Dermatology (from Greek δέρματος [dermatos], “skin” and –logy, “the study of”) is the discipline of medicine which deals with diseases of the skin and its appendages. It is a specialty with both medical and surgical aspects. Traditionally, dermatologists diagnose and treat diseases affecting skin, mucous membranes, hair and nails. But in a wider sense, there are more fields related to the dermatologist’s domain: Diseases of allergic origin, diseases of superficial blood vessels, and diseases of the anus and the rectum. Also disturbances of male fertility are covered by some dermatologists. Laboratory medicine and dermatology meet insofar as many dermatologists are also particularly knowledgeable about fungi (“mycology”).
Dermatopathology is the microscopic study of the human skin and its diseases. Sometimes performed by pathologists, it is often also covered by specialized dermatologists. Finally there is a strong link between dermatology and general medicine because a number of infections and internal diseases can show typical skin lesions. Thus it is wise to establish a reliable relationship between the two fields. In the last years, cosmetic/aesthetic dermatology has gained more and more importance, particularly by strong demand from consumer side.
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