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Living with Itch. A Patient’s Guide

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Title: Living with Itch. A Patient’s Guide

Authors: Gil Yosipovitch, Shawn G Kwatra

Publisher: Johns Hopkins Press,2013

Reviewer: Paul Watson, head of child development, Marshland High School


What was it like?

Many people have experienced itch, whether from insect bites or dry skin, but millions of people worldwide have chronic or even intractable itch. This book describes how, just like chronic pain, chronic itch interferes with a person’s ability to function—and even affects quality of life. The book Living with Itchclaims to offer relief, drawing on the authors’ vast knowledge of itch, the suffering it causes, and available treatments, going on to explain about the cascade of physiological events that causes us to experience itch.

What were the highlights? 

A lovely looking book. For those of you who have read some of my other reviews you will not be surprised at my next observation! I LOVE all of the pictures, diagrams and charts. For me this makes the book into a fantastic tool that I can pick up and use without having to think about. I can look at a condition and compare the photographs and descriptions to the patient in front of me. Failing that, I can look at the pictures and if a patient presents with a condition I can recall the stock image from the book (I suppose this is called learning, I do find it easier if done visually).

Strengths & weaknesses:

A great book, with great index that will allow most users to get to an answer that they need. Although I was thrilled by the photographs, I was sometimes disappointed by the pictures themselves as they often did not present the condition as clearly as I would have hoped. Perhaps a sketched diagram to highlight the typical presentation as well as the photograph would have helped even more. For example, the picture of the Scabies on the hand wasn’t distinct and the presence of a burrowing tract could have been highlighted.

Who should read it?

I believe that any new students or practitioners to dermatology would benefit from this book, with possible interest from anyone who has a desire to know about itch or skin conditions.


Living with Itch

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