The International Society of Dermatology was founded by Drs. Aldo Castellani and Frederick Reiss in 1959. The organization was initially the "International Society of Tropical Dermatology". The Society had a particular interest in global dermatology and tropical skin diseases but also had a broad interest in all aspects of dermatology as basic sciences, venereology and public health and in teaching dermatology in developing countries. The organizing committee of Drs. George C. Andrews, Anthony C. Cipollaro and J. Lowry Miller recruited an initial worldwide membership of 1000. Membership was open to all physicians with an interest in tropical medicine.
The first formal meeting was held on January 25, 1960 at the New York Academy of Medicine. Dr. Aldo Castellani was chosen as the first President and Dr. Frederick Reiss the first Secretary General. The first paper was presented by Dr. Castellani.
The official publication of the Society was published as the quarterly journal Dermatologia Tropica. This journal was later increased to 10 issues yearly and was renamed The International Journal of Dermatology (IJD). Currently the IJD is published every month.