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From The CriticsReviewer: Renata H. Mullen, MD (Palo Alto Medical Foundation)
Description: This book on the diagnosis of dermatologic disorders includes an online component which further helps diagnostic decisions.
Purpose: According to the authors, the aim is to provide a tool to help diagnose and manage adult skin disease. These worthy objectives, are, for the most part, met.
Audience: The book is written for any healthcare professional who sees adult patients with skin disease either frequently or infrequently, or consults on hospitalized patients with skin disorders, including patients with severe or challenging skin problems. It appears to target nondermatologists and is not comprehensive enough for specialists.
Features: An overview of lesion morphology and distribution and the basics of a thorough skin exam begin the book. The remainder of the book is composed of 2- to 3-page chapters on specific disease entities. A chapter at the end on therapy briefly covers the most common medications used in dermatology. The clear and concise organization of each chapter on the individual disease entities is the best attribute of this book. Each one of these chapters begins with a diagnostic synopsis and diagnostic pearls. Considerations in an immunocompromised or a dark-skinned patient are highlighted in a separate box. An extensive differential diagnosis section and a section on possible diagnostic tests are both useful. The therapy section is concise with specific medication dosages and useful management pearls. Lastly, each disease entity is presented in at least four high-quality and informative color photographs that demonstrate not only the common presentations of a disease, but also the more unusual. Another extremely useful feature is the online ability to formulate a differential diagnosis at the bedside or in the exam room. The only shortcoming of the book is the overall organization of the skin diseases, which are arranged by clinical presentation. This is helpful most of the time, but occasionally the categories are too broad and list too many divergent diseases.
Assessment: Overall, this is an extremely valuable addition to the field of skin disease for clinicians who are not dermatologists. If you are thinking of getting just one book on dermatology, this is the one to buy.