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Book and Media Reviews
December 8, 2010

Skin Infections: Diagnosis and Treatment

JAMA. 2010;304(22):2536-2537. doi:10.1001/jama.2010.1826

“A comprehensive melding of dermatology and infectious diseases is long overdue,” states John Hall in his introduction to this exhaustive tome on cutaneous infections and infestations. The statement is right on target. In recent years, less detailed works have been devoted to the topic,1-3 and of course, textbooks have chapters on the subject—but none are as thorough or as detailed as this book. The reason for this void is unclear, because molluscum contagiosum was the first disease conclusively associated with a viral etiology and, for that matter, the scabies mite was shown earlier in the 19th century to be the cause of the 7-year itch (scabies).4 At one time or another, many cutaneous maladies were attributed to microorganisms, such as the acne bacillus for the sebaceous gland disorder or the tubercle bacillus, which was implicated in several skin diseases.