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Skin: Clinical Dermatology
Department of Dermatology and Venereology, All India Institute of Medical Sciences, New Delhi - 110 029
|How to cite this article:
Ramam M. Skin: Clinical Dermatology. Indian J Dermatol Venereol Leprol 2020;86:468
Book: Skin: Clinical Dermatology
Editor: Nilendu Sarma
Edition: First edition
Publisher: Jaypee Brothers Medical Publishers (P) Ltd., New Delhi
Price: Rs. 4500
This new single-volume textbook of dermatology designed for an international audience has much to recommend it.
The production values are very good with quality paper and printing and good color reproduction of images throughout the book. The proofreading is also good with most of the text reading smoothly and only an occasional typo. The book is profusely illustrated with clinical images of good quality showing both common and rare conditions. In future editions, an attempt should be made to bring the quality of the photomicrographs in line with the rest of the images.
A single-volume text requires tough editorial decisions on what to include and how much detail to provide. A reasonable goal for a text of this size is familiarizing a beginner with the range of clinical manifestations of skin disease and their management. For the most part, the book succeeds in providing essential information about most commonly encountered and many rare conditions in the 80 chapters that comprise the text covering medical and surgical dermatology and dermatologic therapies including lasers and light. Unlike most Indian textbooks, this one does not indicate the inclusion of sections on sexually transmitted infections, acquired immune deficiency syndrome and leprosy in the title/cover, however, these are well-described in chapters written by people with considerable experience and expertise. For additional details, including planning treatment for particular patients, the reader may consult other more advanced resources.
One can quibble about choices and priorities in any book but a few examples that I noticed here were: recommendation of the difficult-to-obtain eosinophilic catioinic protein as a baseline investigation in atopic dermatitis, low ranking of hydroquinone and isotretinoin in the suggested treatments of melasma and acne vulgaris respectively, the omission of the challenges in treating dermatophytosis and overemphasis on surgical treatment of eumycetomas. I wonder if some or many of these assertions, emphases and omissions are influenced by the prospective global audience for the book.
The book was written by 99 authors (mainly from India and also from 8 other countries) and 3 editors, all from India. The best minds of Indian dermatology have contributed to the book. Incidentally, this made it difficult for the journal to find a reviewer. They had to scrape the bottom of the academic barrel to find someone who had not written a chapter and could review the book without a conflict of interest!
The price was not mentioned in the copy I received for review but an internet search showed that the book costs 4500 INR. In what is now a common practice, especially with this particular publisher, drug companies that buy multiple copies of a book for free distribution are allowed advertisements on inside covers and the bookmark. If this is what is needed to get our medical publishers to do a good job, so be it.
For the reader looking for a concise, readable, well-illustrated overview of the subject, this is a good choice.