Help zap medical jargon from zit site

14th February 2003 at 00:00
You have looked at those pustule-filled faces day in day out. You have seen the full range from zit to raging acne unleashed by adolescent hormones.

Now doctors want you to write about it.

The British Association of Dermatologists is searching for English teachers to write for a new website on skin diseases, putting into plain language what it means to have hidradentitis suppurativa or keratosis pilaris. The former is inflammation of large sweat glands and is more common in women than men, while the latter makes the skin feel as if it has permanent goose bumps.

"Dermatologists can write all the clinical information," said Pippa Hemingway, of Nottingham University, who is co-ordinating the project. "But if they don't write in everyday language we are missing a huge opportunity.

"We are looking for experts in the English language, for example English A-level teachers, although we do not want to exclude other teachers who feel they can contribute. Enthusiasm counts for a lot."

Each skin condition will have its own writing team, consisting of a doctor, nurse, patient and teacher.

The lead writer in each team will be a medical expert and the others will be asked to read and comment on drafts. All the work will be done by email.

There is no payment, but expenses will be met.

The association also hopes to eventually provide information in other languages.

Mrs Hemingway said: "We are talking about a few hours of work."

Those interested should email: pippa.hemingway@nottingham.ac.uk

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