WHAT DOES A DERMATOLOGIST DO?
Dermatologist – is a physician, who have acquired a Dermatology degree from the established medical academic institution and specializes in
the diagnosis and treatment of skin disorders. Dermatologists also study the structure and functions of the skin, and the relationship between
skin pathologies and malfunctions of other organs of the body.
The need for dermatology training in the world is acute - approximately 3 billion
people living in more than 100 countries lack basic care for their skin diseases. For the most part, skin diseases in the world can be diagnosed
and effectively treated by simple and inexpensive means. What is needed is the trained personnel to provide skilled and knowledgeable patient
care – professional dermatologists.
Trained dermatologists usually combine several activities - seeing patients in public hospital clinics and/or in private practices, acting as
consultants to other specialists, teaching, and delving into clinical or basic research.
How to Find a Good Dermatologist
A dermatologist must have expertise in
They must be familiar with all the other medical specialties because of their consultant work and because skin diseases are often associated
with internal conditions.
- basic sciences including microbiology, pathology, biochemistry, physics and physiology,
- how skin symptoms reflect a more generalized disease that affects other organs,
- a working knowledge of basic surgery, neurology (the "neurocutaneous syndromes", such as neurofibromatosis and tuberous sclerosis) and endocrinology.
When you come to see a doctor:
1. Medical history - is the first step of any contact with a doctor. In order to classify a skin condition, a dermatologist will ask
detailed questions on the duration and temporal pattern of skin problems, itching or pain, relations to food intake, sunlight, over-the-counter creams and clothing.
When an underlying disease is suspected, a more detailed history of related symptoms might be elicited.
2. Physical examination - is generally under bright light and involves the whole body. At this stage, the doctor may apply Wood's light, which may aid in diagnosing
types of mycosis, or a dermatoscope, which enlarges a suspected lesion and may help differentiating lesions, e.g. between a nevus from melanoma.
A morphological classification of dermatological lesions is critical to being able to diagnosis dermatological disorders.
3. Taking analysis - culture or Gram staining of suspected infectious lesions may identify a pathogen and help direct therapy. If the diagnosis is uncertain,
or cutaneous malignancy is suspected, a small punch-hole biopsy can be taken under local anesthetic, to be examined by a specialist of histopathology.
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