Surely you have once asked about what is that a dermatologist actually do, beside of looking for beauty spots in your skin which might be dangerous or recommending you to wear solar protection once a day. Have you? Those very curious persons who knows plenty about health and body aesthetics that you may visit maybe once or twice an year when having some trouble with your or your children skin.
Dermatologie is a very interesting meeting point between health and beauty that involves many different kind of developments, from industrial studies regarding product application to medical diagnostic through the conditions in the skin. This science provides us ways of preventing diseases and ways of removing diseases, which make it a very importante discipline within global medicine. According to WHO (World Health Organization), 11% of doctors worldwide are specialized in dermatology and just the 7% of total inversions on biotechnological development is directed to this science. (More of 30% of it is directed to genetics development).
It is our skin the superficial part of our body, the one which is permanently exposed to climate conditions and shows the result of the way we feed and the relation we have with ourselves. Skin is kind of a mirror of the inside of our body, in which specialized doctors can do a quickly diagnostic of our health with only looking at it.
But: what can we first imagine when we think about France and dermatology in the same piece of paper? We may have an image of beautiful womens, with expensive clothing and fragrances accompanied by a pretty gallant in a large black suit, drinking wine or coffee in a little bar while rain is outside dropping slowly by the windows. Kind of a poetic image don’t you think? Actually, we will not be discussing this but some other issues regarding to history, skins, aesthetics and health care.
The French Revolution in 1789 was an enormous change for the whole world because of it radical change towards the way of ruling lands, people and territory. It was performed by vast sectors of French inhabitants, practically, all of it. Aristocrats and burgueses together with the common people overthrew the feudalism which was considered the antique regimen. The bright consequences of this revolution have a big weight in our current history even nowadays. The relevant fact for us -and French dermatology- about this historical event is that those who belonged to the common people were known as sans-culotte. This because culotte was an exclusive clothing of high classes while common people just weared long pants.
Whit this, we might have an idea about the importance of aesthetics in the history of this country and its evolving to these days, in where the cosmetics and aesthetics industry is one of the biggest in the world, next to United States and Japan. At the same time French cosmetics multinational enterprise L’oreal is the biggest and richter cosmetic enterprise in the world. According to Statista, skin care products represent 35.3 % of global market, making it the largest industry world wide.
Since French Revolution, France was turned into an empire headed by Napoléon Bonaparte who conquered wide territory in the whole Europe. After it, on eighteenth and nineteenth centuries, France as the other big countries of Europe, expanded its territory world wide. Principally to Africa but also in Asia and both South America and America´s Caribbean. World industry in twentieth Century was developed to satisfy European and American people needs and desire, and just as we all know, European people is composed majorly by white-skinned people. This is a fact because the whole of the industry development including entertainment, health, food, was done leaving aside every other ethnic belonging. Fortunately, since twenty first century, diversity was brought into conversation as a priority issue due to the large number of migrants from third world countries to first world countries. It’s a fact that nowadays in every big city in the world you see people from very different procedences: african, asian, musulmans, arabs.
This part of our human history has as a result the big differences people have in their facilities to buy health – and any kind of – products specialized for one type of skin. What would you say if I tell you that till the 90’s there was no development for cosmetics or aesthetics to be applicated on black skins. This mean the whole of the aesthetics industry was tested over and produced for white people. And this, obviously, can be extended to whatever you imagine. There is no need of being scientist to realize that white or black skins has different reaction to climate changes. And regarding this, “it is a 65% more possible to get skin cancer for European people than African people”. ( Skin Facts, WHO Study, 2009)
Nowadays, French healthcare system is one of the most developed in the whole world: every resident of France is in it right to be attended in a public hospital, which makes a very big difference with health care systems as the United States or Spain, in which you must pay very expensive dues for it. This doesn’t means that you will be attender for free in a French hospital, but you will be assured a low cost attendance according to the severity of the illness you got, and different compensations or social plans such as ODS or SCU ( France Diplomatie, 2015) The WHO declared on 2015 : “France provides the best overall health care followed among major countries by Italy, Spain, Oman, Austria, and Japan.”
Also, it is good to know that the French government has been very serious about its politics regarding prohibitions and regulations for food, agrarian and biotechnological industries.
One clear example of it is the recently prohibition of Monsanto’s herbicide RoundUp 360 for cultivating proposses, which extends to every herbicide that contains glyphosate, being the first big resolution in this sense over the whole world.French Justice declared that Monsanto’s herbicide RoundUp 360 “ must be considered as a substance which potential might be carcinogenic for human being ” It was also French government which recently announced the possible side effects of one of the most popular free drug selling worldwide Ibuprofen. When thinking about public restrictions to private interests, we must take into account there are very big earnings for this kind of products and that’s why is not a slight decision for a government. There is a permanent and historic little war in between this two parts ( governments representing public sector and enterprises representing private sector). Instead, United State government has joined Monsanto’s interests and covered it up from scientific investigations that gave the same result as French recent investigation. This case is majorly the common and not the restriction or prohibition of products.
This may have not a big deal regarding aesthetics or cosmetics industry but it does have a wide connection to healthcare and government politics to it. We must be conscious about the importance of global politics regarding to health and food cares, a common place in which multinational companies take advantage of the people ignorance of this issues, with the only purpose of making more money.
Now is were we bring back dermatology to our desk, approaching to understand it in a new way. Probably as a bridge between a population new need in big countries and the enterprises interests of developing new products and increase their sales. Dermatologist are the one who explores and studies skins facts and its relation to the whole of our health. Lets make a quickly review of the history of this branch of medicine.
Dermatologie was recognized as a science in beginnings of the nineteenth century and one of the most important schools was in Saint Louis Hospital in Paris. This was the first step for deep and constant development in this science. One of the first big findings was the existence of microbes causing mortal diseases such as leprosy or gonorrhea in a researchal shared by both French and Spanish school. Also, the concept of allergy was discovered through dermatologie, comprobing that the same external cause can produce different effects on different patients. Afterwards, a very well known man called Sigmund Freud introduced psychoanalysis as a new and revolutionary way of understanding emotional diseases giving born to psychosomatic pathology which so important in dermatologie and its sub branches. This give us an idea about the importance of dermatologie in many other branches of medicine, and intimately involved with not only physical but also physic care. France was one of the pioneers countries developing and recognizing this science.
As I told you before, French healthcare system is the most advanced system in the world and also the medical college career is also the largest in the world for its type. This provides a very good relation between people demanding health services and professionals, as an a French resident you can easy access health system and as a healthcare professional you are well payed for your services. But there is also some trouble here when we ask hoy many of France inhabitants are actually considered as residents? There still a lot of people who have migrated in the last twenty years from Northern Africa to France and Europe and haven´t been recognized as French residents, which in same cases impede people to have access to a public hospital attention, leaving this decision in particular hands, such as the men or women who attends you on the reception of the hospital.
However, the system provided by French government facilitates dialogue between both public sector and private sector investors. When we think about investigations projects and technological researchment it is very important to have a good relation between several parts of the issue, considering there must be a common purpose among these.
Health professionals are very respected in France and there are also lots of benefit in choosing to be one, such as a very good remuneration, fiscal benefits and a sophisticated system of points if you practice your profession in the public sector, which provides you permanently scholarships or improvements in your salary. This facts and the great demand of professionals from French common people, means a great motivation for young people to decide involving their life in medical career. In the last 15 years lots of Spanish and South American people had decided to continue their studies in France.
Almost a hundred years away from it recognition as a science, dermatology developed in different branches such as dermatopathology, immunodermatology or cosmetics, being France one of the most developed industry regarding it. But this is not all about helping people or saving lives. There’s also a great development and demand regarding aesthetics surgery. One of many example is Dermatology Laser Market, which is projected to grow till the year 2024, regarding to a increased demand on it. Laser surgery is a very sophisticated and high technological service which is also very expensive and cannot be afforded by a great number of people world wide. Principally in Asia there is a big demand on it, a place in where people can afford this expensive service most than other services. But we well know that some phenomenons extends very quickly and it is also projected to increase it demand on European market in the next years. This is part of a wish of desire of having the perfect skin. Laser surgery is used to remove tumors and other dangerous symptoms of terminal diseases but also remove minor scars or marks in the skins produced by old diseases or even previous surgeries. Just as you can change your nose or your belly if you want it – and can afford it-, you can remove little marks of your body that don’t fit with what want to see when looking to a mirror. By information provided from the WHO (World Health Organization) through their Study About Aesthetics Surgery, France is the third country in the world, behind South Korea and United States in making aesthetics surgery, which is also a development of first dermatology.
As a conclusion, we live in a world in which it is not possible to think a part of it without taking into account the whole of it. France together with Germany and Austria has practically created dermatology and its development nowadays, with covers both basic needs regarding terminal diseases and pleasures that a reduced percentage of people worldwide can access such as aesthetics surgery. Luckily, one of the bigger countries – because of it population and riches- has a real commitment of providing basic services to every one, which means a increasement in life conditions to the future.