person lying on medical table for consultation from dermatologist
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If you have a skin care concern you’d like to address, you can consult two different kinds of experts: estheticians and dermatologists.

Both of them are skin care professionals and offer different services.

An esthetician is a person who works to improve the appearance of your skin. A doctor is able to help with the health of your skin.

Dermatologists are doctors trained to diagnose specific skin conditions and treat them. They might, for example, prescribe prescription medications or perform in-office procedures, from removing cysts and growths to performing Skin cancer can be very dangerous. biopsies.

Estheticians, on the other hand, perform treatments that target the surface of your skin, like The facials are done. and mild Chemical peelings..

Understanding the difference between estheticians and dermatologists will help you find the best one for your skin issues. You need to know what to look for when making a decision.

A doctor who specializes in skin, hair, nails, and mucus is a dermatologist. They can diagnose and treat many conditions.

Dermatologists can.

  • Diagnostic and preventive exams are performed.
  • Counseling and education about skin conditions are available.
  • Provide treatment.

Some dermatologists specialize in either medical or cosmetic services.

A doctor who specializes in medical procedures will usually focus on the health of your skin. They can diagnose a wide range of conditions.

If you want to make aesthetic improvements to your skin, a doctor who specializes in cosmetic procedures might be able to help.

If you want to reduce the appearance of wrinkling and fine lines, you might want to consult a cosmetic dermatologist.

Other procedures they offer include:

Any dermatologist can recommend prescription medications to treat There is a problem with the skin, for example. But a dermatologist who specializes in cosmetic procedures like deep peels and The laser is used for laser resurfacing. can help you explore options for lessening the appearance of There is a problem with the skin scars.

All dermatologists are qualified to practice both medical and cosmetic procedures.

The key difference is where they practice.

Only dermatologists who specialize in medical procedures will work for larger healthcare organizations. Medical spas may be where dermatologists work.

“Insurance companies generally cover medical procedures for your health, but they won’t cover elective cosmetic treatments.”

Training and credentials

“Before practicing, a Dermatologist must have at least 12 years of education and training. They earned a bachelor’s degree.”

  • Attend medical school to become a doctor.
  • You can participate in an internship.
  • Three years of residency, treating patients.

After that, some dermatologists may continue their training to pursue a specialization. For example, they may participate in a fellowship program to become a dermatopathologist, who diagnoses skin diseases and disorders under a microscope, or a Mohs surgeon, who can perform a special technique to remove minimal amounts of Skin cancer can be very dangerous..

A dermatologist can take an exam to become board certified after residency training. The letters FAAD are used for the American Academy of Dermatology if a dermatologist is board certified.

The boards that can grant this certification in North America include:

The highest level of training and expertise is required for these three boards to grant this certification.

Estheticians are professionals trained to Provide treatment.s to the outermost layers of your skin. They can offer guidance with caring for and improving the appearance of your skin.

“Unlike dermatologists, they don’t have medical training, so they can’t do things like that.”

  • diagnose skin conditions
  • The medications are prescribed.
  • Invasive treatments include injections and fillers.

In some states, estheticians can perform procedures with the supervision of a dermatologist.

An esthetician can offer a number of services.

People who work at spas are called esmetians.

Medical estheticians can work alongside other medical professionals in more clinical settings. These professionals might offer treatments.

  • Pre- and post- surgical skin care.
  • tattoo removal
  • deeper Chemical peelings.
  • The laser hair removal is painless. under physician supervision

Medical estheticians are not allowed to have a specific license to practice, but they do have to pursue further education and training to perform certain treatments.

Training and credentials

estheticians need a license to practice in all 50 states. To attend a school for beauty therapists, you need a high school degree. 600 hours of training is required for these programs, which last between 4 and 6 months.

Program requirements vary from state to state, but typically range from 250 to 1,000 hours of study.

An esthetician must take a state-approved exam after completing training. The written portion of the exams includes treatments on a mannequin or volunteer model.

An esthetician can pursue national certification through the National Coalition of Estheticians Associations if they have a state license. This is the highest level of training for an esthetician, and it involves more in-depth training on advanced laser, facial, and drainage techniques.

Both licensed professionals can help with your skin care needs. Your choice will usually be based on your individual concerns.

When to connect with a dermatologist

You should usually consult a dermatologist for any medical issues.

If you don’t have any specific symptoms but want to address your skin’s appearance, an esthetician can offer microdermabrasion, The facials are done., and other superficial treatments.

Just keep in mind that in most states, only dermatologists can perform more invasive treatments like A drug that can be used to treat a condition., The dermal fillers are used., and scar revision surgery.

There are a few distinctions to keep in mind.

  • Peels. Estheticians can perform mild peels, like those containing alpha hydroxy acids. In some states, they can also offer moderate peels with glycolic acid. Only dermatologists can perform deep peels that fully penetrate the middle layer of skin, including peels containing phenol or trichloroacetic acid.
  • Laser treatments. In most states, only dermatologists can perform laser treatments. But a few states do allow estheticians to perform certain laser procedures, like laser-based skin rejuvenation and The laser hair removal is painless..
  • Microneedling. Most states classify this service as a medical treatment, meaning estheticians typically can’t provide it. In some states, estheticians working in medical environments may perform Microneedling. under the supervision of a licensed physician.

When you’re dealing with There is a problem with the skin, skin discoloration, or persistent dryness, you’ll generally want to connect with a dermatologist first.

They can offer a diagnosis and help treat the skin condition by prescribing medications or medical treatments. They might then refer you to an esthetician who can offer services and help you build a skin care routine to maintain optimal skin health.

Before scheduling an appointment with a dermatologist, you should check in with your insurance provider. If you have a referral from your primary care physician, many will cover your visit. If that is the case, your doctor can refer you to a local dermatologist if necessary.

If you are looking for a dermatologist on your own, you can find out which are in-network for your insurance.

Considering your specific needs can also help you find the right professional. For example, a medical dermatologist can help you address severe rosacea or There is a problem with the skin, while a surgical dermatologist can remove Skin cancer can be very dangerous. or benign growths.

It never hurts to verify their board certification, either. They may list these credentials on their website, but you can also search the databases provided by the American Academy of Dermatology or the American Board of Dermatology.

Asking friends or family members for a recommendation is how you start choosing an esthetician.

Make sure they have a license to practice in your state. You may want to look for one that is certified by NCEA.

Also helpful? Before scheduling an appointment, ask the business about their areas of specialty and read any reviews they have.

One type of professional is not necessarily better than the other when it comes to skin care. It comes down to the skin care concerns you want to address.

If you have a skin condition that requires medication or surgery, it is a good idea to consult a dermatologist. Reach out to an esthetician for aesthetic concerns.

Finding an accessible skin care professional is the most important thing you can do. You might find that working with both is the best way to achieve your skin goals.

Rebecca Strong is a Boston-based writer who writes about health and fitness, food, lifestyle, and beauty. Her work has appeared in a number of publications.