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Book and New Media Reviews
December 2005

A Text Atlas of Nail Disorders: Techniques in Investigation and Diagnosis, 3rd ed

Author Affiliations


Arch Dermatol. 2005;141(12):1611. doi:10.1001/archderm.141.12.1611-a

I know very little about nails. Nonetheless, the chance to review the latest edition of this nail classic was welcome because I was about to embark on a translation of a moderately detailed chapter on nail disorders. I used this atlas as my only reference and both survived the effort and acquired an appreciation for a truly practical book.

Many authors claim that they will stick to the basics, but few accomplish this task as well as Baran and his distinguished cast of colleagues. After an introductory chapter on nail anatomy, the rest of the book is devoted to an extensive collection of instructive photographs surrounded by well-organized brief text rich in tables and summaries. There are more than 300 clinical photographs; most conditions are shown several times, giving the reader a feel for their varying presentations. There is also substantial discussion of diagnostic innovations, including chapters on dermoscopy, sonography, and magnetic resonance imaging of the perionychium. In addition, the references are limited in number and carefully chosen, pointing the reader quickly to the classic articles.

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