When seeking out a dermatologist for cosmetic procedures, it's important to find a qualified doctor who will be able to provide you with excellent care. Specifically, the skin doctor you go to should be well trained and conveniently located, and they should offer a variety of aesthetic services. As you look for a dermatologist, here are four questions you can ask to find just such a doctor.
Are You Board-Certified in Dermatology?
Although states have laws that require doctors to be licensed before they can practice medicine, being board-certified isn't a legal requirement. Doctors who have medical degrees can legally practice dermatology, even if they weren't trained in the field during residency. Most dermatologists are board certified. Because this isn't a legal requirement, though, it's incumbent on patients to make sure that the doctor they see is board-certified in dermatology.
In the United States, dermatologists are certified by the American Academy of Dermatologists. All board-certified dermatologists have completed the following:
- medical school
- an internship
- a 3-year or longer residency program in dermatology
- all licensure requirements for the state they practice medicine in
- board-certification exams
Thus, board-certified dermatologists don't only have general medical training, but they also have extensive training specifically in the field of dermatology.
Where Will the Cosmetic Procedures be Performed?
Many cosmetic skin treatments, such as laser hair removal, acne treatments and injectable dermal fillers are performed as outpatient procedures. They're non-invasive, and they often don't require a hospital stay. Therefore, they may be done at a doctor's office or at a health clinic.
You'll want to know whether your treatments will be done at the doctor's office or at a different location -- especially if you chose a dermatologist because they were conveniently located. Some cosmetic procedures require multiple visits. For example, laser hair removal sometimes requires six appointments to get the best possible results. Dermal fillers can last for as little as six months, after which point you'd need to have them re-injected. If the procedures are going to be done at a different site, you'll want to make sure that site is as easy to get to as the doctor's office.
What Services Do You Offer?
Even within the specialty of dermatology, there are many sub-specialties. Some dermatologists, for example, focus mostly on Mohs surgery but might offer a few cosmetic procedures. Other dermatologists don't perform surgeries and build their practice around only aesthetic treatments.
If you're going to a dermatologist for a cosmetic procedure, you'll want to find someone who specializes in aesthetic services. Even if there's only one procedure you're interested in now, you might want something else done in the future. If you go to a skin doctor that offers a diverse array of cosmetic treatments, you won't have to switch dermatologists in order to have another aesthetic procedure done.
Do You Work with Any Plastic Surgeons in the Area?
If you know you're interested in refreshing several aspects of the way you look, you may even want to find a dermatologist who works with a plastic surgeon in your area. By choosing to see a skin doctor who regularly collaborates with a plastic surgeon, you'll be able to streamline your care. Often, surgeries and skin treatments can complement each other, and the two doctors will be able to discuss with each other how you can benefit from a combination of treatments.
By asking these four simple questions, you should be able to find the perfect dermatologist to see. You'll not just find a highly qualified one, but you'll also be able to make sure that the skin doctor you're going to see is easy for you to get to and from and that they provide all the cosmetic treatments you might want.
For more information on dermatology treatments, talk to a dermatologist as an office like Dermatology Surgery Center.