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  • Writer's pictureIvan Bristow

A great book at a great price!

A common question I get asked about is what textbooks are good and cover aspects of dermatology relevant to podiatrists? Dermatology is a broad subject and covers a range of disorders, some of which affect the foot and legs and many which do not, so it often makes sections of some books feel redundant. However, a book on nails is always going to be welcome and of interest to the podiatrist as its right in the field. In this blog, I will be reviewing a book that caught my eye after looking on Amazon and seeing a very competitively priced text.

Scher and Daniel's Nails: Diagnosis, Surgery, Therapy

4th Edition (2018)

Published by Springer

ISBN: 978-3319656472

This is a book I remember reading since its very first edition (30 years ago) right through to its current, fourth incarnation. From the early editions which were US focussed, what is evident in this latest edition is its international flavour. Looking through the list of names there are many of the world-renowned authors responsible for most of the published research on nails today. It’s also good to see the inclusion of two podiatrists – Dr. Tracey Vlahovic and Dr. Bryan Markinson writing about podiatric aspects of nail disease and nail phenolisation techniques.

The book can only be described as comprehensive with 36 chapters. As well as covering the basics of anatomy and physiology and nail function there is a new section on how to photograph the nail. The other section which is particularly of clinical value is the second chapter which provides short summaries on the assessment and treatment of common nail pathologies which is a great quick reference and offers differential diagnoses and considerations for treatment.

Chapters cover an extensive range of topics including onychomycosis. As a common and important subject area in nail disease, it is good to see this discussed over 4 separate chapters (clinical presentation, laboratory techniques, topical and finally, systemic treatments). Other chapters cover clinical conditions and specialist areas such as the paediatric nail, melanonychia, erythronychia, nail tumours, and medical podiatry issues. Recent developments in nail imaging are covered including a whole chapter on this along with a separate one on nail dermoscopy with lots of helpful colour images explaining the common patterns and colours observed in nail disease under the dermatoscope.

The book is competitively priced (Amazon UK - £59 hardback and £39 kindle edition) and for this, you get a lot of book – 668 pages to be precise. The book also has many colour images of the conditions discussed. From a learning aspect, many of the clinical chapters conclude with multiple choice questions that the reader can attempt as part of their CPD activities. Detailed answers are also provided. Overall, for the price the book is a great addition and won't leave you short of knowledge and, for its price, should be the first choice as a clinical reference book on nails on the podiatrist’s bookshelf.


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