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November 1985

Color Atlas of the Nail in Clinical Diagnosis

Author Affiliations

Wellesley, Mass


by D. W. Beaven and S. E. Brooks, 240 pp, 402 color illus, $29.95, Chicago, Year Book Medical Publishers Inc, 1984.

Arch Dermatol. 1985;121(11):1464. doi:10.1001/archderm.1985.01660110110032

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The photographs in Color Atlas of the Nail in Clinical Diagnosis depict normal and diseased nails. They are technically excellent, beautifully reproduced, and supported by numerous line drawings and tables. I am afraid that this is the only good thing that I can say about the book.

The background of the authors is not clear, but several statements suggest that their field of training is in nutrition or genetics. In any event, the text is replete with statements that are in total disagreement with the major textbooks and articles about nails published in the past ten years. The following statements are illustrative of this point: "The nail plate is made up of specialized keratin made in cells of the nail bed"; "the nail plate is the largest sheet of keratin in the body"; and "matrix cells of the nail bed."

The authors claim that longitudinal ridges of the nail plate

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