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Nowadays, a yearly visit to a dermatologist is a natural occurrence in many individuals’ lives. Given the vast amount of skin conditions and high numbers of skin cancer afflicting people, a quick check-up at the dermatologist can do so much as save someone’s life. 

With all of today’s technologies and methods for detecting these harmful causes of cancer and skin conditions, dermatologists are more prepared than ever before to keep their patients out of harm’s way and to treat the area of concern. However, as with any medical field, it is interesting to take a look back at its origins and how the initial studies turned it into the thriving medical practice that it is today. Read below to gain a brief overview of dermatology’s beginnings in the U.S.

When Was the Field of Dermatology Developed?

In the early 19th century, medical professionals and researchers began looking more closely into bacteria and fungi. The study of these substances and their potential health effects began a deeper dive into the medical field that we know as dermatology today. The United States’ first dermatologist went by the name of Henry Daggett Bulkley, MD. In 1836, he opened the first dermatologist office, titled the Broome Street Infirmary for Disease of the Skin, in New York City. Back before dermatology was even a coined term, Henry was putting forth efforts to advance the field, even though the public did not express heightened interest until later on.

As this was still a new type of study, dermatology did not become a more relevant topic among Americans until the mid-1800s. Towards the end of this century, connections between one’s skin and the rest of their physiology began to be studied on a deeper level, thus providing reasonable grounds for the American Dermatological Association to be formed in 1886.

As the decades went on, more studies were conducted in this area. The United States looked to other countries, one being Germany, for inspiration and insight into dermatology as a whole. In 1932, Americans witnessed the establishment of The American Board of Dermatology. A mere five years later, the Society for Investigative Dermatology was formed. A year later, in 1938, the American Academy of Dermatology and Syphilology was founded, although the academy has since nixed the latter part of its original name.

Despite these organizations being founded and more public interest weighing in favor of the study of dermatology, it took some time for effective therapies for various skin conditions to be developed. Nowadays, the field of dermatology has grown to great heights, with several medications, injections, and surgical procedures being used as treatment methods for a wide array of skin conditions. If it weren’t for these early pushes for dermatology to become a priority, the field might not be as advanced as it is today. Current dermatologists look forward to making even more progress in the industry and inspiring their patients to care for their skin more effectively.