Dermatologist FAQs

  • Introduction

    A dermatologist is a doctor who specializes in treating conditions of the skin, hair, nails, and mucous membranes. Dermatologists can diagnose and treat over 3,000 diseases.

    According to the Center for Disease Control (CDC), there are over 44 million visits to dermatologists annually. The top five most common reasons for visiting a dermatologist are skin lesions, progress visits, acne issues, skin rashes, and discoloration or pigmentation. They also notice signs of other health concerns, such as kidney damage or diabetes.

  • What types of conditions can dermatologists treat?

    Dermatologists treat a wide area of conditions. Some of the more common examples are:
    • Medical conditions including acne, rosacea, plaque psoriasis, and ezcema.
    • Cosmetic concerns like hair loss, wrinkles, and dark spots or pigmentation.
    • Surgical needs such as removing moles, warts, benign cysts, and skin cancer, as well as reducing or removing birthmarks.
  • What to expect at a dermatologist\'s appointment?

    First, it’s important to preface that most patients shouldn’t expect a quick fix when visiting the dermatologist; most conditions a dermatologist treats take time to resolve. It helps to come to your appointment with your questions ready. During your appointment, your dermatologist will examine the area of concern and ask questions about your medical history. You may require some follow-up testing for a diagnosis.

  • Can a dermatologist help with hair loss?

    Yes, a dermatologist deals with many areas of the body, including hair. A dermatologist should be able to establish a diagnosis and what's causing the hair loss, offering a treatment plan, if possible.

  • What questions should I ask my dermatologist? 

    While specific questions depend on what reason brings you to the dermatologist, here are some good general questions to start with:
    • What is the best way to monitor moles?
    • What can I do to monitor and screen for skin cancer?
    • How do I know if a skincare product is worth its price?
    • Is my skincare routine working?
    • Do you recommend [a particular treatment or procedure] I'm considering?
  • Do you need a referral to see a dermatologist?

    In most states, you need a referral from a general physician to see a specialist doctor, such as a dermatologist. If you’re paying out-of-pocket, you can see any doctor without a referral. However, if you have health insurance, your provider may not cover the costs of a dermatologist visit without a referral. It's best to check with your insurance provider for this information.

  • Can a dermatologist prescribe birth control?

    Technically, any physician can prescribe birth control. However, dermatologists are one of the most frequent prescribers. When treating a patient with acne, a dermatologist may prescribe birth control. This is because birth control has been proven to reduce acne in some individuals.

  • Can dermatologists do Botox injections?

    Yes, a dermatologist can do cosmetic treatments such as Botox injections, laser skin treatments, chemical peels, and more. You’ll want to go to a dermatologist that specializes in cosmetic treatments for optimal results. While many physicians can do Botox, the best results come from doctors that are experienced and do it often.

  • Do dermatologists recommend Cetaphil?

    Cetaphil cleansers market themselves as “effectively removing dirt, makeup, and surface oils without drying out or disturbing the skin.” Generally, most dermatologists recommend Cetaphil cleansers. The product has only eight ingredients and is fantastic for people with sensitive skin. Cetaphil cleanser can adequately clean your skin without disturbing the pH balance of your skin.

  • Are dermatologists covered by insurance?

    If you’re visiting a dermatologist for a medical reason, there’s a high likelihood that your health insurance will cover it. However, visits that are cosmetic, such as the removal of a noncancerous mole or Botox injections, typically aren’t covered.

    Your coverage will ultimately depend on the type of plan and provider you have. Contact your insurance provider for more information.
  • Can dermatologists remove scars?

    Dermatologists can use various cosmetic procedures to reduce the appearance of old scars. Some of the most effective options include laser treatments, chemical peels, and anti-scarring creams. These procedures can reduce the size, color, or shape of a scar.

  • Can a dermatologist help with removing facial hair?

    Yes, a dermatologist can help to remove unwanted facial hair. The most common solution is a laser hair removal treatment. Alternatively, some prescription creams can reduce the growth of facial hair in women.

    Facial hair growth in women is a typical symptom of polycystic ovarian syndrome (PCOS). In this case, the hair growth may continue after each treatment unless the woman is put on birth control.

  • What can a dermatologist do for excessive sweating?

    Excessive sweating, also known as hyperhidrosis, can be treated by dermatologists. The type of treatment offered will depend on the severity and location of the problem area. Some of the standard treatment options are:

    • Over-the-counter antiperspirants.
    • Prescription medication.
    • Botox injections, which can block the nerve that triggers sweating. This treatment isn’t permanent and typically requires follow-up appointments every six months.
    • Thermal treatments can apply strong thermal energy to your sweat glands to reduce sweat production.
    • Surgery to remove sweat glands.

  • How much do dermatologists make?

    The national average salary in the United States is $272,820 per year for dermatologists. However, this range can significantly vary, depending on the doctor’s location, hours worked, experience, and place of work. 

  • How to become a dermatologist?

    A dermatologist needs to graduate first with a bachelor’s degree and then graduate from medical school. They’ll then finish a one-year internship and be placed in a dermatology residency program. In total, the resident will need to complete between 12,000 and 16,000 patient care hours. At this point, they can get a license to practice medicine with a specialty in dermatology.

    If the doctor wants to become board-certified, they can take an additional exam with the American Board of Dermatology, the American Osteopathic Board of Dermatology, or the Royal College of Physicians and Surgeons of Canada.
  • How many years of school are required to become a dermatologist?

    Dermatologists require a minimum of 11 years of schooling and at least a one-year internship. Broken down, the individual has to go through:

    • A four-year bachelor’s program
    • Four years of medical school
    • A one-year internship
    • A minimum of three years in a dermatology residency program

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