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Dermatology 101: What Do Dermatologists Do?

Getting clear skin can be a messy business we check out all sorts of different products and experiment with various techniques in the quest for perfect skin. For those with persistent problems, for who the solution does not come in an over-the-counter form, a visit towards the skin doctor may be the answer. New York-based dermatologist  Dr . Sumayah Jamal , MD, PhD helps clarify what precisely dermatologists do and what a new patient can expect on their very first appointment.  

Dermatologists are usually doctors.

This particular seems like a simple one, but it should be noted that skin doctors are doctors. After acquiring their bachelor’ s degrees, those seeking a career within dermatology attend medical school, becoming a medical doctor (MD) or even a doctor of osteopathic medicine (DO). They subsequently develop a yearlong internship and at least three years in a dermatology residency program.

Right after receiving one’ s license to practice medicine, an individual can be a board-certified dermatologist by completing board exams, which test a doctor’ s knowledge, experience and skills. To maintain board accreditation, a doctor must retake the exams every ten years. This particular ensures they stay up to date on industry trends, situations and treatments.

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Dermatologists don’ t just focus on skin.

In addition to treating skin conditions, dermatologists specialize in the treatment of tresses, nails and mucous membranes (the lining of the mouth area, nose and eyelids).

Dermatologists are usually trained in four areas of expertise.

  1. Medical dermatology is the medical diagnosis, treatment and prevention of diseases that affect the pores and skin, hair and nails.
  2. Dermatopathology is the diagnosis of diseases by removing plus examining a sample.
  3. Surgical dermatology treats these diseases through surgical procedures.
  4. Finally, cosmetic dermatology treats the skin, hair or nails in an attempt to enhance a patient’ s appearance.

Dermatologists are able to diagnose over 3, 1000 diseases including some you’ ve heard of, such as pimples and psoriasis, and some you may not have, like argyria , which causes the skin to be stained the grey-blue shade.

There are many good visit a dermatologist.  

Patients visit skin specialists for a host associated with medical and cosmetic reasons. Acne is the most common skin condition in the U. S., influencing approximately 85 percent of individuals between the ages of 12 and 24 , based on the American Academy associated with Dermatology (AAD).   While you can find dermatologist-approved skin care products that can effectively treat acne and other conditions, serious plus persistent problems may require consultation with a professional. For Doctor Jamal, acne is a leading impetus for visits to her workplace, along with rashes. She also frequently performs cosmetic remedies like Botox, laser hair removal or chemical peels. Other common  concerns include the treatment of age spots and wrinkles.

Certain skin concerns warrant immediate discussion.

Dr . Jamal urges, “ Any new or changing moles should be evaluated by a skin doctor. ” These could be indicators of skin cancer, that is the most common cancer in the U. S. The AAD  finds that almost 10, 000 people in the U. S. are usually diagnosed with skin cancer every day . It is, therefore , a proper practice to regularly give oneself a skin check in your own home . If you have family history of a severe skin condition, it is also advisable to visit a dermatologist— even if you don’ t suspect anything.

Get to your first dermatology appointment prepared to ask questions.  

As with all medical consultation services, you’ ll want to be prepared when you first visit a dermatologist. Doctor Jamal suggests, “ If you have several skin concerns, it might be helpful to write a list so you don’ t forget what you should bring to your doctor’ s attention. ” Also don’ t forget:   Y ou need to pay attention too. It’ s a good idea to consider notes at your appointment to reference once you get home.

You’ ll need to answer queries, too.

In terms of what queries you’ ll be expected to answer, Dr . Jamal states, “ your dermatologist will ask questions based upon the specific problems you have. ” You’ ll want to inform your doctor associated with any over-the-counter products, medications and treatments you’ ve tried in the past, and how you reacted to each one. Your doctor will then perform an examination and make treatment recommendations— which may range from lifestyle changes to a medical procedure.

You may need a referral to see a dermatologist .

When searching for a dermatologist, there are numerous online resources which includes ZocDoc plus Health Grades , which offer rankings and reviews of doctors. You can search the American School of Dermatology   website for local skin specialists. Additionally , many hospitals possess dermatology departments with top rated skin specialists. Another path is the traditional word-of-mouth avenue, to solicit a suggestion from your personal or professional networks.  

It is important to note that while certain insurance companies do cover visits to the dermatologist, you may need a referral from the primary care doctor  (PCP). Check with your insurance carrier prior to booking an appointment with a specialist to see  if a trip to your PCP will be necessary.

You’ ll want to check with your insurance provider before booking a process or treatment.

If in your visit to a dermatologist, they recommend any treatments or even procedures, you’ ll want to see if your insurance company will cover the expenses. You can either  check with your carrier beforehand, if you have a concept of what treatment you might need. Another approach would be to visit your appointment, get their recommendations and then afterward call your own insurance carrier to see if they cover it and what costs will be, then make a follow up appointment if you want to do it. For example , beauty treatments are typically not covered. You’ ll likely need to pay out of pocket for something unrelated to health concerns.

About the author

Kaitlin Willow