Wax moulages are three-dimensional, naturalistic recreations of pathological changes ̶ including any skin alterations that may occur ̶ in various parts of the body. These models have been made and used in clinics and private institutes since the 19th century for the purpose of studying and documenting diseases. Over time, the wax moulages themselves have acquired a value in the history of medicine. The collection in Zurich is considered to contain the best-preserved and most life-like wax moulages in the world. The Museum contains a study collection of skin diseases for teaching at the University and has a display of symptoms on exhibit to inform the general public about various illnesses such as occupational diseases, skin cancer and sexually transmitted diseases. Wax moulages from the surgical clinic as well as historical histological drawings complete the exhibition of the many visible ills that can befall humans.
The Museum shows approximately 600 of the 1800 wax models in the Zurich collection.