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May 1985

Controversies in Dermatology

Author Affiliations



by Ervin Epstein, 482 pp, with black and white illus, $55, Philadelphia, WB Saunders Co, 1984.

Arch Dermatol. 1985;121(5):682. doi:10.1001/archderm.1985.01660050132034

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Dr Epstein is to be congratulated for his highly readable and educational execution of a difficult assignment. He has correctly identified the major controversies in dermatology today—including the need to remove congenital melanocytic nevi, the biopsy technique for suspected melanomas, the treatment of primary melanomas, and the risk-benefit ratio of PUVA therapy—and has recruited, in most cases, informative opposing arguments from authorities in the respective fields. Many chapters provide excellent comprehensive bibliographies of the conflicting primary references on which the controversies are based, to the benefit of practicing dermatologists faced with difficult patient management decisions. Other chapters make clear the disconcerting fact that dermatologic controversies also arise simply in the absence of data. For the dermatology resident or the graduate of a parochial training program, the book is doubly instructive in that it identifies controversial topics for which he or she may previously have received only one "party line."


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