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To the Editor.—
We have read with interest and approval Dr A. Melvin Alexander's letter on description of skin disease and white skin in the Archives (111:791, 1975). However, authors of textbooks are confronted with practical problems when they wish to avoid any racial bias in their clinical descriptions of diseases. No one will dispute that a clear and vivid account of physical signs can be of great assistance in reaching a diagnosis. To write vividly, an author must draw on his or her personal experience and not present merely a dreary distillate of second-hand information. There is no dermatologist whose practice is proportionately representative of the races of the world. Each of us, therefore, contributes his own knowledge.In our textbook, from which Dr Alexander quotes, we have made every effort to be international in approach. It seemed best that each author be encouraged to write from personal knowledge,
Rook A, Wilkinson D. Description of Skin Diseases and White Skin. Arch Dermatol. 1976;112(4):553. doi:10.1001/archderm.1976.01630280071019