For some 50 years I have played roles concerning a failing skin in many parts of the world, tending to skin disease, wounds, lymphoedema and tropical diseases such as leprosy.
Most of the time I have emphasised that a failing skin is a heavy burden and only recently have I understood that funding agencies want us to prove that we have the capacity to benefit and not to keep telling them how terrible skin conditions can be.
Dermatologists are great diagnosticians. They are skilled at making people look good and therefore feel good. Their research into mechanisms have been outstanding. Few, however have contributed to public health and they are not perceived as among the leaders on the needs in the developing world where low technology, sustainability and low cost solutions are desperately needed.
The International Society of Dermatology has served this purpose for more than half a century and as its Honorary President I am pleased to be Chairman of its task force Skin Care for All: Community Dermatology. I seek to use the language of public health and to show that we are notably good at it.
I invite you to read through this website and download the SCFA booklet and literature so that in future, with the language of community dermatology at your finger tips and on the tip of your tongue, you can be ambassadors to ‘Nations in Need’ and ‘Resource givers with Funds’, to be proud of our achievements and make clear our capacity to benefit.
Yours, Terence Ryan