Every now and again someone publishes a "bedrock book." By this I mean that a body of research in a specific area reaches a critical mass, and "the system" recognizes this by producing a resumé of what has been achieved to date. Epidemiological research in dermatology has only relatively recently been carried out widely enough or well enough to provide more than sporadic additions to the core of knowledge. This began when a few key individuals around the world recognized the need for real academic rigor in researching the epidemiological factors of skin disease. Hywel C. Williams, the editor of this book, is one of these key individuals, and the thoroughness of his approach in this volume reflects his standing.
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