Generic selectors
Exact matches only
Search in title
Search in content
Post Type Selectors
Filter by Categories
15th National Conference of the IAOMFP, Chennai, 2006
Abstracts from current literature
Acne in India: Guidelines for management - IAA Consensus Document
Art & Psychiatry
Association Activities
Association Notes
Award Article
Book Review
Brief Report
Case Analysis
Case Letter
Case Letters
Case Notes
Case Report
Case Reports
Clinical and Laboratory Investigations
Clinical Article
Clinical Studies
Clinical Study
Conference Oration
Conference Summary
Continuing Medical Education
Cosmetic Dermatology
Current Best Evidence
Current Issue
Current View
Derma Quest
Dermato Surgery
Dermatosurgery Specials
Dispensing Pearl
Do you know?
Drug Dialogues
Editor Speaks
Editorial Remarks
Editorial Report
Editorial Report - 2007
Editorial report for 2004-2005
Fourth All India Conference Programme
From Our Book Shelf
From the Desk of Chief Editor
Get Set for Net
Get set for the net
Guest Article
Guest Editorial
How I Manage?
IADVL Announcement
IADVL Announcements
IJDVL Awards
IJDVL Awards 2018
IJDVL Awards 2019
IJDVL Awards 2020
IJDVL International Awards 2018
Images in Clinical Practice
In Memorium
Inaugural Address
Knowledge From World Contemporaries
Leprosy Section
Letter in Response to Previous Publication
Letter to Editor
Letter to the Editor
Letter to the Editor - Case Letter
Letter to the Editor - Letter in Response to Published Article
Letter to the Editor - Observation Letter
Letter to the Editor - Study Letter
Letter to the Editor - Therapy Letter
Letter to the Editor: Articles in Response to Previously Published Articles
Letters in Response to Previous Publication
Letters to the Editor
Letters to the Editor - Letter in Response to Previously Published Articles
Letters to the Editor: Case Letters
Letters to the Editor: Letters in Response to Previously Published Articles
Medicolegal Window
Miscellaneous Letter
Net Case
Net case report
Net Image
Net Letter
Net Quiz
Net Study
New Preparations
News & Views
Observation Letter
Observation Letters
Original Article
Original Contributions
Pattern of Skin Diseases
Pediatric Dermatology
Pediatric Rounds
Presedential Address
Presidential Address
Presidents Remarks
Report of chief editor
Report of Hon : Treasurer IADVL
Report of Hon. General Secretary IADVL
Research Methdology
Research Methodology
Resident page
Resident's Page
Resident’s Page
Residents' Corner
Residents' Corner
Residents' Page
Review Article
Review Articles
Revision Corner
Self Assessment Programme
Seminar: Chronic Arsenicosis in India
Seminar: HIV Infection
Short Communication
Short Communications
Short Report
Special Article
Specialty Interface
Study Letter
Study Letters
Symposium - Contact Dermatitis
Symposium - Lasers
Symposium - Pediatric Dermatoses
Symposium - Psoriasis
Symposium - Vesicobullous Disorders
Symposium Aesthetic Surgery
Symposium Dermatopathology
Symposium-Hair Disorders
Symposium-Nails Part I
Symposium-Nails-Part II
Systematic Review and Meta-Analysis
Systematic Reviews and Meta-analyses
Systematic Reviews and Meta-analysis
Therapeutic Guideline-IADVL
Therapeutic Guidelines
Therapeutic Guidelines - IADVL
Therapy Letter
Therapy Letters
View Point
What’s new in Dermatology
View/Download PDF

Translate this page into:

87 (
); 1-2

Recognizing “medical aesthetics” in dermatology: The need of the hour

Department of Dermatology, Army College of Medical Sciences and Base Hospital Delhi Cantt, India
Department of Dermatology, Mehektagul Dermaclinic, New Delhi, India
Corresponding author: Dr. Sandeep Arora, Department of Dermatology, Army College of Medical Sciences and Base Hospital Delhi Cantt-110010, Delhi, India.
This is an open-access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution-Non Commercial-Share Alike 4.0 License, which allows others to remix, tweak, and build upon the work non-commercially, as long as the author is credited and the new creations are licensed under the identical terms.

How to cite this article: Arora S, Arora G. Recognizing “medical aesthetics” in dermatology: The need of the hour. Indian J Dermatol Venereol Leprol 2021;87:1-2.

Cosmetic dermatology has over the past few years been recognized as an informal sub-specialty of dermatology. Despite there being a number of conferences and indexed journal articles on this topic, it continues to have a disorganized curricular pattern. The mere mention of cosmetic dermatology in conventional dermatology academia evokes a mixed response, from interest and curiosity to utter disdain. Medical aesthetics is an offshoot of cosmetic dermatology where the experience gained from practicing cosmetic dermatology is applied to the management of various diseases and disorders, manage their side effects, correct deformities and improve the quality of life.

Need for Inclusion Rather than Exclusion

The practice of dermatology has changed over the years with the inclusion of a wider field of practice as compared to earlier days. The dermatology fraternity can proudly boast of some of the most accomplished experts who treat rheumatic diseases and use biologics on one hand, to experts in the field of hair transplantation, nail, and flap surgeries. A number of dermatologists also routinely perform aesthetic procedures.1

Basic education in dermatology starts during residency. Knowledge of aesthetic procedures is presently imparted in dermatology, depending upon the interest of the faculty. This is unlike other specialities, like reconstructive surgery, where there is a structured curriculum in aesthetics and which has some statutory bodies recognizing this field as a subspecialty.2,3 This inclusiveness has resulted in their graduates passing out as experts at the end of their training. Dermatology graduates, on the other hand, need to rely on self-learnt experience or participate in online courses, workshops, and conferences with minimal hands-on experience during their residency. It is this lack of authentic learning that brackets dermatologists who practice aesthetics, as just one among the other aesthetic physicians. Dermatologists, however, have an edge over aesthetic physicians, in being able to put aesthetic treatments to “treat” skin conditions. Medical schools in India are mostly supported by the state. Advocating cosmetic dermatology at the cost of the taxpayer is understandably limited. However, ‘medical aesthetics’ has a therapeutic implication and hence the authors feel it is justified to be an essential part of the dermatology curriculum.

What Comprises ‘Medical Aesthetics’?

Medical aesthetics is all about the extrapolation of cosmetic dermatology procedures as therapeutic modalities for treatment purposes. Treating dermatological conditions with aesthetic procedures, comes under the realm of aesthetic medicine, not just cosmetology, as many of them are treated to relieve symptoms rather than just to improve outward looks.

Some of the cosmetic dermatology tools and procedures which can be applied to therapeutic interventions include botulinum toxin in hyperhidrosis, chemical peels in post-inflammatory hyperpigmentation, laser hair removal for engrafted skin and hairy nevi, laser resurfacing for scar revision, intense pulse light for acne and rosacea, thread lift in facial paralysis, injection lipolysis in lipomas, hair transplantation in vitiligo, hyaluronic acid infiltration and autologous fat transplantation in the management of Parry-Romberg syndrome and localized lipodystrophy. This list of applications is not exhaustive and shall only increase with experience.

Expected Effects of Recognizing this Field of Medical Aesthetics

  1. Developing a curriculum in medicine is a dynamic exercise.4 Once the need for therapeutic aesthetics is recognized, formal curriculum in medical aesthetics can be laid down and included as a part of procedural dermatology. This shall not entail exclusion of any existing curriculum as the theoretical part already exists in the syllabus.

  2. National advisory boards and statutory bodies such as the National Medical Council and National Board of Education should be sensitized to this need for change, which may make it easier to implement subspecialty training courses at a national level.

  3. Medical colleges shall be able to ask for facilities and infrastructure specific to the additional curriculum.

  4. This shift from informal non-structured training to a structured program will ensure dermatology residents have an essential knowledge of basic and advanced aesthetic procedures. Extrapolating these into therapeutic implications shall benefit our patients. This will need to be incorporated in the existing MD Dermatology curriculum, as there is no structured superspeciality degree in dermatology as yet and formal curriculum in medical aesthetics during post graduate residency does not exist, compared to post-doctoral fellowships and degrees for cosmetic dermatology.5,6

  5. Dermatologists shall have a locus standi for expertise in aesthetic procedures, as these are being increasingly sought after by patients. Limitations of expert faculty in this field at all teaching centers is a failed argument, since no teacher is an expert in all fields of medicine.


Dermatology has evolved into a niche specialty. Enabling dermatologists to learn and practice both conventional and aesthetic dermatology shall reflect the true intent of the fraternity. The pause that the COVID-19 pandemic has given our practice, gives us time to ponder over this thought and possibly apply it, in its aftermath when health systems recover. Coining the term ‘Medical Aesthetics’ in dermatology and recognizing its implication, is thus an inescapable part of our practice and the need of these changing times.

Financial support and sponsorship


Conflicts of interest

There are no conflicts of interest.


  1. . A closer look at the role of the dermatologist in championing total women's health through the dermatology gateway. Int J Womens Dermatol. 2018;4:189-92.
    [CrossRef] [PubMed] [Google Scholar]
  2. Available from: [Last accessed on 2020 May 14]
  3. , . Analyzing the curriculum of the faculty of medicine, University of Gezira using Harden’s 10 questions framework. J Adv Med Educ Prof. 2017;5:60-6.
    [Google Scholar]
  4. MSc Skin Ageing and Aesthetic Medicine-Course Details (2020 entry) The University of Manchester. Available from: [Last accessed on 2020 Jul 07]
    [Google Scholar]
Show Sections