The word dermatology is derived from the French word ‘dermatologie’ and the latin word ‘dermatologia’. Dermatology is a branch of medicine dealing with disorders of skin.
Dermatology as a science has long been part of internal medicine, till 19th century when it started evolving as a separate field from internal medicine. Since ancient times the description of various alteration in the skin have been described, but some were treated and some were left alone. Skin changes have been found to be of social & religious importance since ancient times. Many of the skin changes were supposed to be due to punishment by God for the Sin committed by humans. The development of scientific dermatology started in early 20th century.
As a field dermatology not only includes disorders of skin but also the disorders affecting hair and nails. Skin is at an interface between the internal and external environment. Skin is influenced by the changes in internal environment, so all dermatologist needs to be good internists too. Also skin is exposed to a large number of physical, chemical and biological agents in the external environment. A good knowledge of these agents is prerequisite for a good dermatologist if he has to understand the diseases of skin better.
One more problem a dermatologist is often faced with is that everything is visible, but sometimes it is too difficult to see what lies in front of your eyes. A dermatologist needs to be a good observer to see the myriad of changes in the skin and to understand the relevance of each of them. Also, what commonly happens in dermatology is that the moment you see some lesion. Dermatologists reach a diagnosis, that may not be correct but our mind will always be biased towards the first diagnosis you thought about, so its always important to not to jump to conclusion.