A short introduction to the history of the French Society of Dermatology

Tilles G.


The French Society of Dermatology (FSD) was founded in Paris on June 22nd, 1889. This event may be analysed as the result of many convergent necessities:

The birth of the FSD was contemporary of the organization in the new Museum of the old Hôpital Saint-Louis of the first World Congress of Dermatology. This Congress was to restore the weakened influence of the French school of dermatology and to put an end to a suicidal isolationism. The 1889 Universal Fair that commemorated the centennial of the 1789 French Revolution surrounded this scientific event with a climate of intellectual abundance and reconciliation (the congress took place 19 years after France was defeated by Germany). The scientific contributions of the founders reflected the attachment of the new society to the founding clinicism (Ricord and Hardy), to the modern development of the specialty notably the pastorian theories (Besnier) and to the importance of syphilis in the dermatological practice (Fournier). Reflecting the role of Saint-Louis School of Dermatology, the wax moulages museum was selected as the ideal venue for the monthly meetings of the FSD from 1890 till 1987. The staff of the FSD opened progressively its activities to the contribution of out-of-Paris Masters of dermatology. Elective place of the clinical debates, the FSD integrated progressively the scientific developments of the specialty and created satellites societies, including research groups : pediatric dermatology, dermato-allergology, surgical dermatology, dermato-cancerology, photodermatology, angiodermatology, immunodermatology, cosmetology, immunodermatology. Today, the FSD organizes each year the "Journées de Dermatologie de Paris", French speaking congress attended by more than 2500 dermatologists. The abstracts are published in the Annales de Dermatologie, leading journal of French dermatology, founded in 1868 by Adrien Doyon. The membership of the FSD is more than 1600 members, 400 of them belonging to out of France countries.