MedlinePlus – Skin, Hair and Nails

MedlinePlus - Skin, Hair and Nails is a good source of skin health information that presents common dermatologic conditions & tools to help users recognize and treat these skin issues. Users should expect to find a medical encyclopedia and a variety of resources that allow them to seek other websites for more specific information, including sites with unique information or special features. This MedlinePlus section is recommended for basic information about dermatology provided by some of the most authoritative and reputable sources in the medical field.

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Review Date: 4/15/2019


Ease of Use

The section has intuitive navigation by A-Z topic list or body system. Each listed topic leads to a page with a brief summary of the disease and numerous links to additional information. There are also right-hand lists that allow access to the medical encyclopedia and other topics related to the condition. Because the unique nature of MedlinePlus, with its many links to outside resources, users must constantly jump from this site to others and then back again; the resulting navigation can be tedious.

Visual Design

The home page is unappealing having only a list of topics & systems along with a simple illustration


Users will find content that includes detailed & accurate information about common skin disorders and diseases that affect the skin. Inconsistent referencing make the veracity of each MedlinePlus page for a disease or condition variable. Topics found in the medical encyclopedia are well referenced, while this is inconsistent for disease summaries and information from linked sites. However, most links go to respected federal or speciality organization sites.


MedlinePlus clearly identifies the organizations responsible for the content, which include the American Academy of Dermatology, National Institutes of Health, National Institute of Arthritis and Musculoskeletal and Skin Diseases, Nemours Foundation, and the American Academy of Family Physicians. Users will find that the medical encyclopedia topics have the highest reliability by listing reviewers and date of last review. Although MedlinePlus does a great job updating it's pages regularly, the currency of linked sites varies, and individual authors/editors of each topic page are not identified & only occasionally on the linked sites.


  1. Extensive Medical Encyclopedia with information about & related to skin diseases
  2. Links to a comprehensive collection of reliable & up-to-date content for anyone seeking knowledge about skin disease
  3. Highly credible website with backing from the U.S. government that relies on materials generated by authoritative organizations


  1. User-friendliness of materials vary depending on the external website referenced
  2. No topic is investigated in depth, opting instead to provide only the most basic information
  3. Users will have to spend significant time navigating and reading in order to get helpful information


Sponsors / Affiliations: The U.S. National Library of Medicine, The National Institutes of Health

Accreditations: None

Additional Features: Patient handouts, images of skin conditions, videos, dermatologist-locator, relevant journal articles, clinical trials

Languages: English, Spanish