August 22, 1990

Andrews' Diseases of the Skin: Clinical Dermatology

Author Affiliations

New York, NY

New York, NY


by Harry L. Arnold, Jr, Richard B. Odom, and William D. James, 8th ed, 1062 pp, with 1183 illus, $110, ISBN 0-7216-2424-3, Philadelphia, Pa, WB Saunders Co, 1990.

JAMA. 1990;264(8):1045-1046. doi:10.1001/jama.1990.03450080135049

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Nondermatologists fall naturally into two basic groups: those who minimize the importance of cutaneous disease and who try to ignore the skin, and those who do not. This book, the best of its genre, is for the latter, finding its primary niche as a dermatology text for generalists.

Being thoroughly familiar with it would allow any physician to care for skin disease with a high degree of proficiency. By unburdening itself of lengthy histopathological descriptions and ponderous explanations of morphogenesis, the book achieves a lean, workmanlike style. Stripping away the esoteric leaves room for that which is more immediately useful. It is like a jeep, solid and reliable, or, perhaps more accurately, a shop manual for a jeep. The authors are not afraid of dispensing anecdotal reports or of generously sprinkling drug trade names when discussing treatment. This lends a feeling of informality and chattiness to the highly readable text.