A dermatologist is a medical doctor who specializes in the treatment of conditions that affect the skin, nails and hair. Some of these conditions include, but are not limited to, acne, eczema, psoriasis, skin cancer, moles, melanomas and skin tumors. The American Board of Dermatology certifies dermatologists. Have a look at Dermatologist for more info on this.
In the U.S., dermatologists must undergo rigorous training and graduate from an accredited medical school or osteopathic school in order to be qualified. Dermatologists that graduate from medical schools outside of the United States are required by law to obtain a foreign graduate certificate before they are permitted to practice dermatology. Just like other medical doctors, dermatologists have been trained and have completed at least one year in a residency program for clinical training in emergency medicine, family practice, gynecology and obstetrics, pediatrics, general surgery or internal medicine. Dermatologists are considered medical specialists, as they are fully trained medical doctors who have undergone specialized training in matters pertaining to skin conditions.
A person with a skin condition, such as eczema, psoriasis or skin cancer, is most likely referred to a dermatologist by their regular doctor. Because of their specialized training, a dermatologist is better suited to treat skin conditions or assist in managing them. Often, the treatment that they offer includes dermabrasion or chemical peels, laser resurfacing, tissue augmentation, hair transplants, liposuction or sclerotherapy (to treat vascular malformations). Specially trained in the latest, most effective surgical techniques, a dermatologist is also an expert in managing skin disorders that accompany aging, such as hair loss, skin discolorations and other skin changes. Some even specialize in cosmetic treatments, such as botox injections, collagen injections and eyelid surgery.
Though already deemed a specialist in the care of skin conditions, some dermatologists further specialize in other treatments. For instance, a dermatopathologist specializes in infectious skin diseases or those that are immune system related or degenerative. Such doctors specialize in microscopic examinations useful in identifying these diseases. Often these specialists even work in hospital settings where contagious skin infections sometimes occur.
Other dermatology specialists include pediatric dermatology. These doctors work specifically with childhood skin conditions, such as eczema and other skin allergies common in childhood. These dermatological specialists are generally part of a larger medical team used to treat children who often have very complex medical conditions with multiple symptoms.