Dermatologists treat a wide range of issues affecting the skin — your body's largest and fastest growing organ — from dermatitis, or skin inflammation like rashes, eczema, and acne, to skin cancer. Besides diagnosing diseases, dermatologists can prescribe medication or treatment and educate patients on the proper care of their skin, hair and nails. They may refer patients to other specialists as well, such as a plastic surgeon for certain types of scars. Dermatologist perform the majority of their procedures in the office as outpatient care, instead of at a hospital.
Dermatologists, also sometimes referred to as skin doctors or skin care doctors, undergo an extensive education program, starting with earning a college degree, then going to medical school for a medical doctorate (MD), or doctorate in osteopathy (DO), and ending with a one-year internship and at least a three-year residency. In their residency, these specialists learn surgical procedures to remove skin cancer and growths and reduce the appearance of scars. They also learn to inject fillers, such as Botox, for patients desiring a younger appearance. In addition, they're trained to provide lifestyle advice, such as suggesting alternatives to sun tanning.