What is a Cosmetic Dermatologist?

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There are a number of reasons you might visit a dermatologist clinic over the course of your life, whether you’re seeking acne treatment products or are concerned that you might need treatment for skin cancer. Whatever the reason, working with a great dermatologist specialist can have a significant, beneficial impact on your health, your skin and your self-esteem. However, if you are searching for a local dermatologist, you will likely realize that these doctors tend to specialize in different areas. You aren’t wrong: while all dermatologists often go through the same basic training, they will eventually choose to specialize in either medical or cosmetic dermatology. But what is a cosmetic dermatologist, and do they provide the services you need? Read on to find out.

What is a Cosmetic Dermatologist?
To practice dermatology, all doctors receive training in subjects like medical dermatology, dermatopathology, surgical dermatology and cosmetic dermatology. While the first three topics typically focus on treating and diagnosing diseases, the latter usually involves treating the skin, hair and nails to improve the patient’s appearance. The cause for these treatments can, of course, be connected to a disease, but cosmetic dermatologists are tasked with treating the results, rather than the condition itself. This can be extremely helpful for many patients, as the symptoms of even common skin conditions can be extremely damaging to a person’s self-confidence, social and professional success, and more.

To become a cosmetic dermatologist, all doctors are required to obtain a Bachelor’s degree, attend medical school to become a medical doctor (MD) or doctor of osteopathic medicine (DO), complete a year-long internship, and finish a three-year residency program in dermatology. Once this training is completed, some doctors will also choose to further their education by participating in a fellowship, or a year-long process that provides additional surgical training. This fellowship can focus on a number of topics, from reconstructive surgery to hair transplants. Upon completion, they will be able to provide a variety of cosmetic services to patients.

What Procedures Do Cosmetic Dermatologists Perform?
The procedures a cosmetic dermatologist offers will depend on the individual and their practice. However, some examples include surgeries to diminish acne scars, anti-aging treatments like Botox, and laser treatments for acne, varicose veins, signs of aging, and other common problems. Unfortunately, these procedures often do not require a medical doctor to perform them, and many practices that offer them may not employ someone who is a trained cosmetic dermatologist. This can greatly reduce the quality and safety of the treatment. For this reason, if you are interested in a cosmetic procedure, make sure you go to a board-certified, well-regarded cosmetic dermatologist near you.

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