Reviews of Total Skin

From the Archives of Dermatology (a journal of the American Medical Association)

“This book can be judged by its cover subtitle, which immodestly but truthfully proclaims its mission. Quite simply, the text covers everything an intelligent layperson would want to know about dermatology. David Leffell, a Mohs surgeon and Professor of Dermatology and Surgery at Yale, has succeeded where others have stumbled.”

From Booklist:

“The skin of a human adult weighs about nine pounds, which is a small proportion of total body weight. Yet the skin is a vital organ and a fascinating subject for a book. Yale professor Leffell has long experience in clinical practice and research, and he presents much information in a most understandable way. How does the skin grow and perform its varied tasks? What roles does the skin play in health, disease, and appearance? What really protects the skin from the effects of sun, aging, and other potential enemies? Leffell answers such questions practically, complete with counsel on when to see a physician and when to handle a skin condition on one’s own. The sections on lasers and on Mohs micrographic skin cancer surgery, one of Leffell’s specialties, are especially good, as is his skeptical habit of calling the “cosmaceuticals” that drug companies manufacture and market “advertising gimmicks.” Furthermore, hair and nails fall within Leffell’s parameters for discussing the skin.” – William Beatty

From Associated Press:

“Total Skin, a new book by Leffell, a professor at the Yale University School of Medicine, hopes to provide comprehensive information about the sun’s effect on skin and to debunk some myths about skin health. Besides offering advice about skin cancer, Total Skin explains less-serious skin ailments, such as rashes and acne, and provides in-depth detail of the risks and procedures of cosmetic surgery. The book includes color pictures of melanomas, basal cell cancer, squamous cell cancer and healthy moles. Other pictures show common skin ailments and before-and-after pictures of some cosmetic procedures. In the back, the book lists support groups for various skin conditions. Leffell recommends some cosmetics, soaps and skin care products but cautions that less is usually better when it comes to skin health. The book also discusses which natural remedies work and which have not been proven by science. The key concern, however, is skin damage from the sun, which can lead to skin cancer and premature aging. Besides the cancer danger, Leffell’s book points out that sun exposure leads to wrinkles, liver spots and other undesirable signs of aging.” – Diane Scarponi

From McGill News:

“Subtitled ‘The Definitive Guide to Whole Skin Care For Life,’ this book is everything you ever wanted to know about our most familiar but perhaps least understood organ.” And just like skin, the book covers the entire body from head (hair loss, dandruff) to toe (plantar warts and corns), missing none of the freckles, bumps and orifices in between. Also discussed are disease like diabetes, lupus and rheumatoid arthritis which manifest themselves in part by changes in the skin Leffell devotes an entire section to skin cancer, and includes a “color atlas” of the skin with photographs showing spots and marks, and describing which ones might be signs of something serious. There is a bit of an “eww” factor here, but knowing what to look for may save your life. For those worried about aging, there’s information about treatments like peels, and collagen, botulism and Gore-tex injections. Leffell, a Professor of Dermatology and Surgery at Yale, writes in a style that is both clear and engaging, and earns extra points for including a half dozen useful appendices.” – McGill University

From Yale Bulletin & Calendar:

“Straightforward advice and practical answers to the most commonly asked skin health questions can now be found in Total Skin: The Definitive Guide to Whole Skin Care For Life, a new book by Dr. David J. Leffell, Professor of Dermatology and Surgery at the School of Medicine. Skin, Leffell said, is the largest and one of our most familiar organs, but it is also one of the least understood. Technological advances in skin treatments, such as lasers and the advent of surgical and non-surgical procedures for skin cancer and skin rejuvenation, have created a need for accessible information about skin health. The new book aims to meet those needs and more. Although half the book is devoted to anti-aging and skin rejuvenation, a major part of Total Skin addresses skin cancer prevention and treatment. Melanoma, a lethal kind of skin cancer, is of special concern for many readers. Total Skin describes how to do a self-skin exam, how to make sure dermatologists check skin from head to toe, how to ensure that biopsy specimens are sent to the correct laboratory, and what to look for so that melanoma will be diagnosed at the earliest possible stage. Leffell said Total Skin differs from most other skin-care books because it is written by a physician and reflects both day-to-day clinical experience and direct knowledge of cutting-edge advances. The book also helps readers distinguish between the bevy of available skin care products and includes a chapter on alternative care.” – Karen Peart