washed off the gentian violet around the umbi stump, which was healing
normally, and noted the normal if slightly reticulated skin with brisk
capillary refill. The tough part was what to give as a diagnosis for
this beautiful perfectly healthy newborn.
2. The 3-year-old with a small splinter brought in for streaking
redness. The resident told me she felt it was cellulitis with
lymphangitic spread and suggested antibiotics. On exam, it was such a
linear streak leading away from the splinter, I asked if I could try to
wipe it off, even though Dad had already tried. It came off with
alcohol, after which Dad remembered that the child's preschool had
served popsicles that day. At least I could diagnose and remove the
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