This edition of the classic text helps the reader recognize systemic diseases by their cutaneous manifestations. A completely new format leads from the gross appearance of the lesion, to its general category of possible underlying illness, and then to a specific diagnosis.
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The skin is the one organ of the body that is completely accessible to clinical examination without the aid of specialized equipment. In multiorgan diseases, the skin is often involved, and to the astute observer it can provide valuable clues to the diagnosis. For decades, one of the most important facets of dermatology has been the detection and proper interpretation of those clues. In recent years, dermatology has expanded to include surgical and cosmetic dermatology, pediatric dermatology, and dermatopathology as important constituents of training and practice. However, "medical" dermatology remains a fundamental part of the discipline, with which practicing dermatologists must be intimately familiar and of which primary care physicians and specialists in internal medicine must have some working knowledge.
In the field of medical dermatology, and specifically in the study of dermatologic conditions associated with diseases of the internal organs, one textbook has been a standard resource since publication of its first edition, in 1970: Braverman's Skin Signs of Systemic Disease. The third edition covers a wide range of topics, including skin findings associated with diseases of specific organs, systemic infectious diseases, cancer, diseases of the immune system, and systemic diseases primarily involving the vasculature, as well as skin findings associated with pregnancy.
Reading this book is much like sitting at the feet of a learned and experienced professor. There is a blend of review of the literature with personal observation. The professor in this case is a careful observer who has seen a remarkable variety of diseases and who has considerable insight to impart. The reviews of the literature are both thorough and critical. Seminal articles are cited and discussed in detail. In addition, because the book has just a single author, the style is uniform from one chapter to the next, and the text, though lengthy, is written clearly. The descriptions of skin lesions are especially comprehensive, and it is in these descriptions that the book has perhaps its greatest value. Indeed, readers will feel confident after reading Braverman's lucid description of an unfamiliar disease that they would recognize it if it should appear in their practices. These detailed descriptions are complemented by numerous helpful photographs, some of which are in color. Braverman thoroughly describes not only commonly encountered lesions but also uncommon lesions, making this book a valuable reference for consulting dermatologists as well as students of dermatology.
Skin Signs of Systemic Disease is particularly useful if one wishes to know the cutaneous findings for a specific disease or, conversely, the diseases with which specific skin lesions are associated. It also lends itself well to a review of larger topics if read chapter by chapter. However, it is not a reference for selecting treatment, since treatment is not addressed.
This splendid, readable book deservedly remains a standard work in medical dermatology. The new edition should be an excellent resource for primary care physicians, subspecialty internists, and consulting dermatologists alike.
Reviewed by Lela A. Lee, M.D.
Copyright © 1998 Massachusetts Medical Society. All rights reserved. The New England Journal of Medicine is a registered trademark of the MMS.
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Book Description Saunders, 1998. Hardcover. Book Condition: New. 3. Bookseller Inventory # DADAX0721637450