How to Choose a Dermatologist

Dermatological Care

Any dermatologist you choose will know how to treat conditions of the skin, hair, and nails. This includes skin cancer, eczema, rosacea, psoriasis, and many other conditions. Some will offer a wider range of treatment options than others and some may be considered specialists in a particular condition. The more options a dermatologist is able to provide the better, as this will give you access to the right treatment for your particular situation. Dermatology services are usually covered by insurance but the amount of coverage will vary depending on the treatment and your particular insurance plan. Make sure that the dermatologist you choose accepts your insurance before coming in for an appointment. If you are planning on paying out-of-pocket let the dermatologist know, as she/he may be able to choose treatments that will keep your costs down.

Experience and Training Matter: Look for Board Certification

Physicians of all specialties have their own board certifications. A board certification is proof that your doctor has met rigorous training requirements and passed an exam verifying that they are skilled practitioners in a particular field. In order to be board certified in dermatology, a doctor must have additional specialized training after medical school through a dermatology residency. Dermatologists are certified by the American Board of Dermatology and sometimes will designate this after their name as “F.A.A.D.” which stands for “Fellow of the American Academy of Dermatology.”

Who Can Perform Cosmetic Procedures?

Cosmetic procedures are now available to treat a variety of conditions including wrinkles, skin imperfections, stubborn fat, and many more concerns. Since any physician is legally allowed to perform these treatments, you may notice that your dentist is doing Botox or your ophthalmologist offers fillers. That does not mean they are the most qualified to perform them. Since most of these treatments are “cosmetic” and therefore refer to the visible parts of your body, they usually are applied or used on the skin. The best-qualified physician for dealing with the skin is by definition a dermatologist.

A dermatologist has extensive knowledge of how your skin functions and therefore is better able to:

  • Determine the best cosmetic treatment for each individual
  • Detect problems that may arise during a treatment and correct them quickly
  • Use the devices and injectables to get the maximum benefit for you

Additionally you will want to choose a doctor who has performed the treatments you are looking to get many times and who performs them on a regular basis. One good question to ask is whether the dermatologist rents or owns the laser devices they use. If they rent, they likely do not perform the treatment as often as a doctor who owns the device.