What is Dermatology & What Dermatologists Do?

Aesthetics Daily – The skin is the largest organ in the body that functions to protect internal organs from bacteria and injury. Skin health can be a visible indicator of overall body health. This makes the field of dermatology important in the diagnosis and management of many health conditions.

Dermatology Overview

Dermatology involves the study, research, diagnosis and management of any health condition that can affect the skin, hair and nails. The root word for dermatology itself is ‘derm’ or ‘dermis’ which comes from the Greek word meaning ‘skin’.

A doctor who specializes in this field of health care is called a dermatologist. General practitioners and internal medicine doctors may be able to diagnose and treat certain skin conditions. However, a dermatologist has better understanding, experience, and expertise than a general practitioner when it comes to skin, hair or nail care.

Some chronic skin problems that require a dermatologist’s attention include acne, psoriasis, rosacea, and eczema. In addition, dermatologists are also able to treat a number of acute skin problems including hair loss, ingrown hair, dermatitis, warts, itching, skin cancer, and others.

What is a Dermatologist?

According to the American Academy of Dermatology Association (ADDA), a dermatologist is a doctor who specializes in skin, hair and nail concerns. A dermatologist can identify and treat more than 3,000 conditions. These conditions include eczema, psoriasis, and skin cancer, among others.

Dermatologists undergo extensive training, attending school for 12 years or more to diagnose and treat thousands of diseases of the skin, hair and nails as well as cosmetic problems. Apart from medical and cosmetic issues, a dermatologist can also help identify signs and symptoms of serious underlying health problems.

For example, conditions like diabetes can cause symptoms that affect the appearance of your skin. In this case, the dermatologist can be the health care provider who recognizes these signs.

Most dermatology focuses on skin problems and treatments. This is because the skin, which is the largest organ in the body, is more susceptible to various conditions and diseases. People of all ages from newborns to the elderly are all prone to skin problems. There are many skin problems that dermatologists face, ranging from the most common to the rarest, from mild to chronic.

Dermatology Specialties

Dermatologists can obtain board certification upon successful completion of residency training in dermatology. They complete challenging exams concerning the knowledge and skills acquired during their training years.

Some certified dermatologists decide to continue with medical training. There are several specialties in dermatology including dermapathology, mohs surgery, and pediatric dermatology.

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Doctors who specialize in dermatology and pathology are called dermapathologists. They perform several procedures such as a biopsy, removing a piece of skin for further diagnosis. They examine the biopsy skin under a microscope and provide a written report called a biopsy or pathology report.

The report will tell you what disease was found and include information such as stage or severity. This is done to determine the best treatment and treatment.

Mohs Surgeon

Dermatologists who perform special procedures to treat skin cancer called mohs surgeon. Mohs surgery involves removing a thin piece of skin and examining it under a microscope. The purpose of this test is to make sure that all cancer cells have been removed.

Pediatric Dermatologist

A pediatic dermatologist specializes in treating children and babies. They can treat children with conditions that affect the skin, hair, and nails.

Therapies in Dermatology

Dermatologists perform several procedures to treat various skin problems. Some of these procedures involve the use of medical grade devices. These types of therapy include:

  • Systemic medication,
  • Topical medication,
  • Surgery,
  • Photodynamic therapy,
  • Laser therapy,
  • Chemical peels,
  • Immunotherapy,
  • Radiotherapy,
  • Cosmetic injection,
  • Cryotherapy,
  • Biopsies,
  • Mohs surgery,
  • Dermabrasion.

Each of these therapies has a specific role in the management of specific dermatological skin conditions.

When to See a Dermatologist?

If you have severe acne and also a rash, redness or scaly patches on the skin that doesn’t go away then consult a dermatologist. You also need to see a dermatologist if you have acute and chronic skin problems that require extra care.

Some skin problems can be treated with home remedies, but others require medical treatment by a dermatologist. Before you get the most appropriate treatment or medication, a dermatologist will first examine and diagnose your skin condition.

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