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What is dermatology?

Dermatology is a branch of medicine dealing with skin problems along with its appendages (hair, nails) and general diseases with symptomes visible on a skin surface (e.g. benign or malignant cancer, lupus).

Dermatology is a complex medical specialization. It is a combination of many clinical fields such us: venereology, endocrinlogy, allergology and immunology, oncology and it also encompasses disease treatments related to blood vessels, infections (STD as well) along with skills necessary in dermato-surgery, vascular surgery and aesthetic dermatology.

Skin is the biggest organ of a human body. Its area amounts to 1,5 up to 2 square meters and its thickness reaches 1,5-5 mm. Skin has a number of important functions:

  • it isolates our body from the outside surroundings (environmental factors both physical, chemical and biological) - it constitutes a mechanical protection from the bacteria and other microorganisms.
  • it participates in thermoregulation and hydro-electolyte mangement processes (sweat glands)
  • it is responsible for stimuli reception (touch, pain, warmth, cold) through skin receptors.
  • it conducts melanogenesis processes - pigmentation of skin called melanin which, apart from providing skin colour, protects our body from mutagenic UV radiation. It is also responsible for some substances absorption.
  • it participates in managing fat, vitamins ( D3 synthesis from 7-dehydrocholesterol), endocrine secretion and immunological reactions.

Skin look and morphological features show differentiation relevant to environment, sex and age. Skin consists of epidermis, dermis and subcutaneous layer.

It also includes appendages (sweat glands, follicles and nails), lymphatic and blood vessels as well as nerve endings.

Skin is a kind of an open book that can tell a lot thing about the patient if read by a specialist.

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