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January 11, 1971

An Introduction to the Biology of the Skin

Author Affiliations

Stanford University Medical Center Stanford, Calif


by R. H. Champion et al, 450 pp, 182 illus, $15, Philadelphia: F. A. Davis Co., 1970.

JAMA. 1971;215(2):301. doi:10.1001/jama.1971.03180150083038

This article is only available in the PDF format. Download the PDF to view the article, as well as its associated figures and tables.


This fine textbook from British dermatology should comfort clinicians and trainees who are overwhelmed by the decade of recent progress in the basic sciences of skin biology and related fields. The 17 distinguished contributors represent many specialties, including biophysics, hematology, and nutrition. Chapters are developed from lectures given yearly, at Cambridge University, to trainees in dermatology.

The original course objective of "relating normal structure and function to common pathological problems" is generally well achieved in the book. Cell biology emerges clearly through cytochemistry, electron microscopy, and kinetic studies, and dermal and epidermal anatomy are covered in adequate detail. Many physiologic processes are well summarized, particularly melanogenesis, percutaneous absorption, and sebaceous gland secretion. Inflammatory cells and their special properties become the focus of stimulating discussions of inflammation, wound healing, and allergic reactions. Unfortunately, subjects such as keratinization and Langerhan's cells are not covered in such comprehensive detail, and some important topics,