The primary difference between cosmetic and medical dermatology services is that while cosmetic services focus on helping their patients maintain a youthful appearance, medical dermatologists provide help with medical conditions that impact the health of their patients’ skin.
Both types of dermatologist receive extensive medical training in skin disorders, but that doesn’t change the fact that patients who are looking for treatment for medical skin conditions are always better off attending a medical, not a cosmetic, dermatologist. Read on to find out about a few of the conditions treated by these specialists.
Nearly everyone suffers from mild to moderate acne at some point without requiring medical intervention. However, if acne is becoming painful or is interfering with a patient’s life, it’s time for that patient to head to the dermatologist for treatment. Most treatments target the bacteria responsible for causing acne, although more invasive approaches such as steroid injections and minimally-invasive surgical excisions are also required in extreme cases.
More commonly known as eczema, atopic dermatitis can present at any point in a patient’s life, although most people find that it begins in childhood. The most noticeable symptom of eczema is a red and itchy rash caused by an inability of the patient’s skin to hold moisture and create a healthy barrier. Targeted treatments include topical anti-inflammatories, orally administered medications, and medical-grade ultraviolet therapy.
The medical term for excessive perspiration is hyperhidrosis. This condition can be generalized or it can be localized to the armpits, hands, or feet. While generalized hyperhidrosis is usually treated by a patient’s primary care doctor, localized hyperhidrosis almost always needs to be addressed by a dermatologist.
Psoriasis is an autoimmune disorder that results in inflammation of the skin. This condition frequently presents itself as a series of thick, scaly plaques on the patient’s scalp, elbow, knees, or trunk, although in fact, it can affect just about any area of the skin. Treatments include the use of topical creams, ointments, lotions, and sprays, oral medications, injectable medications, and light therapy.
Rosacea is characterized by facial redness or swelling, skin bumps, and eye redness. It is a chronic condition that is triggered by things like eating spicy foods, drinking alcohol, being exposed to severe temperature changes, and stress. There are a variety of gels, lotions, creams, and oral medications that can be used to treat rosacea, but it is often better for patients to avoid flare-ups, to begin with by identifying their triggers and learning how to avoid them.
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