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Massimo PAPI 1, Federico BARDAZZI 2
1 ADOI, Gruppo di Studio Ulcere Cutanee e Dermatologia Vascolare, Dermatologia Lega Tumori Italiana (LILT), Roma, Italia; 2 Unità Operativa di Dermatologia, Azienda Ospedaliera Universitaria S.Orsola Malpighi, Bologna, Italia
We can see red, we can be green with envy or turn as white as a sheet, we can have blue blood or a black eye. Idioms give us an idea of how much our skin can express colorful feelings, just like diseases can manifest on the skin through very precise shades of colors that can help reach a diagnosis. Colors are also very important for skin care. Colored galenic preparations made in drugstores and some products for topical application have been used for decades to heal skin diseases (fluorescein, eosin, methyl violet, sulfur, zinc oxide, tars, ammonium bituminosulfonate), and therapeutic colored lights are used more and more often in dermatology, from photodynamic therapy to polarized light used without filters. Colors can also express prejudice and taboos; we communicate through the colors of our clothes and make-up; colors can also shape the collective imagination of a people and influence politics, religion and social life.