by Jeffrey D. Bernhard, 454 pp, with black-and-white illus, $50, New York, NY, McGraw-Hill International Book Co, 1994.
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Most dermatologists cringe when a patient complains ''I itch all the time'' and there is little to see on physical examination. Jeffrey Bernhard has had a long interest in these challenging patients, and now he and a group of skilled contributors have produced a clinically oriented text to help all of us deal with the many variants of itch.
The book is logically divided to cover basic science and the dermatologic, systemic, and psychiatric aspects of itch as well as therapy. While there are no weak chapters, several are outstanding. Andrew Carmichael and C. N. Ghent discuss uremic and cholestatic pruritus, respectively, in a logical detail I had not previously encountered. Jeffrey Shornick incorporates his extensive knowledge of herpes gestationis into a superb chapter on pruritus of pregnancy, in which he attempts to eliminate the myriad of eponyms such as Besnier, Bourne, Nurse, and Spangler. Finally, in my favorite chapter,
Burgdorf WHC. Itch: Mechanisms and Management of Pruritus. Arch Dermatol. 1995;131(2):235-236. doi:10.1001/archderm.1995.01690140121031