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From The CriticsReviewer: Patricia Wong, MD (Stanford University Medical Center)
Description: This is a handy spiral bound paperback manual on dermatologic therapuetic options for treating various skin conditions. The diseases are arranged alphabetically and there is a listing of treatments in an outline form with comments on the effectiveness and how to use each medication. At the end of each chapter is a list of references. The references are not numbered in the printed text.
Purpose: The purpose is to provide a quick means of looking up available treatments while one is seeing patients. Some of the descriptions of the treatments are a bit sketchy with regards to doses and guidelines on increasing or altering doses of medications.
Audience: Anyone who interacts with patiients with skin care problems will find this manual of benefit. There are nice summaries of most of the treatment modalities for the diseases listed. Medical students, dermatology residents, and mature practitioners will find the information practical and written in a usable form.
Features: Each chapter includes a brief discussion of the pathophysiology and clinical information relevant to making the diagnosis. I would have been interested to see a more in-depth discussion in the formulary section on prescribing compounded medications and how to write the prescriptions. I have received numerous phone calls from pharmacies who do not understand how to compound LCD and triamcinolone cream in Aquaphor. They are asking about how to mix the medications and how much to weigh out etc. I realize this is the duty of the pharmacist but it would be helpful to know what to tell them to do when they do not understand how to compound so the patient can get the medication. Also I am interested in knowing if there is a difference in mixing with powder, cream, or ointment as far as using the steroid as certain pharmacies seem to think it makes a difference. The appendix includes an extensive list of addresses, phone numbers, and e-mails for foundations and support groups for different skin problems. There are color plates of common skin diseases in the center of the manual. A list of over the counter recommended products to use for emolliation, cleansing, and photoprotection would be of interest to readers.
Assessment: There are not enough good therapuetic books. I always look forward to the updated version of this manual and always find it useful.