Richard Ashton and Barbara Leppard
Published by CRC press (Published April 2021)
For many people, dermatology is a closed book and a difficult subject to approach. Personally, I have always liked dermatology and no matter where you are in the dermatology appreciation/understanding/confidence spectrum-this outstanding book is for you. At the back cover of the book, the first sentence reads, “The ethos of this bestselling text is that however much or little you know about skin disease you can always arrive at the right diagnosis”. I found this to be so true and this would make an excellent textbook for anyone who has a professional interest in the topic ranging from specialists to generalists. It is ideal for healthcare professionals in primary care and trainees and established practitioners in secondary care.
As would be expected for a quality general book on dermatology, the production values are excellent. The illustrations are clear and in colour and according to the description at the back of the book, there are over one thousand illustrations. Almost every page of text either has an illustration (or more) or a table or diagram. The quality of text is superb and neatly highlights the diagrams and gives a succinct review of the condition. As alluded to in the title of the book, there is a focus on differential diagnosis, often assisted via flow charts.
The quality of the text is superb and this whole book carries a surprising amount of detail in its 348 pages. It does enough to qualify as both a really good dermatology textbook and dermatology atlas and as well as being an informative read in its own right; it is also a reasonably good reference book. Clearly, considering the title there is a significant highlighting on how to get the diagnosis or at least a differential diagnosis, helpfully aided by the excellent flow charts. There are also good descriptions of the conditions and a summary of treatment. The descriptions don’t have to be long and detailed to be helpful and informative. For example, on Page 119, there is a short but highly useful description of Chondrodermatitis Nodularis Helicis along with a really useful photograph. This section does not take long to read but it gives a good understanding of the condition with an excellent clinical picture to aid diagnosis.
I am great champion of having electronic books for ease of reference but given the choice of a digital choice or a physical book, for this specific product, I would prefer the book. Even better, I think the price is competitive and good value for a healthcare professional wanting to brush up on their general dermatology knowledge.
Dr Harry Brown
26th September 2021