Beauty and Disease Severity
Beauty is often defined as the aesthetic quality of certain objects, which makes these objects enjoyable to see. These objects may include sunsets, landscapes, humans and other works of art. Beauty, along with beauty and art, is the most important theme of aesthetics, among the various branches of modern philosophy. Philosophy has an important role in shaping our values, beliefs and attitudes towards beauty. Aesthetic beauty is however different from beauty in its level of quality; beauty on the one hand, can be appreciated without having to experience the object of aesthetic sense, while on the other hand, beauty as perceived by the senses can only be experienced. Aesthetics therefore largely concerns the interpretation of beauty, with its varying levels of quality and importance, in different contexts.
In the last century, the scientific revolution that gave birth to dermatology gave rise to many questions regarding beauty. The main question, however, was as to what part the skin has to play in the appreciation of beauty. One school of thought argued that the skin is an organ like any other, which when deformed can give an account of the suffering caused by exposure to physical forces such as sunlight, wind, cold, etc, while another school of thought held that the skin is an autonomous organ. In recent years, dermatologists have been more inclined to consider the skin as an autonomous organ in its own right, with its own special sensory system and pain sensors, capable of giving an account of its subjective beauty.
One approach to studying the relationship between beauty and disease severity is the comparative study of sick and healthy people. By comparing the features of healthy and sick people under different situations, it has been found that the latter are physically and psychologically healthier than the former. Comparisons between identical twins revealed a pattern in the degree of facial attractiveness, measured using the correlated beauty scale, which was also similar to that of disease severity. There is no concrete evidence to support this finding, but this approach has encouraged dermatology to concentrate more on the emotional as well as the physiological aspects of beauty, in addition to the physical aspects.