Dermatology (from ancient Greek δέρμα, derma which means skin and
λογία, logia) is the branch of medicine dealing with the skin,
nails, hair and its diseases. It is a specialty with both
medical and surgical aspects. A dermatologist treats
diseases, in the widest sense, and some cosmetic problems of the
skin, scalp, hair, and nails.
3.1 United States
3.2 United Kingdom
4.1 Cosmetic dermatology
4.4 Mohs surgery
6 See also
8 External links
Attested in English in 1819, the word dermatology derives from the
Greek δέρματος (dermatos), genitive of δέρμα (derma),
"skin" (itself from δέρω dero, "to flay") and -λογία
Main article: History of dermatology
Readily visible alterations of the skin surface have been recognized
since the dawn of history, with some being treated, and some
not. In 1801 the first great school of dermatology
became a reality at the famous
Hôpital Saint-Louis in Paris, while
the first textbooks (Willan's, 1798–1808) and atlases (Alibert's,
1806–1814) appeared in print during the same period of time.
Doctor, Medical Specialist
Medicine (M.D.) or
Doctor of Osteopathic
Medicine (D.O.) or
Bachelor of Medicine, Bachelor of Surgery
The examples and perspective in this article deal primarily with
Western culture and do not represent a worldwide view of the subject.
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create a new article, as appropriate. (November 2012) (Learn how and
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After earning a medical degree (M.D. or D.O.), the length of training
in the United States for a general dermatologist to be eligible for
Board Certification by the American Academy of Dermatology, American
Dermatology or the American Osteopathic Board of Dermatology
is a total of four years. This training consists of an initial
medical, transitional, surgical, or pediatric intern year followed by
a three-year dermatology residency. Following this
training, one- or two- year post-residency fellowships are available
in immunodermatology, phototherapy, laser medicine, Mohs micrographic
surgery, cosmetic surgery, dermatopathology, or pediatric dermatology.
For the past several years, dermatology residency positions in the
United States have been one of the most competitive to
In the UK, a dermatologist is a medically qualified practitioner who
has gone on to specialize in medicine and then sub-specialize in
dermatology. This involves:
Medical school for five years to obtain an MBBS, MBBCh or MB, BChir
One year of house jobs before becoming fully registered as a medical
Two to three years training in general medicine to obtain a higher
degree in medicine and become a member of the Royal College of
Having obtained the MRCP examination, applying to become a Specialty
Registrar (StR) in
Dermatology and training for four years in
Passing the Specialty Certificate Examination (SCE) in Dermatology
before the end of training
Upon successful completion of the four-year training period, the
doctor becomes an accredited dermatologist and is able to apply for a
consultant hospital post as a consultant dermatologist.
A Cosmetic dermatology unit in SM City North Edsa, Philippines
Dermatologists have been leaders in the field of cosmetic surgery.
Some dermatologists complete fellowships in surgical dermatology. Many
are trained in their residency on the use of botulinum toxin, fillers,
and laser surgery. Some dermatologists perform cosmetic procedures
including liposuction, blepharoplasty, and face lifts. Most
dermatologists limit their cosmetic practice to minimally invasive
procedures. Despite an absence of formal guidelines from the American
Board of Dermatology, many cosmetic fellowships are offered in both
surgery and laser medicine.
A dermatolopathologist is a pathologist or dermatologist who
specializes in the pathology of the skin. This field is shared by
dermatologists and pathologists. Usually a dermatologist or
pathologist will complete one year of dermatopathology fellowship.
This usually includes six months of general pathology, and six months
of dermatopathology. Alumni of both specialties can qualify as
dermatopathologists. At the completion of a standard residency in
dermatology, many dermatologists are also competent at
dermatopathology. Some dermatopathologists qualify to sit for their
examinations by completing a residency in dermatology and one in
This field specializes in the treatment of immune-mediated skin
diseases such as lupus, bullous pemphigoid, pemphigus vulgaris, and
other immune-mediated skin disorders. Specialists in this field
often run their own immunopathology labs.
Main article: Mohs surgery
The dermatologic subspecialty called
Mohs surgery focuses on the
excision of skin cancers using a tissue-sparing technique that allows
intraoperative assessment of 100% of the peripheral and deep tumor
margins developed in the 1930s by Dr. Frederic E. Mohs. The procedure
is defined as a type of
CCPDMA processing. Physicians trained in this
technique must be comfortable with both pathology and surgery, and
dermatologists receive extensive training in both during their
residency. Physicians who perform
Mohs surgery can receive training in
this specialized technique during their dermatology residency, but
many will seek additional training either through preceptorships to
join the American Society for Mohs Surgery or through formal one-
Mohs surgery fellowship training programs administered by
the American College of Mohs Surgery.
This technique requires the integration of the same doctor in two
different capacities: surgeon as well as pathologist. In case either
of the two responsibilities is assigned to another doctor or qualified
health care professional, it will not be considered to be Mohs
Physicians can qualify for this specialization by completing both a
pediatric residency and a dermatology residency. Or they might elect
to complete a post-residency fellowship. This field encompasses
the complex diseases of the neonates, hereditary skin diseases or
genodermatoses, and the many difficulties of working with the
Main article: Teledermatology
Teledermatology is a form of dermatology where telecommunication
technologies are used to exchange medical information via all kinds of
media (audio, visual and also data communication, but typically photos
of dermatologic conditions) usually made by non-dermatologists for
evaluation off-site by dermatologists). This subspecialty
deals with options to view skin conditions over a large distance to
provide knowledge exchange, to establish second-opinion services
for experts or to use this for follow-up of individuals with
chronic skin conditions.
Teledermatology can reduce wait times
by allowing dermatologists to treat minor conditions online while
serious conditions requiring immediate care are given priority for
Dermatoepidemiology is the study of skin disease at the population
level. One aspect of dermatoepidemiology is the determination of
the global burden of skin diseases  From 1990 to 2013, skin
disease has constituted approximately 2% of total global disease
disability  as measured in disability adjusted life years
Facial cleansing pores in Meditec at ITESM CCM(2012)
Therapies provided by dermatologists include, but are not restricted
to the following:
Excision and treatment of skin cancer
Cryosurgery – for the treatment of warts, skin cancers, and other
Cosmetic filler injections
Hair removal with laser or other modalities
Hair transplantation – a cosmetic procedure practiced by many
Intralesional treatment – with steroid or chemotherapy.
Laser therapy – for both the management of birth marks, skin
disorders (like vitiligo), tattoo removal, and cosmetic resurfacing
Chemical peels for the treatment of acne, melasma, and sun damage
Photodynamic therapy – for the treatment of skin cancer and
Phototherapy – including the use of narrowband UVB, broadband UVB,
psoralen and UVB.
Tattoo removal with laser.
Tumescent liposuction – liposuction was invented by a gynecologist.
A dermatologist (Dr. Jeffrey A. Klein) adapted the procedure to local
infusion of dilute anesthetic called tumescent liposuction. This
method is now widely practiced by dermatologists, plastic surgeons and
Radiation therapy – although rarely practiced by dermatologists,
many dermatologist continue to provide radiation therapy in their
Vitiligo surgery – Including procedures like autologous melanocyte
transplant, suction blister grafting and punch grafting.
Allergy testing – 'Patch testing' for contact dermatitis.
Systemic therapies – including antibiotics, immunomodulators, and
novel injectable products.
Topical therapies – dermatologists have the best understanding of
the numerous products and compounds used topically in medicine.
Most dermatologic pharmacology can be categorized based on the
Anatomical Therapeutic Chemical Classification System, specifically
the ATC code D.
American Academy of Dermatology
American Board of Dermatology
American Osteopathic Board of Dermatology
British Association of Dermatologists
History of dermatology
List of cutaneous conditions
List of dermatologists
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