An ulcer is defined as an area of discontinuity of the surface epithelium. You can remember the mnemonic "DRESSINGS" to record the various findings of clinical examination of an ulcer.
- D: Discharge and Depth of ulcer
- R: Relation to underlying structure
- E: Edge and Margin
- S: Site, Size, Shape, Surface, Surrounding area
- S: Solitary or multiple?
- I: Induration at the base and Impairment of circulation
- N: Nodes enlarged? Neurologic deficit?
- G: General examination to note the evidence of malnutrition, TB, cardiac failure, etc.
- S: Slide (biopsy), Smear or swab for culture and antibiotic sensitivity testing, Special investigations as necessary (X-ray chest, blood sugar, biopsy of tissue from margin, etc.)