When it comes to conditions of the skin, looks are often a factor when considering wellness. Whether your skin is damaged due to illness, disease, injury, or age, a cosmetic dermatologist can help.
What Is Cosmetic Dermatology?
Dermatologists are doctors that are trained in diagnosing, treating, and preventing diseases of the skin, hair, and nails either with medications, topical applications, or surgery. Cosmetic dermatology is a specialized section that corrects flaws in the skin, hair, or nails to improve their overall appearance. The focus is on issues like wrinkles, texture of skin, skin tone, loss of skin volume and sagging, under eye circles, scars, and tattoo removal.
What Are Some Conditions That Cosmetic Dermatology Treats?
- Sun damage. Damage from the sun can cause tan, brown, or red discolorations, wrinkles, and sagging.
- Pigment changes and discolorations. These can be caused from hormone changes due to birth control, pregnancy, or menopause, even if you use sunscreen. They can also be caused from insect bites, rashes, burns, waxing, or improper laser treatments.
- Stretch marks. Usually caused by rapid weight gain, stretch marks affect everyone to some degree.
- Acne and other scars. Whether from injuries, rashes, bites, or acne, scars can have a major impact on the appearance of the skin.
What Types of Procedures Do Cosmetic Dermatologists Perform?
- Microdermabrasion. Smooths the top layers of the skin creating a healthier, brighter look to the skin. This treatment can help discolorations, acne, fine lines, scars, and wrinkles.
- Chemical Peels. Removes the top layers of the skin to create a youthful look.
- Injections. Used to give volume to areas of the body including lips, forehead, jaw, and hands, products like Juvederm®, Restylane®, Perlane®, and others are used to give a youthful appearance.
- Fat Transfer. Used for the same purposes as injections, but using fat from other parts of the body to restore volume naturally.
- Botox. Reduces the appearance of frown lines, forehead lines, and other areas of the face affected by age.
- Laser Surgery. Laser therapy has many applications in cosmetic dermatology. It can remove or decrease unwanted hair, remove age spots, remove tatoos, remove unsightly veins and improve the appearance of scars and wrinkles.
- Liposuction. Usually done with a technique called “tumescent liposuction”, only a local anesthetic is needed and small sections of unwanted fat can be removed.
What Should I Look For in A Cosmetic Dermatologist?
- Certifications. Dermatologists should have the same credentials as physicians with additional training for skin, hair, and nails. Make sure you choose only board certified physicians with specialized training in the procedures you will receive.
- Experienced. Look for a physician who is well practiced, and has performed the specific procedure you will be receiving regularly. Ask for before and after photos to get an idea of their work.
Understanding what cosmetic dermatology is and the various procedures are will help you choose the right physician for your needs. If you want your skin to be as healthy as possible and looking its best, visit a medical dermatologist annually to check for skin cancers, precancers, and abnormal moles. Follow up annually with a cosmetic dermatologist for any areas you would like to see looking better. Keeping your skin healthy and radiant will make you feel beautiful inside and out.