What is Dermatology?

Doctors often specialize in a particular branch of medicine that deals with a specific illness or part of the body. Dermatology is the branch that deals with the skin and related areas such as the hair and scalp and fingernails. It also includes mucous membranes such as the lining of the mouth, eyelids and nose. A doctor who specializes in dermatology is a dermatologist and may diagnose and treat conditions of the skin as well as cosmetic-related problems.
Some of the conditions a dermatologist may diagnose and treat are:

  • Infections
  • Skin cancers
  • Melanomas
  • Tumors of the skin
  • Moles
  • Dermatitis
  • Psoriasis
  • Eczema
  • Acne

Some of the cosmetic issues a dermatologist may treat are:

  • Acne scars
  • Birthmarks
  • Injury scars
  • Hair loss
  • Hair removal
  • Signs of aging

Dermatology is also divided into special areas. However, all dermatologists receive training in:

  • Dermatopathology, which involves removing a sample from the skin, hair or nails and examining it under a microscope to make a diagnosis
  • Medicinal dermatology, which relates to all aspects of diseases of the hair, skin and nails
  • Cosmetic dermatology, which involves treating the skin, hair or nails with the aim of improving the patient’s appearance rather than treating a disease
  • Surgical dermatology, which involves surgery as the treatment of diseases of the skin, nails and hair

Dermatologists can also specialize in the treatment of children. A pediatric dermatologist has additional training in the evaluation and management of the skin diseases that may commonly or exclusively occur in children. For example, all birthmarks, genodermatoses or inherited genetic skin conditions and infections in infants and children are a few of the issues pediatric dermatologists diagnose and treat. They may also work with other doctors when a coordinated, multispecialty care is needed for a complex medical condition.

Cosmetic dermatology is a very popular field, and dermatologists have often been the leaders in the area of cosmetic surgery. Some of the cosmetic procedures they perform are liposuction, CoolSculpting®, laser hair removal and more. Most cosmetic dermatologists use minimally invasive procedures. Some of the contributions cosmetic dermatologists have made to the area of medicine are:

  • Tumescent liposuction that improves patient safety during liposuction procedure
  • Hair transplants that result in a natural-looking hairline
  • Advancements in removing fine lines and wrinkles on the face

Some other treatments dermatologists use are:

  • Laser therapy for the management of certain skin disorders and birth marks
  • Tattoo removal with lasers
  • Cryosurgery for the treatment of warts, and certain types of skin cancers
  • Allergy testing for contact dermatitis
  • Topical therapies such as creams, ointments, and gels
  • Cosmetic filler injections to reduce the signs of aging
  • Hair transplants

Dermatology is the branch of medicine that deals with issues of the skin, hair, nails and mucous membranes in the mouth and nose. For more information, contact Grossman Dermatology today.


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