It turns out beauty really is skin deep. A hair follicle or skin specimen that doesn’t look like much of anything to the naked eye can become a complex, colorful work of art under a microscope.
Mayo Clinic dermatologists struck by the beauty they see in the cellular have started a competition to celebrate art in medicine. The inaugural winners appear in the May issue of the Journal of Cutaneous Pathology. See our poll below to view art in the current contest and vote on your favorite entry.
“Every single day, dermatopathologists get to see beautiful images under the microscope, and most people never have the opportunity to see that. So I thought it would be a nice way to show not only the science of dermatopathology, but also the art,” says the contest’s creator, Julia Lehman, M.D., a Mayo Clinic dermatopathologist.
Dermatopathologists and immunodermatologists examine skin specimens to help diagnose skin conditions. For “Hair Follicle Triplet,” the winner of the Mayo dermatologists’ first art contest in 2011, Alexander Meves, M.D., used fluorescent dyes to highlight proteins and took a picture of the result.
See the other winners and runners-up here.
Journalists can download the images on the Mayo Clinic News Network.
Dr. Lehman hopes medical societies will run with the idea and hold similar competitions to highlight aesthetics in their specialties. People in other lines of work can also celebrate the beauty of what they do each day, she says.
“Art can be seen in every aspect of life,” Dr. Lehman says. “You just have to have an open mind and be looking for it.”
Vote on the 2012 entries in our poll: