History of dermatology

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Readily visible alterations of the skin surface have been recognized since the dawn of history, with some being treated, and some not. Avicenna's The Canon of Medicine (1025) described treatments for a variety of skin conditions, including skin cancer. The preferred medication it recommended was zinc oxide. Though today it is no longer used for treating skin cancer, it is still widely used today to treat a variety of other skin conditions, in products such as baby powder and creams to treat diaper rashes, calamine cream, anti-dandruff shampoos, and antiseptic ointments.[1]

In 1572, Geronimo Mercuriali of Forlì, Italy, completed De morbis cutaneis (translated "On the diseases of the skin"), and is known as the first scientific work to be dedicated to dermatology. One source lists Jean Astruc (1684-1766) as the founder of modern dermatology.[2] In 1799, Francesco Bianchi wrote the book Dermatologia which is the first comprehensive textbook of modern dermatology written for the students of medicine.[3]

In 1801 the first great school of dermatology became a reality at the famous Hôpital Saint-Louis in Paris, while the first textbooks (Willan's, 1798-1808) and atlases (Alibert's, 1806-1814) appeared in print during the same period of time.[4]


See also


  1. Harding, Fred John (2007), [Expression error: Missing operand for > Breast Cancer: Cause - Prevention - Cure], Tekline Publishing, p. 82, ISBN 0955422108 
  2. "The History of Dermatology". http://www.pubmedcentral.nih.gov/pagerender.fcgi?artid=1558306. Retrieved 2009-04-13. 
  3. William Allen Pusey (1979). History of Dermatology. AMS Press. p. 132. ISBN 9780404133603. 
  4. Freedberg, et al. (2003). Fitzpatrick's Dermatology in General Medicine. (6th ed.). McGraw-Hill Professional. Page 3. ISBN 0071380760.


  • Copeman PW (February 1995). [Expression error: Missing operand for > "The creation of global dermatology"]. J R Soc Med 88 (2): 78–84. PMID 7769599. 
  • Tilles G, Wallach D (1989). [Expression error: Missing operand for > "[The history of nosology in dermatology]"] (in French). Ann Dermatol Venereol 116 (1): 9–26. PMID 2653160. 
  • Jackson R (May 1977). [Expression error: Missing operand for > "Historical outline of attempts to classify skin diseases"]. Can Med Assoc J 116 (10): 1165–8. PMID 324589. 
  • King JM (April 1983). [Expression error: Missing operand for > "Historical review of early dermatology by J. M. King, MD, Nashville, Tenn. Originally published May 1927"]. South. Med. J. 76 (4): 426–36. PMID 6340211. 

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