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What Does a Medical Dermatologist Do?

What Does a Medical Dermatologist Do?
Sometimes you need a little more than a primary care physician to help with medical problems. Sometimes you need a specialist. When it comes to problems with your skin, hair, and nails, the specialist you want is a medical dermatologist.

Sometimes you need a little more than a primary care physician to help with medical problems. Sometimes you need a specialist. When it comes to problems with your skin, hair, and nails, the specialist you want is a medical dermatologist.

What Is a Medical Dermatologist?

A medical dermatologist is a medical expert who specializes in treating the skin, hair, nails, and oral cavity. A dermatologist needs to have completed 12 years of post-secondary education and training, including four years in a bachelor’s degree program, four years of medical school, and four years in a residency. Their skill and experience is just what you need to solve even complex skin, nail, and hair conditions.

What Is the Difference Between Medical and Cosmetic Dermatology?

A medical dermatologist will focus on addressing medical conditions that affect the health and appearance of a patient’s skin, hair, and nails. This might include treating acne, dermatitis, psoriasis, or even skin cancer, as well as a host of other potential conditions.

On the other hand, cosmetic dermatologists treat patients for aesthetic reasons, such as correcting imperfect skin tone and texture, smoothing wrinkles, and tightening up sagging skin. Medical dermatologists may also offer aesthetic services as part of their practice.

What to Expect From a Dermatology Appointment?

Some people visit a dermatologist because they have a specific concern, while others go in for a preventive visit. Either way, the dermatologist will want to do a skin check at your visit. They will examine all of your skin from your scalp all the way to the soles of your feet to get a full picture of your dermatological health. Depending on what they find, they can then recommend the right treatment for you, ranging from medical facials to chemical peels.

What Types of Treatment Does a Medical Dermatologist Offer?

The types of treatment a medical dermatologist can offer fall into three main categories: medical, surgery, and cosmetic.


A dermatologist diagnoses and treats medical conditions that affect your skin. They can also identify symptoms that could be signs of other health conditions, such as early signs of skin cancer. When necessary, they may refer you on to another specialist.


Many dermatologists can perform minor surgery, like removing moles or doing skin biopsies. Some dermatologists will specialize in more invasive surgery, such as removing benign cysts or skin cancer.


Many dermatologists treat skin issues that affect your appearance and administer cosmetic treatments. These might include treating acne or warts.

What Are Some Conditions That I Would See a Medical Dermatologist For?

There is a whole range of skin conditions that medical dermatologists can help you with. If you experience symptoms that sound like any of the treatments listed below, it might be time to book an appointment.

Got Warts?

Warts are often nothing to be too concerned about, but they can still be a daily annoyance. Warts are non-cancerous little growths of hardened skin that affect 33% of kids and teenagers and about 3-5% of adults. Although most commonly found on the hands and feet, warts can grow practically anywhere on the body. Different types of warts respond better to certain types of treatments, so dermatologists will discuss different treatment options depending on your situation.

Aggravated About Acne?

Almost everybody suffers from acne at some point in their life. This skin condition occurs when hair follicles get plugged up with dead skin cells and excess oil, causing bumps and prolonged inflammation. Acne conditions can range from mild to serious. Dermatologists are able to treat current breakouts and even cases of scarring from acne in the past. There are plenty of treatments available, from chemical peels to acne extraction. Your dermatologist can help to guide you in choosing the right treatment for your condition.

Stuck With Psoriasis?

If you live with psoriasis, you’re not alone. 7.5 million people in America have this non-contagious skin condition. Psoriasis can pop up anywhere on the body. You might think that psoriasis is a condition in itself, but it actually encompasses a group of chronic skin disorders. A medical dermatologist can identify which type of psoriasis you have and treat it with a condition-specific treatment. Getting treatment tailored to your condition increases the chances of successful results.

Itchy With Eczema?

If you have an itchy, dry, or discolored rash on your skin, it’s probably eczema. Alone, eczema isn’t too much of a problem. The problem is that when you scratch that annoying itch, you can end up with swelling and even infections as a result. A medical dermatologist can confirm your diagnosis and offer treatments to relieve the irritation and even heal the eczema completely.

Red With Rosacea?

Does your face flush easily? Do friends tell you that you blush a lot? These could be signs of the early stages of rosacea. Once the condition develops, you might also notice small acne-like bumps on your skin. These bumps usually appear first in the center of the face. Treating rosacea is crucial as it can slowly spread to the outer parts of the face and end up on your cheeks, forehead, and chin. A dermatologist has access to a variety of treatments that can cure the redness and acne-like breakouts caused by rosacea.

Vexed With Vitiligo?

Vitiligo shows up as discolored patches on different areas of your body, including the skin, hair, and mucous membranes. If your immune system goes haywire and destroys your melanocytes, your body will stop producing melanin, causing noticeably lighter patches of skin. Unfortunately, vitiligo cannot be completely cured. However, it can be medically managed by a dermatologist through a variety of treatment options, such as phototherapy and the XTRAC Excimer laser.

Marked With Melasma?

Melasma shows up as brown patches on the face, including the forehead, cheeks, upper lip, and chin. Melasma has many different causes that range anywhere from sun exposure to birth control or heredity factors. In some cases, it can be avoided using sunscreen, but if you already have it, a dermatologist can treat you with prescription medication and chemical peels.

Harried by Hair Loss?

Although hair loss may be caused by hereditary baldness, it can also be impacted by stress, illness, or hormonal changes. A dermatologist can diagnose the underlying cause of your hair loss and provide a course of treatment when appropriate.

Not Happy With Your Nails?

When getting a manicure or pedicure isn’t enough to address ongoing nail issues, a dermatologist might be just what you need. They can treat nail issues such as spots, discoloration, fungal infections, and nail separation.

How We Can Help

When it comes to skin, hair, and nail concerns, seeing a medical dermatologist instead of your ordinary doctor can make a huge difference. A medical dermatologist specializes in hair, skin, and nails, so they can often make a faster diagnosis. They also have the expertise and skill for specific treatment options, making sure you get the care you need.

At Neighbourhood Wellness, we know you love your skin and hair – and so do we! That’s why we have set aside dedicated practice resources to treat hair loss and skin conditions. Want to learn more? Contact us today!


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