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Book and Media Reviews
March 28, 2012

Emergency Dermatology

Author Affiliations

Author Affiliation: Department of Dermatology, Northwestern University Feinberg School of Medicine, Chicago, Illinois (ashish@derm.md).

JAMA. 2012;307(12):1319-1320. doi:10.1001/jama.2012.349

On receiving this book for review, my first thought was, “Emergency dermatology—how did they write an entire textbook on that?” Although true dermatologic emergencies such as toxic epidermal necrolysis do exist, is there enough information to fill such a volume? There are many unsightly, uncomfortable, and emotionally devastating dermatologic conditions, but most are not usually immediately life-threatening or cause for the use of a word as strong as “emergency.” However, after delving deeper into the text, I was vividly reminded that the skin is the window to internal and external disease processes. Furthermore, physicians need to frequently recall dermatologic signs and symptoms, which are seen in the emergency setting. For this reason, Emergency Dermatology will be valuable for sharpening the clinical diagnostic skills, not only of dermatologists and emergency medicine physicians, but of all clinicians.