Dermatology's roots have been nurtured in the soil of description, dermatology has flowered in the current era of pathogenesis, and dermatology will eventually come to fruition under the influence of molecular biology. The long-awaited and long-needed Textbook of Dermatology by Rook, Wilkins, and Ebling exemplifies this, deftly combining our heritage with contemporary science in a well-written, exhaustive, two-volume opus.
The format is particularly useful. A discussion of the appropriate basic science area introduces many of the major sections. For example, chapters on inflammation, allergy and the skin as a barrier, precede discussion of the eczematous diseases; a description of keratinization provides background for a consideration of the ichthyoses and psoriasis, and an account of the normal dermis leads to an exposition of the disorders of connective tissue. The authors obviously intended this as a book to be read, rather than just a reference. Both volumes are selectively, but not overly,