What You Need to Know About Medical and Cosmetic Dermatology

Medical and cosmetic dermatology are two fields of the same branch of medicine, the study of skin. Both involve diagnosing skin diseases and conditions, prescribing treatments for them, and performing cosmetic procedures to improve the appearance and self-confidence of patients. If you have a problematic skin condition, Dr. Michael Paltiel can help.

While medical and cosmetic surgery relates in a way, there is a slight difference between the two.

Medical vs. cosmetic dermatology

The relatively new field of medical dermatology deals with diagnosing and treating diseases of the skin and its underlying tissue and providing basic examinations that can help determine if a patient has a condition other than just skin. For example, medical dermatologists can help diagnose conditions such as rosacea or skin cancer and prescribe treatment options like antibiotics or chemotherapy. On the other hand, cosmetic dermatologists primarily treat aesthetic conditions of the skin, such as scars or wrinkles. Some do provide medical procedures, but they tend to focus on cosmetic concerns.

What are the benefits of medical and cosmetic dermatology?

Reduce scars: Some scars can be very noticeable and make you feel self-conscious about yourself. A dermatologist can help you reduce the appearance of scars by improving your skin’s texture and color.

Improve acne: Medical dermatology can treat scars by helping to reduce inflammation and hyperpigmentation (dark spots) that come with scars. While this treatment doesn’t work for every scar, it is an option for patients who have deep indentations in their skin or discolorations that are causing them distress. The topical creams used in this type of treatment can reduce inflammation and redness. They also contain ingredients designed to help lighten dark spots over time.

Reduce sun damage: Dermatologists can give you preventative measures against sun damage, such as wrinkles, age spots, and sagging skin, to name a few things. However, this typically involves the use of sunscreen, which isn’t something most people like to use regularly.

Helps treat hair loss: Most people suffer from hair loss, which can greatly affect their self-esteem. Medical dermatology can treat hair loss with medication and other methods, including a procedure called Follicular Unit Extraction (FUE), similar to the method by which a hair transplant is performed. FUE transplants are permanent and require no maintenance, making them ideal for patients who are not comfortable with the idea of regular treatments or who have concerns about recovery time.

Cosmetic dermatology can also help with hair loss. Hair restoration surgery, often referred to as a hair transplant, moves hair from an area with plenty of growth to an area with little or no hair, usually from the back of the head to the front. This is usually done when it has been determined that there is no medical cause for hair loss.

If you are suffering from an illness that has affected your skin or have some minor issues with your skin that you would like to get taken care of, medical and cosmetic dermatology will likely help. There are a variety of conditions they can treat, and they can do so in a relatively quick and efficient manner. If you feel like your skin might be something that a dermatologist could help with, contact Adult and Pediatric Dermatology specialists now.