Why you should take part in World Skin Health Day

26 January 2018

ILDS President, Harvey Lui, and ISD Past-President, Evangeline Hangdog, tell us why it's important to take part in World Skin Health Day.

How did the World Skin Health Day campaign come into being, what inspired it?
The World Skin Health Day is a collaborative initiative of the International League of Dermatological Societies (ILDS) and the International Society of Dermatology (ISD). The idea for the campaign came from the ILDS Summit in 2015 in Berlin, Germany. The ISD leadership, led by Drs. Jean Bolognia, Evangeline Handog and George Reizner, met with Prof. Wolfram Sterry to propose an activity which would engage ILDS Societies in a global campaign to increase awareness of skin health around the world.

What makes World Skin Health Day different from other campaigns?
World Skin Health Day is an equal opportunities campaign. Each Society can focus on whatever issue is most relevant to their local community. Also, there is no fixed date when World Skin Health Day can take place; this means that an activity can be planned for whenever best suits each Society. This flexible approach means that World Skin Health Day can be a yearlong campaign which reflects the needs of local communities.

Why is it important for societies to take part in World Skin Health Day?
The ILDS and ISD together represent a unique combination of dermatology societies and individual dermatologists. World Skin Health Day allows us to use our global reach to raise awareness of skin health all over the world. The more Societies that take part in the campaign the more people we can help through our activities, be they education or treatment.

What are the best types of World Skin Health Day activities to promote skin health?
The type of World Skin Health Day activity is up to you and the needs of your community. It can take the form of dermatological missions where consultations and treatment are undertaken. Other popular activities are training opportunities for health workers or parents/children of underserved communities. In the past Societies have organised walks to raise awareness of a particular skin disease that affects the local population, other examples include are prevention/treatment of head lice, scabies, sun protection and many more. Visit the www.WorldSkinDay.org website to see what is happening in 2018.

What advice would you give to a society for their World Skin Health Day activity?
Working in partnership with local non-governmental organizations, local government agencies or religious leaders can be a real bonus. This can potentially provide access to different community groups, as well as helping to organise the activity on a date where people have already arranged to gather for an event.

What do you hope the World Skin Health Day campaign will achieve in the future?
We would like more Societies to take part every year and share their experiences of increasing awareness of skin health around the world. Our ultimate goal is for World Skin Health Day to be recognised at an international level. Skin disease can affect anyone so it is important to reach as many people as possible.

Want to join World Skin Health Day 2017? Sign up here.

1. WSHD Harvey Lui & Evangaline Handog
Harvey Lui and Evangeline Handog