Perhaps you have a blemish that you want to rid yourself of on your hands or maybe you are suffering from a severe skin disorder. It would probably be in your best interest to make an appointment with a dermatologist. However, much like other professions, dermatologists specialize in different distinct areas. Throughout the course of this brief article, you will learn which type of dermatologist will best suit your condition.
A surgical dermatologist focuses exclusively on issues that do require – or will eventually require – invasive surgery. This is not to say that a surgical dermatologist does not use medications or other therapeutic methods of treating your skin disorder, but rather, these methods are done in service of preparing one for surgery. Sometimes a surgical dermatologist acts in tandem with an aesthetic dermatologist and will provide cosmetic surgical procedures to his or her clients, such as hairline restructuring or a facelift.
An aesthetic, or cosmetic, dermatologist exclusively focuses on those issues that are based purely on appearance. This means that any skin issue that might pose a health issue should be taken elsewhere, most notably a medical dermatologist. Skin issues that are considered cosmetic flaws, such as scars, can be addressed by an aesthetic dermatologist. Issues that are more physiological in nature and not necessarily caused by outside forces, like scarring is, can be treated an aesthetic dermatologist. For example, hyperpigmentation, a condition that exists in which the hue of the skin is severely darkened, can be treated by an aesthetic dermatologist through the application of topical creams and laser technology that allows for the skin to become a much lighter tone.
A medical dermatologist is one that works with skin conditions that can pose a serious risk to one's health. For example, lupus and skin cancer are two of the issues that a medical dermatologist will treat. Other issues that are far less life threatening, but still can pose health issues like rosacea and rashes can also be treated by a medical dermatologist. Skin problems that can pose serious issues to one's health can often be covered by health insurance, which is an option you most likely will not have while visiting an aesthetic dermatologist or when a surgical dermatologist is performing a procedure that is merely cosmetic and not functional.
The field of dermatology is vast and far reaching. Depending on the issue which you wish to address, you may need to see a specific dermatologist (such as one from Appearance Dermatology).