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December 1996

The History of Photography in Dermatology: Milestones From the Roots to the 20th Century

Author Affiliations

From the Department of Dermatology, Heinrich-Heine-University, Düsseldorf (Mr Neuse and Drs Neumann and Lehmann) and the Department of Dermatology, Ludwig-Maximilians-University, Munich (Drs Jansen and Plewig), Germany.

Arch Dermatol. 1996;132(12):1492-1498. doi:10.1001/archderm.1996.03890360082014

From the Middle Ages to the 20th century, talented artists have created illustrations of signs of human diseases. Since the birth of photography in 1840, artists and physicians have used photographic techniques to illustrate the diseases of the skin; dermatology especially relies on these visual signs. In dermatology today, photography is still very important because of the need for adequate illustrations in medical textbooks and journals. From the early days of daguerreotypes to modern times, medical photography was developed in different stages and many physicians have taken part in the development of photographic techniques and chemistry. This historical survey describes the milestones in the development of medical photographic illustration from its beginning to the 20th century.

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