The diseases that affect the skin are a fascinating and varied group. Many books categorize them by etiology, e.g., malignancies in one chapter, infections in another, and so on. This book, however, groups skin diseases by their characteristic location. The advantage of this approach is that it is patterned after the way patients are seen in clinical practice. For example, if you see a patient with an unknown skin problem of the elbow, you initially consider those diseases which characteristically occur there. Then, by morphologic analysis of the patient's lesion or lesions, exact diagnosis is usually possible. By its organization, this book can be an excellent aid in this process.
This book has also been designed as a study guide to help the medical student or physician learn dermatology the way he or she will see it in practice. The organization of the diseases by body site allows one to mentally group diseases that present in a similar fashion. The color pictures then illustrate the differences that allow for diagnosis. Once a person becomes familiar with dermatologic disease's preferred locations, one begins to anticipate the possibilities. Before a patient ever shows you his or her inner ankle, you suspect stasis dermatitis. A problem in the antecubital fossa? You suspect atopic dermatitis. With knowledge comes interest and the ability to quickly and accurately diagnose and treat patients with skin problems.
It is my goal that this book serve as the ideal resource for the medical student, resident, or practicing physician--dermatologist or non-dermatologist--in fact, for anyone who regularly sees patients with skin problems.
Gary M White, MD