Dermatology in General Practice

by Jacob Hyams Swartz, M.D., Assistant Professor of Dermatology, Harvard Medical School, Consulting Dermatologist, Massachusetts General Hospital; with a foreword by C. Guy Lane, M.D., Professor Emeritus, Department of Dermatology, Harvard Medical School. 581 pp. 253 illustrations. Baltimore: The Williams & Wilkins Co. 1953. $11.00

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This book presents a pleasant deviation from the conventional arrangement of similar dermatological works in as much as in addition to anatomy and physiology, detailed valuable information is given regarding the care of normal and abnormal skin. The physician is often asked by his patients for advice regarding care of face, scalp, hair, feet, exposure to sun and similar problems. This book gives such advice. Very useful, also, are the tables for the differential diagnosis of common skin disorders, the numerous well chosen photographs as well as the expertly written chapter on fungous disease. The microphotographs and histopathological comments by Lever are excellent.

It is understandable that such a compact book can not cover uncommon diseases in detail. However, statements like “Leprosy is chronic, contagious and infectious…. The disease terminates fatally,” can be misleading if not amplified. Also, the classification of leprosy does not reflect the latest views.

The therapeutic advice in general is excellent, especially in the important chapters on acne, psoriasis, eczema and impetigo, and valuable details are given regarding the technic of application of the prescribed medication including baths, dressings, compresses etc.