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Medical vs. Cosmetic Dermatology

A dermatologist is a doctor who specializes in the skin. Dermatologists also treat diseases involving the hair, lips, nails, and even the mouth.

Many people see dermatologists on a regular basis for a wide variety of health reasons: skin cancer, acne, rashes, warts, cysts, boils, eczema, and rosacea. People also see a dermatologist for chemical peels, Botox, and to fix skin discolorations.

But what is the difference between general or medical dermatology and cosmetic dermatology?

They’re actually often practiced by the same dermatologists. Some doctors focus their practice more on cosmetic – also called cosmedical – dermatology, whereas others gladly practice all facets of dermatology for their patients.

Let’s take a look at the various offerings of dermatology:

What Is Cosmetic Dermatology?

A cosmetic dermatologist is a doctor who frequently treats patients for aesthetic reasons like smoothing wrinkles, correcting skin tone and texture, and tightening up sagging skin.

Cosmetic dermatology is an ever-growing specialty to treat patients who desire to look better but have no medical need to do so. The difference is a desire to reverse signs of aging and to look healthier and younger.

Because the reasons for cosmetic surgery are purely superficial – based on a want rather than a need – cosmetic dermatology isn’t covered by most insurance policies. Some dermatologists prefer this because the patient pays out-of-pocket, so there are no insurance forms for the practice to fill out – which also requires fewer people to be on the office staff.

The American Society for Aesthetic Plastic Surgery reports that dermatologists routinely perform more than 5 million cosmetic surgical and nonsurgical procedures annually.

What Is Medical Dermatology?

It is recommended that everyone see a medical dermatologist once a year to check for skin cancer or pre-cancerous skin lesions.

Medical dermatology is considered by the healthcare industry and insurance companies to be different than cosmetic dermatology, as it is geared toward fixing a health problem or injury. It is medically necessary, and it is usually therefore covered by insurance.

Because of all of the insurance and governmental paperwork required with medical dermatology, there is a growing shortage of dermatologists who practice regular medical dermatology. More and more dermatologists are choosing to focus on cosmetic dermatology as it is generally more profitable for a doctor to perform cosmetic treatments than to perform annual skin exams or to treat medical conditions, because it requires a larger office staff to process insurance and other paperwork than to simply process an out-of-pocket payment.

At Lakeview Dermatology, we offer all aspects of dermatologic care: medical dermatology, surgical dermatology, and cosmetic dermatology coming soon. This way, our patients can feel comfortable coming to us with any skin issue, knowing they will receive a complete evaluation and offered appropriate treatment by an experienced dermatologist.

Full-Service Dermatology in Fort Worth

Diseases and conditions of the skin can play havoc with a person’s lifestyle – and life span – so be sure to visit a dermatologist who has years of experience in all facets of dermatological treatments. Regardless of your skin issue or need, Dr. Mittelbronn can help.

Contact us today at Lakeview Dermatology to schedule a consultation by calling (817) 752-5256, or request an appointment by clicking here. We look forward to seeing you and helping you achieve glowing, healthy skin for a lifetime.

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