Preface

Evidence-based dermatology is no longer a swear word in dermatology. Most dermatologists are practising good evidence-based dermatology to different degrees. The challenge is to improve those skills. This book may help you.

This book has a been labour of love for me, my associate editors and chapter contributors and I wish to thank them all for their efforts.

It is a different sort of book to the usual textbok. Different in that we have introduced the whole rationale for evidence-based dermatology in a section at the start of the book. Different in that we then provide you, the reader, with a detailed "toolbox" to help you understand some of the basic concepts in practising evidence-based dermatology. But the biggest difference is in the way we have encouraged our chapter contributors to follow a common structure when summarising the evidence base for different skin diseases - the "meat" of the book.

We have taken care, where possible, to separate the evidence found in studies from our opinions about that evidence, and we have tried to help the reader by providing summaries of key points at the end of each chapter. This has not been easy - I for one certainly find writing such highly structured chapters much harder work than the traditional "expert" book chapter.

The book is also different from other books in that it is accompanied by a website (http://www. evidbasedderm.com) that will include additional chapters and updates which will grow between this and the next edition. Complete coverage of the 2000 or so dermatology diseases is going to be a tough challenge, but we aspire to get there in successive editions and on our website.

We have strived to keep the book grounded in reality by making it as patient-based as possible by discussing the evidence around commonly encountered real patient scenarios. At the end of the day, it is patients who are at the heart of evidence-based dermatology.

Hywel Williams

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