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Dermatology

Dermatology (from Greek derma, "skin") is a branch of medicine dealing with the skin, its structure, functions, and diseases, as well as its appendages (nails, hair, sweat glands). A doctor who practices dermatology is a dermatologist.

Scope of the field
The skin is the largest organ of the body and certainly the most visible. Although many skin diseases are isolated, a significant portion of skin symptoms reflects a more generalised disease that affects other organs. Hence, a dermatologist is required to have a working knowledge of basic surgery, rheumatology (many rheumatic diseases can feature skin symptoms), neurology (the "neurocuteaneous syndromes", such as neurofibromatosis and tuberous sclerosis) and endocrinology.

Dermatology is often practiced in tandem with venereology, the specialism that diagnoses and treats sexually transmitted diseases, and phlebology, the specialism that deals with problems of the superficial venous system.

The recent trend is to club dermatology with cosmetology. This incorporates the use of LASERS and other light sources to enhance one's looks.

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