Before delving into the past of dermatology as a discipline and a concept, it’s important to understand what it entails. Dermatology, in its most simple form, is the branch of medicine concerned with the skin. As a consequence, these may include procedures to deal with skin disorders, tumours, parasites, allergies, and hormone responses, as well as solely aesthetic changes and/or the removal of ‘blemishes.’ As a result, these procedures can include surgery and pathology (diagnosis and treatment of diseases). Dermatologists are the most common practitioners in the profession, with more complex names based on their fields of specialisation (e.g., a dermatolopathologist will specialise in dermatolopathology – the pathology of skin). Have a look at English Dermatology Ahwatukee.
Dermatology of the Ancient World
Despite the reality that skin disorders have been viewed and accepted throughout human history, dermatology as an established concept only emerged towards the end of the 18th and beginning of the 19th centuries. The word provided a standardised name to a field of medicine that involved procedures and methods that had been used for thousands of years before it was coined. In particular, the ancient Egyptians are credited with some of the first records of sophisticated skin care. Cleopatra’s soaking in ass’s milk is well-known, and the lactic acid in the milk’s impact on the skin are still recognised today. Egyptians, on the other hand, were thought to use alabaster, oils, and salt to change the colour of their eyes. Such compounds were also added to the skin for medicinal rather than aesthetic uses, such as arsenic, which was used to cure skin cancers.
The Egyptians were also the forerunners of many other non-invasive dermatological practises that are still being researched today. The usage of sandpaper to smooth down raw skin and scratches may be known as dermabrasion techniques, and they also realised the advantages of exposing skin to sunshine (a tradition that has continued over the ages), in their case natural sunlight.
Skin therapies were valued for their aesthetic effects in the ancient world. To smooth and exfoliate the flesh, the Greek and Roman cultures combined natural oils and resins (such as myrrh and frankincense) with pumices. In India, they substituted natural resins with urine to produce the same effects, and the ancient Turks exfoliated their skin by singeing it.
The Beginnings in Dermatology as We Know It Now
Dermatology is derived from the Greek words derma, which means “body,” and logy, which means “to read.” It was first translated into French as dermologie, and then into Latin as dermatologia. In reality, the French were pioneers in the field of dermatology, establishing the first school in Paris in 1801 at the Hôpital Saint-Louis. Dermatology, as we know it now, dates back to the early 16th century in Europe, with most of the early studies focusing on the usage of additives from traditional practises, as well as sunshine, to treat diseases like eczema and psoriasis.