Excerpt from Photographic Illustrations of Skin Diseases
The study of Skin Diseases without cases or colored plates is like the study of osteology Without bones, or the study of geography without maps. However compre hensive or practical a text-book may be, its verbal descriptions cannot compare in value with a sight of the thing described, or, what is next best, its faithful representation. A systematic course of clinical study is only possible in our large cities, and yet the physician in any remote locality may be called upon to treat the rarest forms of skin disease. As success must depend in great measure upon the correctness of his diagnosis, it is hardly necessary to argue the value of a complete series of well-executed plates.
Of late the steadily increasing interest in dermatology has led to a demand for illus trations of skin diseases. Photographs, though serving a good purpose in portraying the characteristic location and configuration of the various affections of the skin, have generally lacked an essential element of diagnosis, viz., the color, or have been disfigured by careless daubing, and colored lithographs have not only been expensive, but in too many instances lacked fidelity to nature both in form and color.
In the series of illustrations now offered to the profession, advantage has been taken of a process recently devised for the reproduction of pictures from photographic negatives. These pictures not only possess the sharpness of detail and brilliancy of ordinary photographs, but, unlike the latter, Will not fade through age and exposure to light. The negatives which serve as a basis for the plates of this series have been selected from a very large number, most of which were taken under the immediate supervision of the editor. A few have been collected from other sources. The coloring has been entrusted to a skilful artist, who was formerly a physician, and, having studied skin diseases in the General Hospital at Vienna, is peculiarly fitted for the work. The text accompanying the plates is designed to call attention to the diagnostic characters of the various diseases, and to give in brief some practical suggestions for their treatment. The notes of cases have been’made very brief, as a rule, inasmuch as it has seemed unnecessary to give full particulars of a case except where it has possessed points of special interest. N o systematic order has been followed in the arrangement of dis eases, although certain ones have been placed together With a view to their contrast. On a number of the plates’will be found a double illustration, showing different stages or phases of the same disease.
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