A Brief History of Dermatology

It is worth briefly summarizing what it actually means before looking at the past of dermatology as a discipline and as a term. Dermatology is the field of medicine that applies to the skin in a very fundamental sense. As a consequence, it can include procedures associated with illnesses, tumors, infections, allergies and hormonal responses affecting the skin, as well as strictly cosmetic changes and/or ‘blemish’ care. While such procedures can include areas such as surgery and pathology (diagnosis and disease treatment). Practitioners in the profession are referred to as dermatologists with more common names depending on their fields of specialization (e.g., a dermatolopathologist specializes in dermatolopathology-skin disease).Get More info English Dermatology Desert Ridge

Ancient dermatology dermatology as a developed term only came into being around the end of the eighteenth and beginning of the nineteenth century despite the fact that skin conditions were handled and accepted throughout human history. The coining of the word gave a branch of medicine a standardized name that included procedures and activities that would have been practiced for thousands of years. Some of the oldest records of advanced skin care reportedly date back to the ancient Egyptians. Everyone knows Cleopatra’s tales of swimming in butt milk, and the effects of lactic acid in milk on the skin are still remembered today. The Egyptians, however, were known to use other substances to change their skin tone, such as alabaster, oils, and salt. For medical rather than aesthetic reasons, they have added such chemicals to the skin with arsenic, for example, being used in an effort to cure skin cancers.
It can also date back to the Egyptians the precursors to many other non-invasive dermatological procedures which are still being studied today. In the use of sandpaper to smooth rough skin and scratches, methods such as dermabrasion could be found, while they understood the advantages of exposing skin to light (a practice that persisted through the ages), in their case natural sunlight.
Over the ancient world the aesthetic benefits of skin treatments continued to be accepted. To smooth and exfoliate the skin, the Greek and Roman cultures used a combination of substances like natural oils and resins (e.g., myrrh and frankincense) with pumice. In India, throughout Asia, they replaced the natural resins with urine to achieve the same results, and the ancient Turks accomplished their exfoliation very dramatically by actually singing the skin.
The Birth of Modern Dermatology The word dermatology itself comes from the Greek language for “head” derma and “learning” reasoning through first the French dermology and then the latinized term dermatology. The French were in fact early pioneers in the modern field of dermatology, opening in 1801 the first school in Paris at the Hôpital Saint-Louis. What we now regard as dermatology can however be traced back to the early 16th century in Europe and much of this early work centered on the use of chemicals from traditional treatments as well as sunlight on conditions like eczema and psoriasis.
20th Century Dermatology The beginning of the 20th century saw greater innovations in the treatment of skin by means of electrosurgery (treatment with electrical currents) and cryosurgery (usage of extreme cold) with subsequent developments in liposculpture (removal of fats from the surface of the skin) and hair transplants in the first half of the century. The early 1900s also saw the introduction of peels to strip away dead skin and reveal new healthier skin, especially through the use of Phenol peels.

The use of light treatments developed into laser production in the 1950s, and in effect these methods advanced in the latter half of the 20th century to tackle hair removal and certain cosmetic blemishes. Indeed, laser treatments continue to be developed with recent developments focused on treating issues such as stretch marks and skin tightening. Further advances in peeling techniques to replenish the skin were also seen in the late 20th century using trichloracetic and alpha-hydroxy acids which hark back to earliest Egyptian practices.

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