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Book and New Media Reviews
January 1998

Cutaneous Allergy

Author Affiliations
 

edited by Ernest N. Charlesworth, 363 pp, $150, Cambridge, Mass, Blackwell Publishers, 1996.

Arch Dermatol. 1998;134(1):119. doi:10.1001/archderm.134.1.119

Cutaneous Allergy is a handbook that blends together a variety of topics related to the areas of applied clinical immunology, dermatology, and allergy-immunology. This handbook was edited by Charlesworth, both an allergist and an immunologist as well as a dermatologist, and he brings a unique perspective to all these fields. The title of the handbook is somewhat misleading because the publication deals with not only skin allergy (delayed and immediate types), atopic dermatitis, and allergy testing (patch and scratch testing as well as laboratory evaluation of allergic diseases), but also discusses immunodeficiency in a chapter that focuses on the immunology of human immunodeficiency virus infection in the skin, autoimmunity (immunobullous skin diseases such as the pemphigoid diseases, pemphigus diseases, and autoimmunity against type VII collagen bullous lupus erythematosus, and epidermolysis bullosa), and reactions to arthropod assaults. There are also chapters that focus on the biology of the skin immune system (epidermal cells, lymphocytes, mast cells, cytokines, adhesion molecules, and mediators of inflammation and their role in the pathophysiology of dermatologic diseases). A more appropriate title would be "Cutaneous Allergy and Clinical Immunology," since there are a variety of topics related to nonallergic diseases and functions of the skin's immune system.

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