Holding on to its motto “Congregat ut Vincat Invidi Morbi Sagittas,” meaning “Gather Together in Order to Overcome the Arrows of Hateful Disease”, International Society of Dermatology or ISD was founded in the year 1959 by Doctors Frederick Reiss and Aldo Castellani. It was first called as The International Society of Tropical Dermatology whose interest specifically lay on global dermatology as well as tropical skin conditions. However, their interests also covered some basic sciences in relation to dermatology including veneorology and public health as well as in teaching dermatology in the developing countries.
A worldwide membership was first recruited by the society’s organizing committee, made of Doctors J. Lowry Miller, Anthony C. Cipollaro as well as George C. Andrews and such membership was opened to physician who had an interest regarding tropical medicine.
It was on the 25th of January, 1960 at the New York Academy of Medicine that the Society’s first formal meeting took place. During their initial meeting, Dr. Aldo Castellani was selected to be the Society’s first President and Dr. Frederick Reiss their Secretary General. Dr. Castellani presented the Society with its very first paper.
Dermatologica Tropica, the Society’s official publication was quarterly published and the journal’s circulation was then increased to a number of 10 issues per year and got renamed The International Journal of Dermatology, or the IJD. At present, the IJD gets published once each month.
In addition, the Society both organizes as well as promotes having international congresses once every five years wherein the participants hailing from the four corners of the globe could meet as well as engage in freely exchanging scientific as well as clinical knowledge. The Castellani-Reiss Medal and Award was created in order to be given at every World Congress to one outstanding contributor in the field of tropical dermatology after the Society’s First World Congress.
It was in 1974 that the decision to hold regional meetings regularly was made with the aim of extending the Society’s activities to not only tropical areas but non-tropical ones as well. In addition, the Society had participated in a number of meetings throughout the Latin American region, in each and every one of the Pan African Congresses of Dermatology in countries such as Egypt, Ghana, The Ivory Coast, Kenya, Nigeria, Tunisia as well as the Regional Training Center in the country of Tanzania.