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The Life of the Skin Hardcover – May 5, 1997

4.2 out of 5 stars 5 customer reviews

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Editorial Reviews

Amazon.com Review

Don't take this the wrong way, but when people look at your skin, all they're seeing is a sheath of dead cells called the stratum corneum. Makes you look at Playboy in a whole new light, doesn't it? That and other interesting facts about the epidermis come out in this witty, accessible, and highly personal book by two dermatologists who happen to be married to each other. After reading The Life of the Skin, you'll never look at yours the same way again.

From Booklist

Much of this engaging book is about husband-and-wife dermatologists Arthur and Loretta Balin's patients, their diagnoses and treatments. The skin--not, by the way, the body's largest organ; that distinction belongs to the digestive tract--has many and various problems all its own, and it warns of such problems within the body as Hodgkin's disease. Its main enemy is sunlight. The Balins, identifying Coco Chanel as instigator of the mass yearning for a "good, healthy" tan, say that much can be done to overcome some sunlight damage, but that the best thing is to avoid it by using sunscreens and clothing against prolonged exposure. And still, one of the Balins' best stories is about a nun who didn't object to facial sun-marks because they reminded her of the pleasant times she had spent in the garden. In addition, Arthur Balin cites good examples of basic research paying off in clinical usefulness, and there are some strong statements here about many HMOs' opposition to specialists, which often subjects patients to unnecessary dangers. William Beatty
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Product Details

  • Hardcover: 272 pages
  • Publisher: Bantam (May 5, 1997)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0553097199
  • ISBN-13: 978-0553097191
  • Product Dimensions: 1 x 6.5 x 10 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.2 pounds
  • Average Customer Review: 4.2 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (5 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #3,624,713 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

Format: Paperback
I learned alot about people and issues with skin that I never understood before. This book was both entertaining and informative and anyone who wants to learn more about their body and their skin should read it.
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Format: Hardcover
Very readable look at dermatology and why healthy skin is so important. It is told though cases where the authors were the physicians.
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Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
This book is thoughtful, playful, educational, and very well written. This book, thankfully, avoids 'text book' style narration and instead opts for a comfortable writing style packed with easily absorbed information. The Balin couple have a way with words! Together, they help to portray dermatology and the practice of skin care and maintenance in a way that's palatable for just about anyone, giving a more substantial insight into the largest organ of our body.

I recommend this book for young and old, those new to the idea of 'skin care' or even a seasoned professional. I have actually purchased this book for a client of mine, and she loves it! Wonderful all around. Give it a read!
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Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
Dr. Balins, Life of the Skin is a remarkable book about a doctor that is devoted to caring for his patients. I highly recommend the book and the doctor.
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Format: Paperback
No one can argue with the credentials of the authors of this interesting and engaging book. It is certainly an interesting account of the life of a dermatologist and some interesting case studies. However, if you are looking for a book on the effects of sunlight on human health I would urge you to look elsewhere. The authors exclusive focus on pathology gives them a kind of tunnel vision which misses the larger health picture and their resulting advice (in a nutshell, wear SPF 30 sunscreen and stay out of the sun) may be harmful. While they give a passing nod to the health benefits of sunlight (allows the skin to synthesize Vit D), they seem to have not read the literature on the effects of sunlight in lowering blood pressure, lowering blood sugar, decreasing cholesterol, building lean tissue, increasing the production of sex hormones, and actually increasing the resistance to infection and cancer. None of these benefits are available to the person slathered in SPF 30 sunscreen. I would urge you to read Zane Kime, MD's book "Sunlight Could Save Your Life" or Dr. Downing's book "Daylight Robbery" before you decide to follow the advice in this book. Of course, caution IS well advised. The two books just mentioned help the reader to determine how to get the benefits without undue risks. Unlike the Balin's, Dr. Dowling says that sunlight actually stimulates production of antibodies and strenghtens the body's defenses which actually help suppress the growth of melanoma. The Balin's seem to totally ignore a several thousand year history of sunlight therapy in medicine and the fact that many human cultures haved lived under intense sunlight all their lives without the constant care of dematologists and SPF 30 sunscreens and without dying of melanomas.Read more ›
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