Best Dermatologist Doctors
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The skin is an incredible organ. It is your first line of defense against disease, protects your other organs, warms you up and cools you down, and sends messages about how healthy you are inside. Dermatologists are expert medical doctors and skin surgeons with the unique skills and experience to offer the best care for the organ that cares for you.
What is a dermatologist ?
Your skin is your largest, heaviest organ, and it has many important functions. It protects you from heat, cold, germs and dangerous substances. It’s also a great indicator of your overall health — changes in the color or feel of your skin can be a sign of a medical problem. It’s important to take proper care of your skin and be aware of its overall health. Your skin is your body’s largest organ. It’s also your first line of defense against bacteria, viruses, moisture, heat, and more. It helps to regulate your body temperature and plays an important role in your immune health. It also provides clues about your internal health.
It makes sense that such a large and important organ should have a doctor that specializes in its care. A dermatologist does just that. Also known as a skin doctor, a dermatologist is a medical doctor that specializes in conditions that affect your skin, hair, and nails. They provide treatment for more than 3,000 conditions that affect these parts of your body, including such ones as psoriasis and skin cancer. If you’re experiencing issues with your skin, a dermatologist can provide the care you need to improve its health.
A dermatologist is a doctor who has expertise in the care of :
They’re experts in diagnosing and treating skin, hair and nail diseases, and they can manage cosmetic disorders, including hair loss and scars.
What are common conditions that dermatologists treat ?
Being a dermatologist requires a great depth of clinical knowledge, including, for example, the various internal health problems that can cause skin symptoms.
Dermatologists can treat more than 3,000 conditions. Below are some examples of those that they see most commonly :
What types of procedures do they do ?Dermatologists can perform a wide variety of procedures, from minor ones like skin tag removal to more involved ones, like skin cancer surgery.
- Acne : Among the most prevalent skin issues, acne has a range of causes that can lead to different types of pimples. Some people experience scarring, low self-esteem, and other complications.
- Dermatitis and eczema : Dermatitis is inflammation of the skin, and it typically leads to swelling with an itchy rash. There are various forms, including atopic dermatitis, which is the most common type of eczema.
- Fungal infections : These are common and sometimes involve the skin, nails, and hair. A group of yeasts called Candida can cause a wide range of fungal infections, including oral thrush, ringworm, athlete’s foot, and balanitis.
- Hair loss : About 80 million people in the U.S. have hereditary hair loss. A range of health issues can also cause hair loss, including head lice, which affects around 6–12 million childrenTrusted Source aged 3–11 years in the U.S. annually.
- Warts : These are contagious, benign skin growths that appear when a virus has infected the top layer of skin. A dermatologist can use a variety of treatments to remove persistent warts.
- Nail problems : Dermatologists also treat health issues that damage the skin around and under the nails. Ingrown nails, fungal infections, and various other conditions can cause this damage.
- Vitiligo : This involves the skin losing melanin, a pigment. As a result, some patches of skin are lighter in color than others.
- Psoriasis : This chronic autoimmune disorder speeds up the growth of skin cells, resulting in patches of skin that may be thick, red, purple, or silvery and scaly. There are several types of psoriasis.
- Rosacea : This causes redness in the face, sometimes with pus-filled bumps, visible blood vessels, and swelling of the eyelids. Symptoms can spread from the nose and cheeks to the forehead, chin, ears, chest, and back.
- Shingles, or herpes zoster : This viral infection causes a rash that may be painful. It may clear in a few weeks without treatment, but medical intervention can help speed recovery and prevent complications, which can be severe.
- Skin cancer : About 1 in 5 people in the U.S. develop a type of skin cancer by age 70. The most common forms are basal cell carcinoma, melanoma, and squamous cell carcinoma.
Some procedures that dermatologists regularly do include :
- Biopsies . A dermatologist can perform different types of biopsy procedures to diagnose or rule out skin cancer or other conditions.
- Laser therapy . Laser therapy treatments may be used to remove warts, moles, sun spots, tattoos, acne scars, blemishes, wrinkles, or unwanted hair.
- Surgical excision . A dermatologist may perform a surgical excision to remove growths like moles, skin tags, and lesions. This is usually done with local anesthesia so you don’t feel pain.
- Cryotherapy . Cryotherapy is a unique treatment that involves controlled exposure to extremely cold temperatures. It can be used to treat skin conditions like warts, skin tags, and some tumors.
- Sclerotherapy . Sclerotherapy is a procedure that helps treat spider and varicose veins. It involves injecting chemicals into damaged veins which help to diminish the appearance of these types of veins.
- Mohs surgery . This type of skin cancer surgery removes thin layers of tissue around a tumor. Between each removal, the doctor examines the skin for signs of additional cancer cells. When no more cancer cells are found, they stop removing tissue.
- Chemical peels . Chemical peels remove damaged skin. Peels can help rejuvenate new skin and reduce signs of aging.
- Cosmetic injections . A dermatologist can help diminish the appearance of wrinkles and sagging skin by injecting Botox or fillers during an office visit.
- Dermabrasion . This exfoliating technique can reduce the appearance of fine lines, age spots, acne scars, and precancerous skin patches.
- Tumescent liposuction . Dermatologists use liposuction to remove unwanted fat from targeted areas of your body.
When should I make an appointment with a dermatologist ?A patch of skin or a mole has changed in size, color or shape.
Some of the more common symptoms for which you may want to see a dermatologist include :
Dark spots on your face (hyperpigmentation).
- Skin cancer.
- Severe or persistent acne.
- Long-lasting skin irritation.
- Hair loss.
- Nail disorders.
- Signs of aging.
Varicose and spider veins.
How should I prepare for my first dermatologist appointment ?
To get the most out of your first dermatologist appointment, it’s helpful to prepare. You can :
What is the difference between dermatologists and estheticians ?Estheticians aren’t medical doctors. They can’t diagnose skin disorders or prescribe medications. They can only help with treatments that affect the appearance of your skin. Some esthetician procedures include:
- Bring a list of the most important issues you want to discuss with your dermatologist.
- Note any changes in your overall health.
- Keep a symptom diary (and bring it with you) and record your events, including the day and time they occurred, how long the event lasted, severity, triggers, symptoms and any action you took to end the event. Bring clear photos, if possible.
- Learn about your family medical history. This information can help your dermatologist make an accurate diagnosis.
- Wear loose clothing so your dermatologist can easily perform an examination.
- Avoid wearing makeup or nail polish. Wearing makeup or nail polish may make it difficult for your dermatologist to examine your skin or nails properly.
- Consider using a washable pen to circle spots on your body. Physical reminders help you remember what to mention to your dermatologist.
- Bring copies of test results, including images and lab work ordered by other healthcare providers outside your dermatologist’s healthcare network.
- Bring a list of all current products you take or use. Include prescription medications, over-the-counter (OTC) medications, vitamins, supplements, herbal products, soaps, makeup and sunscreens. Also, let your dermatologist know about any previous medications that didn’t work or caused side effects.
- Bring a list of your known allergies.
- Bring a friend or relative with you to take notes and be another set of ears and eyes to the appointment. This person can help review your dermatologist’s discussion, ask questions and remind you about scheduling tests and follow-up appointments.
- Ask if you should schedule another appointment to discuss any additional concerns.
- Scrubbing (exfoliating) skin.
- Teaching how to use makeup to conceal scarring.
- Applying acne treatments.
- Suggesting skin care products.
- Airbrush tanning.