Your skin is your body’s largest organ, and it’s essential to keep it healthy. You already know about the importance of protecting your skin from sun damage and premature aging, but there’s another thing you can do to ensure healthy, radiant and younger-looking skin: getting regular screenings from a qualified dermatologist.
Dermatologists specialize in a range of conditions that affect the health and appearance of your skin, as well as your hair and nails. But you don’t want to trust just anyone in this area. So how do you go about finding the best dermatologist for you?
Ask About Specialty
Just as there is a wide variety of skin concerns, there are many specialties and sub-specialties within the field of dermatology. After completing their training and residency, most dermatologists choose to hone their skills in specific areas that allow them to provide certain services or to help patients who are dealing with similar concerns.
By learning more about different dermatological focus areas, you can find a doctor who specializes in the conditions you are seeking to address.
- Medical Dermatology
Medical dermatologists treat adults with a wide range of skin conditions and complaints. These dermatologists must complete training that prepares them to diagnose and treat issues like adult acne, psoriasis, scars, vitiligo and seborrheic keratosis.
These doctors have a wealth of advanced resources, knowledge and high-tech equipment that allows them to provide the best treatment methods, including topical methods, laser therapy and surgery.
Additionally, these doctors usually offer one-on-one consultations to teach you the effective methods and proper techniques to use to help alleviate any symptoms that accompany your condition.
- Mohs Surgery Dermatology
Mohs micrographic surgery is the most advanced, precise and effective treatment for skin cancer available today. It allows the surgeon to locate the tumor or cancer and successively remove all its layers, without damaging the healthy tissue surrounding the area.
However, because the surgical procedure is demanding, it is challenging to become qualified to perform this type of surgery. A surgeon must not only pass an intensive training program that focuses on skin cancer, but must also complete a fellowship program that prepares them to perform the procedure.
If you have received a diagnosis of some type of skin cancer, you and your surgeon will need to carefully monitor your progress and schedule follow-up screenings to prevent the disease from recurring.
- Cosmetic Dermatology
Adults who want to maintain a more youthful appearance can seek treatments from a dermatologist with a focus on minimally invasive cosmetic practices such as laser skin care, microneedling, microdermabrasion, dermaplaning and injectable products. Cosmetic dermatology requires both a skilled hand and an advanced knowledge of facial anatomy to provide the most natural-looking results.
A cosmetic dermatologist can recommend the best treatment method for common skin complaints such as wrinkles, scars, age spots, sun damage and uneven skin tone or texture.
Additionally, if you are looking for a way to reduce stubborn body fat, ask about CoolSculpting or other targeted fat-reduction procedures.
Five Questions to Ask About the Dermatologist You’re Considering
1. Is the doctor board-certified in dermatology?
You may be surprised to learn there is no law preventing doctors in other specialties from setting up shop as skin care providers. Due to the popularity of cosmetic services like injectable products, many less ethical doctors with no training in these procedures may begin offering these as a way to “cash in.”
Would you let an anesthesiologist work on your face just because they’ve decided to buy some laser equipment? It’s shocking, but there’s nothing preventing a medical doctor from advertising themselves as a dermatologist, even if they aren’t qualified.
The best way to find out if a dermatologist is board-certified is to visit the American Academy of Dermatology’s website at aad.org to search for your doctor by name or location.
2. Is there a doctor on site?
Believe it or not, some “medical spas” do not have a medical doctor on the premises. That means if something were to go wrong, there would be no physician to oversee the treatment or to step in to help with any given problem.
3. How long have they been in business?
Many unqualified “medical spas” start off strong, but fail to sustain high-quality patient safety and results, and end up going out of business.
If the dermatologist and medical spa have been in business five years or more and have earned a good reputation in the community, it’s a positive sign they are operating to a higher standard of patient care and quality outcomes.
4. Do they need to advertise?
When a doctor and skin care clinic provide consistent results, their work speaks for itself, and they get plenty of referrals from their patients, as well as from other doctors. Good doctors who have been in business for a while are busy. If a clinic feels the need to pay for a lot of radio, TV or online advertising, it could be a sign they don’t have enough patients.
5. Who provides the cosmetic treatments?
Unfortunately, some so-called “medical spas” have an onsite “tech” with little to no medical education or certification providing treatments unsupervised. Obviously, these unqualified people can’t guarantee high standards of safety or results.
If you’re seeking dermatology for cosmetic reasons, make sure the person who provides your treatment is licensed and certified. If the doctor doesn’t personally do the treatment, but delegates it to a staff member, that person should be either a registered nurse or a licensed clinical aesthetician. These providers have the medical training and experience to provide injections, laser treatments and other aesthetic procedures safely and effectively.
Exceptional Results, State-of-the-Art Solutions
At University Park Dermatology and Medical Spa, Dr. David Sax and his team are committed to providing outstanding skin care to our patients throughout the Sarasota, Florida, area. As a board-certified dermatologist, Dr. Sax opened his practice in 2001 with the goal of offering expert medical care with an unsurpassed level of personal attention. He is trained in both medical dermatology and Mohs micrographic surgery for skin cancer, in addition to a full array of premium cosmetic skin care services for people who live in Sarasota, Bradenton and Gibsonton. Call 941-254-2321 to make your appointment today.