Therapeutics in skin care finds reference in our very own Charaka Samhita wherein. the state of disease has been attributed to the disturbances in the body elements. However, for most of the Indians. dermatology is confined to cosmetic dermatology and dermatosurgery. In modern times as in the past, cosmetology means the science of beautifying skin and its appendages.
It revolves around two distinct fields:
a) Science of cosmetics, toiletries, personal care products and cosmeceuticals
b) Science of minor and major cosmetic procedure Cosmetic dermatology and dermatologic surgery has gained significant popularity in India.
Development of dermatologic surgery as a support arm of cosmetology is not so recent. In fact, most of the procedures have been around for more than a decade. ‘Pimples’ are not ‘normal’ in adolescence, hormonal changes do play a role in etiology of acne but they have a remedy. If people who suffer from acne understand their skin type and take proper care as advised, they can save themselves from many unwanted consequences due to long-standing and uncontrolled acne.Long-term oral antibiotic with topical medication as a treatment for acne has been advocated by majority of the dermatologists.
Surgical dermatology has generated considerable hope in treatment of vitiligo, a skin disease that may not respond satisfactorily when treated only with medications and PUV. Body tattooing is a fashion statement today. Many people with tattoos wish to have them removed. However, traditional methods of removal result in ugly scars, pigmentation and at times hypertrophic scar and keloids.
Dermatosurgeons have developed refined techniques for ‘skin resurfacing’ to treat conditions like tattoos, acne scars, smallpox scars etc. by combining various techniques like chemosurgery, laser and dermabrasion. There are good alternatives for refractory diseases like keloids by effectively combining intralesional injection with cryotherapy. Unwanted hair on the face and body has been an object of disgust for many people, especially among aesthetically conscious women.
There exist many modalities of hair removal like threading, waxing, shaving, plucking, depilatories, abrasives like pumice stone but are temporary. Permanent hair removal techniques like electro-epilation and laser-epilation are better technological alternatives. Common skin problems like warts and skin tags can be treated with electrosurgery. Refined electrosurgical techniques give good result with minimal scarring. Newer technique of Radiosurgery has the advantage of sharpness cutting with no charring of the surrounding tissue.
The latest application at the doorstep of cosmetology is ‘Face lift’ with Radiofrequency equipment. People with alopecia can look forward to treatment before hair loss. Newer medicines to treat hair loss and improved techniques of hair transplantation have shown encouraging results. Cosmetic counselling remains the most underutilised aspect of dermatosurgery. It is unfortunate that commercial strategies have flooded the market with cosmetic products of questionable standards.
Hence, Dermatosur-geons should help discover ‘skin type’ and guide the patient to respect its behavior to dryness, humidity, sunlight, cosmetics, perfumes and many such factors that might inflict insults, which may take a long time to revert or heal.