12 Aug What Does a Phoenix Dermatologist Do?
A dermatologist is a type of medical doctor (MD) who specializes in treating the skin, hair, and nails. At Spectrum Dermatology, both medical dermatology and cosmetic dermatology procedures and treatments are available, including cutting-edge options such as Mohs surgery for skin cancer treatment. The skin can have over 3,000 conditions, making dermatology and incredibly complex specialty that requires intensive knowledge of thousands of issues and treatments.
Your skin is a fantastic organ and the body’s first line of defense against disease. It keeps your other organs safe, manages your temperature, and communicates with your brain about potential health concerns both regarding the skin and other parts of the body. A dermatologist is both a medical doctor and a skin surgeon who has incredible experience and skills to help take care of your biggest organ.
Common Skin Conditions
Since there are thousands of skin conditions, it is impossible to list them all. However, some of the more common medical skin conditions include skin cancer, eczema, and psoriasis. Not all skin conditions are curable, but there are treatments for every symptom. New procedures, techniques, and technologies are always becoming available, so it’s important that your dermatologist is committed to ongoing education.
Dermatologists attend training for 12+ years and are legally required to complete a certain number of continuing education hours throughout their career. Most dermatologists treat both medical and aesthetic concerns, and both types of issues can have consequences beyond the physical appearance. For example, acne is actually a medical dermatological issue despite being considered a rite of passage or “normal” teenager struggle. The reality is that some types of acne can be very painful and lead to permanent scarring. Acne and other skin conditions can also decrease a sense of self-worth.
A Day in the Life of a Dermatologist
No two days in dermatology are the same. On any given day, a dermatologist might treat an infant’s birthmark that interferes with vision, excise a cancerous lesion, provide a treatment for frustrating and embarrassing rosacea, help to restore hair loss, or diagnose a dangerous liver condition that has caused skin itching. As you can imagine, the ability to perform so many diagnoses and treatments on a day to day basis requires an incredibly amount of knowledge and practice.
Most dermatologists have a bachelor’s degree followed by a medical degree (MD), sometimes completing a master’s degree in a related field, too. This schooling is typically followed by a one-year internship, then a three-year residency. During the residency period, a dermatologist in the making will treat up to 16,000 patients. However, this is only the foundational level of dermatology. Many dermatologists go on to complete additional trainings, or fellowships, in specific areas.
Why Board-Certification Matters
Once a residency has been successfully completed, a dermatologist becomes eligible to take a board-certifying exam. This is a test that challenges the skills and knowledge the dermatologist has gained in their many years of training. You only want to work with a dermatologist in the US who is board-certified by the American Board of Dermatology (ABD). This lets you rest easy knowing they have undergone the most demanding of education and training in their field. There are a number of other board certifications in the US, but they might not be as rigorous as the one from the ABD.
You can tell your dermatologist is ABD certified if they have FAAD attached to their name. The Fellow of the American Academy of Dermatology is the gold standard for certification in the US. Following board-certification, a dermatologist might choose to continue their training in an advanced specialty such as Mohs surgery, dermatopathology, or pediatric dermatology. Mohs surgery is the most effective technique for skin cancer removal, and is not offered at most clinics. Spectrum Dermatology does offer Mohs surgery.
Dermatology is a Lifelong Commitment
Unfortunately, most people don’t see their dermatologist as often as they see their primary care physician or dentist. It’s just as important to see a dermatologist annually as it is to schedule a yearly dental cleaning or physical. Mole checks from a dermatologist are the best way to catch and treat skin cancer early, as well as a number of other conditions.
Start treating your skin with the care it deserves. Call Spectrum Dermatology today at (480) 948-8400 to learn more about available procedures and treatments.