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May 2016

Beauty That Is More Than Skin Deep

Author Affiliations
  • 1The University of Texas Medical Branch School of Medicine, Galveston

Copyright 2016 American Medical Association. All Rights Reserved. Applicable FARS/DFARS Restrictions Apply to Government Use.

JAMA Dermatol. 2016;152(5):562-563. doi:10.1001/jamadermatol.2015.4762

Historically, there has been a stigma attached to diseases of the skin and the people they affect. This stigma was the result of a lack of knowledge as well as cultural associations of skin disease with being “unclean” or “impure.” People with leprosy, psoriasis, and other diseases were ostracized, and the stigma has managed to withstand the test of time. Even today, any deviation from “normal, smooth skin” is considered unsightly or “ugly.” The desire for immaculacy and beauty has influenced the development of our culture tremendously.

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