Research activities in the field of dermatology and skin biology have markedly improved our understanding of the physiology of skin and pathogenic mechanisms of cutaneous diseases. To evaluate the progress of such activities in a retrospective manner, we extracted more than 250,000 skin-related publications between 1966 and 2002 from the MEDLINE database and categorized them on the basis of the topics and experimental approaches. We observed that the annual number of publications in skin research had increased comparably with publications in lung or kidney research, and we identified several notable changes in research trends. To assess the impact of skin research on the biomedical community as a whole, we extracted from the PubMed database in excess of 3200 skin-related articles published between 1975 and 2003 in 19 highly ranked journals with impact factors greater than 10.0. Interestingly, two major research areas, immunology and cancer, appeared to dominate both clinical and basic science articles published in those top tier journals. From this collection of publications, we generated a list of the top 101 skin-related articles based on the citation numbers. Not only does our survey highlight past accomplishments, it also provides an important clue for predicting the future direction of skin research.