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A Brief Timeline History of Dermatologic Surgery

While several specialties have contributed to skin surgery and cosmetic procedures, the major advances in these fields by dermatologic surgeons often goes overlooked. Below represents a small fraction of dermatologic surgery’s innovations and skillsets.

1871-present Chemical Facial Peels including Phenol, TCA, alpha hyrdoxy peels. Dr.’s Fox, Hebra, Unna, Monash, Ayres, Van Scott, Brody, Monheit

Early 20th Century—Kromeyer introduces dermabrasion

Early 20th Century—Suzanne Noel, a Parisian Dermatologist performs one of the first facelifts and publishes her results

1936—Frederic Mohs treats first skin cancer patient with his technique of chemically fixing the tissue and mapping the skin specimen under the microscope. This was the genesis of what has become known as Mohs Surgery.

1952-Dr. Norman Orentreich performed the first hair transplant specifically to treat male pattern baldness.

1967- American College of Mohs Surgery founded. Organization created to promote mohs surgery and create 1-2 year mohs surgery and reconstruction fellowships to increase the expertise of practitioners of mohs surgery

1970- American Society of Dermatologic Surgery founded. Organization created to promote all aspects of dermatologic surgery from skin cancer to cosmetic procedures in order to increase the expertise of practitioners of dermatologic surgery.

1978-Tromovitch and Stegman report the fresh tissue technique for mohs surgery which simplifies the process for removing skin cancer, Robbins, Amonette and Hanke and other mohs surgeons popularize this technique.

1981-Anderson and Parrish describe Selective Photothermolysis which forms the basis laser skin tissue interaction and the use of lasers for skin conditions.

1981-Collagen approved as a dermal filler. Investigations for approval led by A. Klein and other dermatologic surgeons

1986- J. Klein to describe tumescent anesthesia for liposuction. This innovation allows for liposuction to be safely performed under local anesthesia and has been adopted for other procedures from large skin cancer reconstructions to facelifts that would have been performed previously under general anesthesia.

1989- Zitelli reports a major modification in the bilobed flap for nasal reconstruction. Important in its own right, this paper also signifies the advances and contributions that mohs surgeons are making in regional facial reconstruction

1990—J & A Carruthers first report the effect on wrinkles of Botulinum toxin—an effect they had observed as early as 1987.

1990’s—Advent and popularization of laser resurfacing for facial wrinkles with carbon dioxide and erbium led by Dover, Alster, Moy, Rubin and others

1998—Intense Pulsed Light treatments for facial photodamage reported by Bitter Sr & Jr.

2003-Hyaluronic Acid approved as a dermal filler. Investigations for approval led by Narins and other dermatologic surgeons

2004-Fractional laser resurfacing concept described by Manstein et al at Harvard Wellman Laboratories. Fractional resurfacing for sun damage had led to less down time and risk while still providing excellent results in the appropriate patient.

2008—Cryolipolysis of fat for noninvasive body contouring first reported by Manstein et al at Harvard Wellman Laboratories