A GP, a father and a textbook case walk into a room...

'Have you noticed how rarely this happens these days? All the classics seem to present half-heartedly'

COLEMAN'S CORNER: A textbook case of pityriasis rosea walked into my room recently. Well, technically it was the girl who walked in — the rash was just a hanger-on. But to me, the rash was everything.

The more I looked, the more textbook it became. It was as if a Murtagh’s patient education handout had grown legs and a ponytail.

The lesions weren’t just red, they were salmon pink. Salmon pink, I tell you. If an Atlantic salmon had leapt into her T-shirt and flopped around in a ‘Christmas tree’ pattern, those lesions could not have looked more classic.

“And I don’t suppose that oval patch on her back appeared 7-14 days ago, did it, Dad? Goodness, see how the scales attach to the outer border of this herald patch like a collaret? Your daughter has become a thing of rare beauty, Mr Smith! A textbook case.”

Note to self: it is more exciting to diagnose a textbook case than to father