Peripheral neuropathy implies damages to neurons belonging to the peripheral nervous system which includes cranial nerves, spinal nerves' roots, spinal ganglia, nerve trunks and their divisions, and, the autonomic nervous system. Peripheral neuropathies are frequent in the general population (prevalence: 2,4%). We present a review of the recent literature and highlight diagnostic approaches for certain types of neuropathies particularly the most frequent ones or those requiring peculiar attention in first-line medicine. We also present epidemiologic data and data related to sural nerve biopsies from our centre. The determination of the location and the topography of the affected sites, integrated into the global context of the patient, is essential to provide an etiologic diagnosis. The median nerve compression within the carpal tunnel and polyneuropathies are the most frequent forms of peripheral neuropathies. More than one hundred causes of polyneuropathies are described and they are divided into acquired, genetically determined and idiopathic. We highlight a largely adopted diagnostic strategy concerning polyneuropathies and describe the Guillain-Barre syndrome, the alcohol-related polyneuropathy and the controversies about the benefit of the B vitamin therapy and its dangers. At the Hôpital Erasme, since 2008, more than 1372 patients with peripheral neuropathy were identified. Results of sural nerve biopsies performed in seventeen of them do not largely differ from those of other centres of expertise. We conclude that the diagnosis of peripheral neuropathy usually requires the expertise of a neurologist, but, first line caregivers must be able to recognize and refer patient when needed.