• The first dermato-venereological unit in Bulgaria was found in 1893 at the Alexandrovska Hospital in Sofia with physician-in-chief Dr. Stoyanovich and Dr. Bogomil Beron as intern. For the period 1894-1898 the physician-in-chief of the unit was Dr. Christo Stambolski. In 1899 head of the department was Prof. Bogomil Beron (1866-1936).

    (Prof. Dr. Bogomil Beron)


    The Medical Faculty in Sofia was found in 1918 and Prof. Bogomil Beron became the first head of the Department of dermatology and venereology He was a descendent of Dr. Petar Beron, an outstanding Bulgarian enlightener. In 1926-1927 Prof. Bogomil Beron was Dean of the Medical Faculty. In 1936 he organized and funded the construction of the building in which the activities of the department are carried out till nowadays.

    Prof. Ljuben Popov was head of the department from 1937 till 1963. Sectors of dermato-allergology, mycology and a serologic laboratory were found during that time. Prof. Ljuben Popov was a scientist with international celebrity, personal fascination and high professional experience. He managed to raise the prestige of the department to a level equal to that of the best European departments at that time.

    From 1963 till 1965 head of the department of dermatology and venereology was Prof. Krum Balabanov (1905-1971) – a dermatologist and histopathologist with international prestige. He was the founder of the Bulgarian school of histopathology.

    (Prof. Dr. Krum Balabanov)


    Prof. Petar Pophristov (1903-1973) was head of the department in the period 1965-1969. He was the founder of the high mountain climatotherapy in Bulgaria. Prof. Pophristov organized a campaign to liquidate the endemic syphilis in Bulgaria and established laboratory of microbiology and experimental dermatology He was Rector of the Medical University from 1953 till 1957.

    Prof. Iliya Petkov (1916-1975) was head of the department from 1970 till 1975. In 1972 he established an immunofluorescent laboratory, which was one of the first of that kind in Europe. Prof. Ilia Petkov developed thalassotherapy and the modern diagnostics and therapy of the sexually transmitted diseases. Successor of Prof. Iliya Petkov was Prof. Petar Mihaylov who was head of the department during 1975-1985. He was the founder of the modern dermato-allergology in Bulgaria. Prof. Mihaylov strengthened the prestige of the Bulgarian dermatological school especially in high mountain climatotherapy of different skin diseases.

    Following Prof. Petar Mihaylov the post of head of the department of dermatology and venereology was consecutively held by :

    Prof. Nikola Botev Zlatkov (1985-1989)
    Prof. Assen Dourmishev (1989-1995)
    Prof. Nikolay Tsankov (1996-2009)
    Ass. Prof. Sonia Marina (since 2009)
    During the years large number of scientists have been working in the department, each of them with a great merit for the establishment of the international prestige of Bulgarian dermatological school. Among them were Prof. Georgi Georgiev, Prof. Stoine Stoyanov, Prof. Nedelia Balevska, Prof. Petar Botzov, Prof. Belizar Bajdekov, Prof. Vassil Balabanov, Prof. Vladimir Andreev, Prof. Assen Bonev, Prof. Georgi Spirov, Prof. Sladina Georgieva, Prof. Dobrina Naumova, Prof. Vassil Goranov, Prof. Neli Kiriakova, Prof. Elena Obreshkova, Prof. Nevena Berova, Prof. Ljuben Boyanov, Prof. Stoyan Kapnilov, Prof. Mariana Trashlieva and many others.

    In 2005 following habilitated persons are working in the department – Prof. Nikolay Tsankov, Prof. Assen Dourmishev, Prof. Ljubomir Stransky, Prof. Adriana Lalova, Prof. Kiril Pramatarov, Prof. Kremana Nikolova, Prof. Maria Balabanova, and Prof. Snejina Vassileva.

    The main topics of scientific researches of the bulgarian dermatologists are photobiology and thalassotherapy (N. Botev-Zlatkov, A. Dourmishev, N. Kiriakova, I. Dogramadjiev, D. Dogramadjiev, Y. Popov), balneotherapy (G. Spirov, N. Tsankov), high mountain climatotherapy (A. Lalova, N. Tsankov, Z. Demerdjieva), allergology and occupational dermatoses (N. Berova, L. Stransky, J. Vidinova), drug eruptions (N. Tsankov), histopathology (G. Mustakov, E. Obreshkova, J. Dimitrova, M. Balabanova), autoimmune bullous dermatoses and immunology (C. Pramatarov, A. Dourmishev, S. Vassileva, L Dourmishev), oncodermatology (M. Balabanova, I. Botev), phlebology (V. Goranov, K. Nikolova, D. Etugov), pediatric dermatology (L. Miteva, Z. Demerdjieva), infections (S. Marina), mycology (G. Mateev, E. Bardarov), virusоlogy (S. Georgieva), sexually transmitted diseases (D. Niagolova, G. Pehlivanov, E. Petrova, D. Kapnilov, R. Dencheva), acupuncture and alternative medicine (E. Iliev), dermatological cosmetics (A. Nikolova, J. Kazandjieva), dermatosurgery (A. Stoimenov).

    The department of dermatology and venereology could be proud of its international contacts. For the time period between 1990 and 2005 the Bulgarian dermatologists have published more than 250 articles in major dermatological journals all over the world. In this respect Bulgarian dermatology has no rivals not only in Bulgaria, but in Eastern Europe as well.

    A great part of the activity of the department is closely related to the activities of the Bulgarian dermatological society – the first ever-scientific medical society in Bulgaria. It was found on 23 rd October 1923 with the first president Prof. Bogomil Beron (the table shows the list of the presidents of the society through the years).

    Table. Presidents of the Bulgarian dermatological society

    1923-1936, Prof. Bogomil Beron

    1936-1959, Prof. Ljuben Popov

    1959-1969, Prof. Petar Pophristov

    1969-1975, Prof. Iliya Petkov

    1975-1985, Prof. Petar Mihailov

    1985-1990, Prof. Nikola Botev Zlatkov

    Since 1991, Prof. Nikolay Tsankov

    One of the best traditions of the society preserved till now is the so-called Saturday scientific sessions (nowadays they are held on Fridays). During these sessions problematic patients and rare clinical cases are demonstrated, scientific reports are presented, and multidisciplinary meeting are held. Besides dermatologists and outstanding Bulgarian physicians such as Prof. Vassil Mollov, Prof. Stoyan Belinov, Dr. Haralampi Neichev, Dr. Constantin Evstatiev, guests of the society have been one of the most famous Bulgarian intellectuals and artists such as Prof. Assen Zlatarov, Prof. Boyan Penev, Prof. Dimitar Mihalchev. This tradition resumed in 2000 and since then guest-turers have been Prof. Nikolay Haitov, Prof. Boyan Biolchev, Prof. Andrei Pantev, Prof. Petar Beron, Prof. Simeon Shterev – Banana, Prof. Marko Semov, Prof. Stetan Danailov, Georgi Danailov, Dimitar Korudjiev, Alexander Tomov, Mihail Nedelchev, Tatiana Lolova, Philip Trifonov and many others.

    The Bulgarian dermatological society has organized 17 national conferences and 7 national congresses with international participation.

    The Bulgarian dermatological society organizes many other events and international forums. A summit in the development and the international recognition of the Bulgarian dermatological school was the 3rd International Spring Symposium of the European Academy of Dermatology and Venereology, which was held from 19th to 22nd May 2005 in Sofia. There were about 1600 participants from more than 62 countries. It is the first medical forum of such rank held in Bulgaria.

    Since 1992, following the initiative of Prof. Assen Dourmishev, the Bulgarian dermatological society has been organizing annually the “Sofia Dermatological Days”. In the same year the Bulgarian dermatological society established award named on Prof. Bogomil Beron for achievements in the dermatological science. Through the years laureates of this prestigious award were Prof. Dimitar Dogramadjiev (1992 posthumous), Prof. Elena Obreshkova (1993), Prof. Nevena Berova (1994), Prof. Georgi Spirov (1995), Prof. Assen Dourmishev (1996), Prof. Zlatko Penev (1997), Prof. Mariana Trashlieva-Koicheva (1998), Prof. Nikolay Tsankov (1999), Prof. Kiril Pramatarov (2000), Prof. Jordanka Savova (2001), Prof. Nikola Botev Zlatkov and Dr. Emil Petranov (2002), Prof. Adriana Lalova and Prof. Neli Kiriakova posthumous (2003), Prof. Kremena Nikolova (2004). In 1999 another award was established, after the name of Prof. Petar Pophristov. Laureates of this award were Dr. Svetlozar Angelov (Veliko Tarnovo), Dr. Diliana Niagolova (Sofia), Prof. Elena Obreshkova (Sofia), Prof. Vassil Atanasov, Prof. Hristina Russeva and Dr. Philip Nuhov (all from Plovdiv), Dr. T. Cherkezov (Kardjali), Dr. Lilia Grozeva (Russe), Dr. Jordanka Dimitrova and Prof. Georgi Mustakov (Sofia). In 2001 the “P. Pophristov” award was handed to Prof. Peter Elsner (head of the department of dermatology and venereology in Jena, Germany).

    Through the years the Bulgarian dermatology developed mainly under the influence of the German and the French dermatology Almost all of their great representatives were guest-lecturers of the society. In 1923 Prof. Rhiele from Leipzig came to Bulgaria at the invitation of Prof. Bogomil Beron. Later on Bulgaria was visited by Prof. Gottron (Berlin), Prof. Stutgen (Berlin), Prof. Weber and Prof. Steigleder (Cologne), Prof. Kocken (Hamburg), Prof. Haustein (Leipzig), Prof. Bart (Dresden), Prof. Tronnier, Prof. Shubert (Erfurt), Prof. Garbe (Berlin), Prof. Ruzicka (Dusseldorf), Prof. Petzold (Heidelberg), Prof. Eisner (Jena), Prof. Wassilew (Krefeld), Prof. Orfanos (Berlin), Prof. Geilen (Berlin), Prof. Sterry (Berlin).

    Among the French dermatologists should be mentioned Prof. Pautrier (Strasburg) in 1936, Prof. Jeanselme (Paris) in 1939, Prof. Duperrat (Paris) in 1974, Prof. Puissant (Paris) in 1980, Prof. Siboulet (Paris), Prof. Claudy (Lyon) in 1998, Prof. Revuz (Paris) in 2000 and 2005, Prof. J.-F. Nicolas (Lyon), Prof. Humbert (Besanson), Prof. Morel (Paris) in 2002.

    In the last decade close relations were established with dermatologists from the USA. The first American guests of the Bulgarian dermatological society were Prof. Walter Lever, Prof. Larry Prutkin and Prof. Rieves. Later guest- lecturers were Prof. Larry Parish (Philadelphia) in 1990, 2001 and 2005, Prof. Larry Millikan (New Orleans) in 1992, 2001 and 2005, and Prof. Jeffrey Bernhard (Washington) in 2005.

    The Bulgarian dermatological society maintains close relations with the dermatological societies in Europe and in the world. Traditional and friendly are those with the Swiss dermatological society. Prof. Burg (Zurich), Prof. Dummer (Zurich), Prof. Trbeb (Zurich), Prof. Wbtrich (Zurich), Prof. Panizzon (Lozane) all were guests of the Bulgarian dermatological society. In the meantime many Bulgarian dermatologists have specialized in the department of dermatology in Zurich. Guests of the Bulgarian dermatological society were all former presidents of the European Academy of Dermatology and Venereology (EADV) – Prof D. Stratigos (Athens), Prof. Jean-Paul Ortonne (Nice) – present editor of the journal of EADV, Prof. Martin Black (London), Prof. Jean Saurat (Geneva), Prof. Johannes Ring (Berlin) – present president of EADV, Prof. A. Gianetti (Italy), and general secretaries of EADV such as Prof. Andreas Katsambas (Athens), Prof. Sergio Chimenti (Rome), Prof. Torello Lotti (Florence), Dr. Frank Powell (Ireland), Prof. Joseph Pace (Malta) – present general secretary of EADV. There is fruitful collaboration with the Eastern European dermatological societies and their leaders Prof. Attila Horvath (Hungary), Prof. Dan Forsea (Romania), Dr. Anna Gorkiewicz-Petkov (Poland) and many others. It should be mentioned that on the occasion of the 3-rd International Spring Symposium of the European Academy of Dermatology and Venereology held in May 2005 in Sofia all members of the executive board of the Academy and all world outstanding dermatologists were welcomed in Sofia.

    The Bulgarian dermatological society has its own official – “Dermatology and Venereology” journal, which have been issued regularly since 1963.

    In conclusion the department of dermatology and venereology of the Faculty of Medicine – Sofia provides all necessary conditions for preparation and continuous medical education of the Bulgarian dermatologists, maintains close international relations, and manages scientific projects of national and international significance – an aim left by the founders of the Bulgarian dermatological school.