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Dermatology (Greek - skin (derma), the study of) is the medical speciality dealing with the diagnosis and treatment of diseases of the skin, including scalp, nails and hair. A specialist in the field is called a dermatologist. The field has its roots since the beginning of written records, but started developing as a systematic field of study in the early 19th century. In the United States, a dermatologist studies as a resident for three years after serving as a medical or surgical intern.
Further study at the level of fellow is available for numerous sub-specialities including:
- Immunodermatology - the study of the effect of the immune system on skin
- Phototherapy - the use of light to treat skin diseases
- Laser medicine
- Mohs micrographic surgery - the use of chemicals to perform very accurate surgical removal of skin in the treatment of skin cancer
- Cosmetic surgery, related to the practice of plastic surgery
- Dermatopathology, the diagnosis of skin diseases, usually with biopsy
- Pediatric dermatology, the treatment of skin diseases in children
- Teledermatology, the use of advanced telecommunication technologies to centralize the review of skin samples without needing a physical sample
House, has a very poor opinion of the skills of dermatologists, describing them as a group that advises their patients to keep dry skin moist and wet skin dry.