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Doody's Review ServiceReviewer: Renata H. Mullen, MD (Palo Alto Medical Foundation)
Description: In this compilation of common skin disorders and their treatment, each disease chapter includes a complete, detailed differential diagnosis section with high quality photographs and each therapy section includes many practical tips. The previous edition was published in 2003.
Purpose: This is intended as an accessible guide to skin disease for nondermatologists. These worthy objectives are, for the most part, met.
Audience: The book is written for the nondermatologists often on the frontline in treating skin problems, i.e., family practitioners, internists, physician assistants, nurse practitioners, and medical students. Residents in dermatology also will find this a handy reference and overview of the field.
Features: A section on skin lesion terminology and another on the fundamentals of topical therapy begin the book. It then covers common skin disorders and their treatment and includes a chapter on minor dermatologic procedures. What is best about the book are the clear organization and concise yet complete descriptions of skin disease. Since dermatology is a visual field, the quality of the photographs is paramount, and their detail in this book is excellent. The comprehensive and detailed differential diagnosis section, complete with illustrations, has great teaching value and the therapeutic sections offer many practical tips. A unique feature is the inclusion of illustrated patient handouts in both Spanish and English, which I found superior to many others currently in use, because the photos do not show the most dramatic presentation of a skin disorder, which can scare the affected patient. The book also can be accessed online. The only shortcoming is that there isn't a similar book aimed at practicing dermatologists.
Assessment: This is a highly useful, practical book for anyone in the healthcare field who is seeing patients. I recommend adding this book to the library of anyone wishing to have a handy dermatology consultant sitting on his or her shelf.