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Medical aesthetology, aesthetic medicine, aesthetic dermatology, aesthetic surgery, aesthetic gynaecology, aesthetic dentistry - definitions and mutual relationships between these areas

Radoslaw Spiewak

Recommended citation format: Spiewak R: Estetologia medyczna, medycyna estetyczna, dermatologia estetyczna, chirurgia estetyczna, ginekologia estetyczna, stomatologia estetyczna - definicje i wzajemne relacje poszczególnych dziedzin. Estetol Med Kosmetol 2012; 2(3): 69-71.


Defining scientific disciplines is one of the most challenging tasks, especially if the intellectual need for systematizing science is interfered by conflicts of interest between competing professional groups. In "restorative" medicine, areas of competence are relatively well-defined both by the tradition and legal boundaries. For example, dermatology may be practiced only by a doctor who received a board certificate, which happens only after completing a strictly defined training and passing a state exam that ensures a required minimum of competences and skills in one's professional field. On the other hand, defining the "unregulated" specialties, such as "aesthetic medicine", "aesthetic dermatology", "aesthetic surgery", "aesthetic gynaecology" or "aesthetic dentistry" is substantially more difficult. Lack of"official" definitions of these areas may be considered as a weakness, however, it may also be perceived as a stillpresent opportunity for creating well-thought definitions that would imply high professional standards and levels of competence among their adepts. Definitions of "aesthetic medicine", "aesthetic dermatology", "aesthetic surgery" or "aesthetic dentistry" are proposed in the present article, along with the umbrella term "medical aesthetology" that encompasses all medical procedures that are restricted to certified physicians, and whose sole or main purpose is to improve physical attractiveness of the customer, rather than treating diseases. As various "aesthetic" specialists utilize similar approaches and methods, attempts at defining clear boundaries of competences between overlapping areas inevitably foster conflicts of interests and hamper the much needed dialog within the professional community. The term "medical aesthetology" is relatively new, thus it has not been yet appropriated by any of the professional groups active in this field (e.g. dermatologists, surgeons, dentists, etc.) which creates a medium for an unrestricted exchange of ideas and experiences, without provoking old controversies. The definitions and mutual relationships of these terms are discussed in this article.

Keywords: medical aesthetology, aesthetic medicine, aesthetic dermatology, aesthetic surgery, aesthetic dentistry, cosmetology, definitions

| Reprint (PDF) | Streszczenie | DOI: 10.14320/EMK.2012.014

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Open Access, online ISSN 2084-2007; print ISSN 2084-199X, DOI:
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© Radosław Śpiewak Instytut Dermatologii (kontakt)
Document created: 5 December 2012, last updated: 9 October 2013