What Does a Dermatologist Do?

A dermatologist holds the very important position of diagnosing diseases of the skin and helping patients to maintain healthy skin throughout their lifetime. A dermatologist holds the very important role of educating patients on proper sun protection and preventing cancer in patients. It is recommended that every patient has an annual skin check each year where the dermatologist will examine every area of the epidermis and look for any changes in any moles on the body. Changes in a mole in any way, such as the shape or color of it, can be a sign of melanoma.

Dermatologists offer an array of procedures in their offices. With the cosmetic medical industry growing, a dermatologist’s offerings have expanded tenfold in the last decade. Aside from removing moles and other growths and doing routine checks for signs of melanoma, a dermatologist now performs an array of cosmetic procedures including injectable fillers, Botox cosmetic, and a wide range of laser procedures including laser hair removal, V Beam laser, IPL, Fraxel, and many other new types of laser procedures that promise to tighten and rejuvenate.

Dermatologists may also treat nail fungus and other diseases of the nails. Dermatologists treat patients of all ages, from newborns with eczema to senior patients with fungal problems and melanoma. Dermatologists can help patients to feel better about themselves, through diminishing the look of wrinkles and sun damage to treating severe disorders such as plaque psoriasis.

Dermatologists must undergo lengthy training in order to attain their medical license. After earning a bachelor’s degree, they go on to medical school where they will become either a medical doctor or a doctor of osteopathic medicine. After this, they will complete a one year internship in dermatology. Following this, they will complete a three year medical residency which will prepare them to practice in the exciting field of dermatology.

Dermatologist are also responsible for performing biopsies, in which a small piece of tissue may be removed in order to see if cancer exists. The dermatologist numbs the patient first and then sends the specimen off to a lab to be examined. A dermatologist can diagnose melanoma and help to save a patient’s life if it is caught early enough. Dermatologists are key in educating patients on proper sun protection. Additionally, they recommend treatments and products to treat areas of concern, whether they are merely aesthetic concerns or more serious health issues.