What Is a Dermatologist? Common Questions About Dermatology

Dermatologist examining her patient's skin (models)

Whether you’re scheduling a dermatology appointment for the first time or gathering additional information, knowing more about how dermatologists protect the health and appearance of your skin, hair, and nails is helpful. Most of us, at some point, experience skin conditions that require the expertise of a board-certified dermatologist.

In this post, we’ll answer the most frequently asked questions regarding the dermatology services offered at DermSurgery Associates (DSA) and describe the differences between the different types of dermatology.

What Is a Dermatologist?

A dermatologist is a medical doctor specializing in treating conditions involving skin, hair, and nails. Board-certified dermatologists, such as the physicians practicing at DermSurgery Associates, have advanced knowledge, training, and skills acquired during a 3-year residency focused on dermatology and 10,000 hours of additional training. Some board-certified dermatologists specialize in specific areas, such as pediatric, surgical, or cosmetic dermatology.

Do You Need a Referral to See a Dermatologist?

If you’re concerned about a medical condition involving your skin, hair, or nails, making an appointment with your primary care physician is typically the first step. Sometimes, you may want to schedule an appointment with a dermatologist without a referral, but you should check with your insurance provider first. Cosmetic dermatology services, which are elective and not medically necessary, do not require a referral.

How Much Does It Cost To See a Dermatologist?

The cost of seeing a dermatologist can vary depending on several factors, including your location, the dermatologist’s experience, the complexity of the condition, and whether you have insurance coverage. The cost of elective procedures, such as laser skin treatments or cosmetic injectables, depends on the specific treatment you’re considering.

Can a Dermatologist Help With Hair Loss?

Dermatologists have the expertise to diagnose what’s causing your hair loss and perform hair restoration surgery using advanced grafting technology. Dermatologists can evaluate the underlying causes of hair loss, such as pattern baldness (androgenetic alopecia), alopecia areata, scalp infections, hormonal imbalances, and nutritional deficiencies. We provide personalized treatment options, including medication, topical treatments, or injections.

Can a Dermatologist Remove a Cyst?

Yes. To ensure the cyst doesn’t rupture, you should have it removed by a dermatologist. This straightforward outpatient surgery permanently resolves the issue. When removing the cyst, a dermatologist carefully identifies and numbs the area surrounding the lump. The physician injects a local anesthetic to ensure you remain comfortable during the procedure. The dermatologist then removes the pocket of skin cells and sutures the skin inside and outside. The result is a small, smooth scar.

How Do Dermatologists Remove Moles or Skin Tags?

Depending on their size, location, and characteristics, dermatologists have several methods for removing moles or skin tags. Your dermatologist may recommend performing a biopsy on suspicious-looking moles to rule out the possibility of cancer. They remove benign moles by excising them (removing them surgically) or with a shave excision technique that doesn’t require stitches. Cryotherapy—freezing the mole or skin tag—is another option.

Do Dermatologists Do BOTOX® Injections?

Many of our dermatologists, along with physician assistants and aestheticians, perform BOTOX injections. They may combine BOTOX with dermal filler injections as part of a “liquid facelift.” BOTOX minimizes fine lines and wrinkles caused by the repeated movement of facial muscles when we change expressions. Fillers restore volume lost as we age.

Can Dermatologists Help With Acne?

Acne is among the most common skin conditions treated by medical dermatologists. They have the expertise to diagnose and treat various types of acne with therapeutic plans tailored for each patient. Depending on the type of acne and its severity, a dermatologist may recommend over-the-counter or prescription topical medications, oral medications, hormonal therapies, chemical peels, laser or light therapies, or other procedures. They can also advise on skincare routines and offer guidance to manage acne-related concerns. Dermatologists also treat acne scarring.

Get all of your questions about dermatology answered by requesting a consultation using the online form or by calling us at (713) 791-9966 to schedule an appointment.

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