What a dermatologist can do for you?
What is a dermatologist?
A dermatologist is a doctor who specializes in the diagnosis and treatment of health conditions of the hair, nails, and skin. They can diagnose and treat more than 3,000 diseases of the skin, hair, and nails, as well as cosmetic concerns.
They are experts in skincare and have extensive knowledge and training in the management of cosmetic disorders of the skin (such as acne, warts, hair loss, birthmarks, and scars). They often deal with conditions that are more than just skin deep and may be associated with many diseases of the blood, organs, and organ systems.
Dermatologists may often perform specialized procedures for the diagnosis of conditions related to the skin. They may provide treatments such as:
- Topical (externally applied), injected, and oral medicines
- Ultraviolet (UV) light therapy
- Several surgical procedures on the skin
- Cosmetic procedures, such as chemical peels, micro-dermabrasion (a procedure to exfoliate the skin,) and sclerotherapy (a procedure commonly done to treat certain conditions of the blood vessels)
Dermatologists may have training and experience in areas such as:
- Electrosurgery (surgical use of high-frequency electric current for cutting or destroying tissue)
- Cryosurgery (it involves freezing tissue to treat conditions)
- Laser surgery
- Excision surgery (involving removal by cutting) with appropriate closures (including skin grafts)
What exactly does a dermatologist do?
Dermatologists perform many medical procedures and non-invasive therapies to treat a variety of conditions. Your doctor can complete many of them in the office. Some of these include:
- Expert diagnosis of skin conditions that may confound other providers.
- Biopsies remove small sections of skin for further testing.
- Chemical peels remove the top layer of skin to reveal regenerated skin beneath. These treat sun-damaged skin, acne, or for cosmetic reasons.
- Cosmetic injections, such as Botox or collagen fillers, are used to improve the appearance of wrinkles and increase facial fullness.
- Cryotherapy uses liquid nitrogen to remove skin lesions, such as warts.
- Dermabrasion removes the top layer of skin to reduce scar tissue, tattoos, precancerous lesions and can lessen the appearance of wrinkles.
- Hair restoration is performed through methods like medication or hair transplants.
- Laser surgery treats skin and cosmetic issues, such as scars, tumors, moles, birthmarks, and warts, tattoo removal, and excess hair.
- Lesion excision is a surgical procedure to remove a skin lesion to prevent cancer from spreading, to reduce the chance of an infection spreading, to alleviate symptoms if there is pain or bleeding, for cosmetic reasons, or biopsy.
- Liposuction removes fatty tissue for cosmetic purposes.
- Moh’s surgery removes cancerous cells.
- Sclerotherapy treats varicose and spider veins.
- Skin grafts repair damaged or missing skin.
- UV phototherapy treats psoriasis, dermatitis, and vitiligo.
When should I see a dermatologist?
One common reason people go to a dermatologist is to treat acne. A simple pimple or two usually responds to over-the-counter treatments and products or can be treated by a primary care provider, but more persistent lesions can cause permanent scarring when left untreated. A dermatologist provides tailored guidance, advice on daily skin care, and when necessary, a prescription treatment option for long-term results.
Beyond acne, there are a number of reasons you may make an appointment with a dermatologist or receive a referral to a dermatologist from your primary care provider. These include situations when you:
- Are experiencing general skin problems, such as redness, itchiness, or pigment changes.
- Notice a mole has changed in size, shape, or color.
- Have a rash that is itchy, swollen, or bothersome.
- Have dry, itchy, or irritated skin that isn’t improving with over-the-counter treatments.
- Want to discuss ways to improve signs of aging, such as smooth wrinkles or tighten skin.
- Have varicose veins or spider veins.
- Are experiencing severe allergic reaction, such poison ivy, oak, or sumac.
- Have chronic or severe acne.
- Notice thinning hair or bald spots.
- Have a sore or cut that isn’t healing or looks infected.
Are there different types of dermatologists?
Some dermatologists may continue their medical training after becoming board-certified dermatologists. Specialties within dermatology include:
- Dermatopathology: They specialize in both dermatology and pathology. They examine a piece of skin or tissue (biopsy samples) with a microscope to diagnose medical conditions.
- Mohs surgery: Mohs surgeons perform a specialized procedure called Mohs surgery to treat skin cancer.
- Pediatric dermatology: Pediatric dermatologists specialize in treating skin, hair, and nail conditions in children, including infants.
Things Your Dermatologist Can Do to Make You Look Younger, Faster
They Can Turn Small Lines Into No Lines
A new hyaluronic acid filler, recently approved by the FDA, can diminish the tiniest and most superficial of lines. And that’s big news. Belotero Balance spreads out evenly instead of clumping up like other fillers, so you don’t have to inject it deep into the tissue.The small particles and malleable texture make it possible to smooth shallow lines instantly while maintaining a bump-free surface. It’s perfect for filling in fine lines around the lips and even crow’s-feet. And because the needle only penetrates the skin’s top layers, there’s far less bruising involved.
They Can Give You a Ten-Minute Nose Job
One common sign of aging is as plain as the nose on your face. Actually, it is the nose on your face. The nose flattens and widens as we age. “One of the quickest and easiest ways to look younger is to reshape it with a filler. A hyaluronic acid filler (Perlane, Juvéderm, Restylane) injected right into the dorsum (the bony line straight down the center) slims the nose and even corrects bumps and imperfections. Doctors can also add a tiny dose of Botox under the tip for a more youthful profile. Your nose becomes more hooked as you age, which drags down the entire face. Botox lifts it up and takes off years in about ten minutes.
They Can Get Rid of a Bruise
When your face makes contact with an open kitchen-cabinet door, there are two things that will help ease the imminent black-and-blue (and purple and yellow) mark. The first is cursing like a sailor. The second is dialing your dermatologist. It takes about 48 hours for a bruise to develop fully. At that point, a patient can come in, and we’ll treat it with a simple V-Beam vascular laser. The procedure takes only 20 seconds, and the bruise will fade by the end of the day. Who the hell knew?