Edited by Christopher Griffiths, Tanya Bleiker, Daniel Creamer, John Ingram and Rosalind Simpson
Published by Wiley Blackwell
This is far more than a handbook as stated in the title, this is a proper detailed textbook of dermatology and is fairly comprehensive. It runs to 1038 pages and is well produced. Reading the acknowledgements and preface and it transpires that this book is a child of a massive dermatology textbook. It’s parent book (Rook’s Textbook of Dermatology 9th edition https://www.wiley.com/en-gb/Rook%27s+Textbook+of+Dermatology%2C+4+Volume+Set%2C+9th+Edition-p-9781118441190 ) is a massive 4 volume work that I am sure is an encyclopaedia of dermatology whose print version costs a whopping £572. So, this book is a distillation of the parent book.
This is a more of mass market book aimed at healthcare professionals in primary and secondary care and what an excellent book it is. It is a single edition paperback, heavily illustrated with high quality pictures that are educational, in colour and crystal clear. The excellent images compliment the excellent text, and this text is broken up into sensible headings such as epidemiology, pathophysiology, clinical features, investigations and management. The text is not voluminous but very precise and full of information and relevant detail which makes it a pleasure to read. Coupled with the superb images this brings about an excellent textbook. The editors are all British based, so this book is clearly relevant to a UK audience.
It is also surprisingly comprehensive and covers common and not so common conditions. On Page 412, there is a description of Poikiloderma of Civatte which I had never heard of. It is preceded by an excellent description of Melasma which does not take long to read but is a great review which can be quickly read. It is good enough to be a general reference book (the pictures alone are a great incentive to dip into the book at random) and equally to look up a topic to help manage a patient.
I looked up another 2 conditions just to see how useful the descriptions would be. I looked up scabies which can be found on Page 144 to page 147. Norwegian scabies is also covered and the accompanying pictures are clear. A very good table gives clear and concise management options. It does not take long to read this section and again hopefully the reader will be better informed. The next topic I looked up was Telogen Effluvium which can be found on Page 391 to Page 394. Again, the informative text is illustrated and accompanied by an investigations and managements table.
I found this to be a really good and very useful book and in fact a pleasure to read and use. It is very user friendly, informative and well written which entices the reader to use it as a reference source to learn more about a condition generated by a patient interaction. Equally sections can be randomly opened and painless learning can take place.
I must admit I find it difficult to criticise this book. I think it is fairly priced (certainly more affordable than the parent book) as it will be used often by relevant readers and I think many people will enjoy using it. The only missing element that I feel would add to the book is the ability to have a digital edition available with the purchase of the book. A web and app version would be appreciated when the user is on the go, perhaps in a busy clinic or GP surgery. Overall, this is an excellent book.
Dr Harry Brown
20th October 2022