The following article examines the history of dermatology, including its earliest manifestations in classical cultures.Before we look at the past of dermatology as a discipline and a concept, let’s take a look at what it actually entails. Dermatology, in its most specific form, is the branch of medicine concerned with the skin. As a consequence, these may include procedures that deal with skin disorders, tumours, parasites, allergies, and hormonal responses, as well as solely cosmetic 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 unique titles based on their fields of expertise (e.g., a Dermatol pathologist will specialise in dermatopathology – the pathology of skin). West Dermatology Redlands
Despite the fact that skin disorders had been handled 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 label to a field of medicine that included procedures and methods that had been used for thousands of years before it was coined. In fact, the ancient Egyptians are credited with some of the first accounts of advanced skin care. Cleopatra’s bathing in ass’s milk is legendary, and the lactic acid in the milk’s effects on the skin are still remembered today. However, the Egyptians were known to use other substances to alter the appearance of their skin such as alabaster, oils and salt. Some chemicals were also added to the skin for medicinal rather than aesthetic reasons, such as arsenic, which was used to treat skin cancers.
The Egyptians were also the forerunners of many other non-invasive dermatological practises that are still being researched today. The use of sandpaper to smooth down rough skin and scratches may be known as dermabrasion techniques, and they also realised the advantages of exposing skin to light (a practise that has continued through the ages), in their case natural sunlight.