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Indian Journal of Dermatology, Venereology and Leprology
Medknow Publications on behalf of The Indian Association of Dermatologists, Venereologists and Leprologists (IADVL)
ISSN: 0378-6323 EISSN: 0973-3922
Vol. 72, Num. 3, 2006, pp. 249-249

Indian Journal of Dermatology, Venereology and Leprology, Vol. 72, No. 3, May-June, 2006, pp. 249

Book Review

Clinical methods in dermatology and venereology

Correspondence Address:India

Code Number: dv06086

J. S. Pasricha, Binod K. Khaitan
Mehta Publishers, New Delhi. 5th ed, 2005
Price Rs. 180. Pages 126

There are numerous books in dermato-venereo-leprology that describe in detail the etiopathogenesis, clinical features and management of various skin diseases. But this book is unique in that it deals exclusively with the clinical methods in these branches of medicine. It describes in detail how to take a relevant history from a patient, how to examine the patient in a systematic way, how to describe skin lesions, and how to perform bedside and laboratory investigations. The primary and secondary lesions are defined and explained with illustrative clinical photographs. The authors stress the importance of using a magnifying lens to study minute morphology whenever required. Some instruments designed by the senior author, Prof. Pasricha, such as instruments to test and grade sensations of touch, pain and temperature and to elicit dermatographism using 4 different grades of pressure are described in detail.

Many "dermatologists" in India have a step motherly attitude towards the subject of venereology. The authors of this book have taken special care to describe in detail the art of history taking and clinical examination in STD patients. Laboratory procedures in venereology, such as dark-ground microscopy, Gram′s staining for gonococci and Haemophilus ducreyii and tissue smear for donovan bodies, are described. Staining procedures (Gram′s staining, Ziehl-Neelsen staining, and Leishman staining) and preparation of bromophenol blue filter paper for testing sweat function are mentioned in a separate chapter.

Review of a book is incomplete unless some deficiencies are pointed out. A few suggestions for the 6th edition are as follows:

  1. The quality of the figures can be improved. It would have been better if all the photographs were in color. Some figures do not illustrate the findings the authors really intended to (e.g. Figs 18, 35, 40, 62) and need to be improved or replaced. The photograph on page no. 24 (figure 7) seems to be of chemical leukoderma, not of vitiligo.
  2. The face of patients can be masked.
  3. There are other minor errors and lacunae, e.g. a discussion on the characteristic patterns of distribution does not include that of scabies.
  4. The quality of paper can be improved after increasing the price of the book.

Prof. Pasricha′s long experience as a UG/PG teacher, researcher, author and editor is well reflected in the preparation of this book. In spite of the high value of its contents, the price is low. This book will remain a boon to our specialty and will be highly beneficial to postgraduate students and to every dermato-venero-leprologist.

Copyright 2006 - Indian Journal of Dermatology, Venereology and Leprology

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