A dermatologist is a type of doctor that diagnoses and treats conditions that affect your hair, skin, and nails. They also treat conditions that affect mucous membranes, or the delicate tissue that lines your nose, mouth, and eyelids. The primary reasons for these visits include treating:
- skin lesions
- skin rashes
- discoloration or pigmentation
Beyond these medical and cosmetic issues, a dermatologist can also help recognize the signs and symptoms of serious underlying health issues.
For example, a condition like diabetes can cause symptoms that impact your skin’s appearance. A dermatologist may be the first healthcare provider to recognize the signs.
This article will take a closer look at what a dermatologist can treat and the procedures they perform. If you want to know when it might be time to make an appointment to see a dermatologist, we have that covered, too. Most skin specialists are based in Kuala Lumpur, or simply called Dermatologist in KL Specialist by locals. And, just in case you are a foreigner, Kuala Lumpur is the federal capital and the largest city in Malaysia.
The root word for dermatology is derm, or dermis. This comes from the Greek word derma, which means skin or hide.
Dermatology is a special area of medicine that focuses on conditions that affect your skin. In addition to your skin, dermatology also includes conditions that affect your nails, hair, and the delicate lining of your eyelids, nose, and mouth.
Your skin is your body’s largest organ. It contains nerve endings, sweat glands, hair follicles, pores, blood vessels, and many other structures. Caring for it is important to your overall health.
While general practitioners and internal medicine doctors may be able to diagnose and treat these same conditions, a dermatologist has a deeper understanding and greater experience. In fact, many primary care doctors will refer their patients to dermatologists for specialized care.
What do dermatologists do?
A dermatologist’s work can typically be divided into three areas. These include:
- Medical. A dermatologist can diagnose and treat conditions that affect your skin. This includes conditions like plaque psoriasis, rosacea, and acne. A dermatologist can also identify symptoms on your skin that could be signs of other health conditions. For example, itchy, dry skin can sometimes indicate problems with your kidneys.
- Surgery. Many dermatologists do minor surgery, like removing moles or warts or doing skin biopsies. Other dermatologists will specialize in more extensive surgery. These procedures can include removing benign cysts or skin cancer.
- Cosmetic. A dermatologist can treat skin issues that affect your appearance. This may include hair loss, dark spots, or wrinkles. Many dermatologists are trained to administer cosmetic treatments, too. These include fillers, chemical peels, and laser hair removal.
What types of conditions do dermatologists treat?
Dermatologists can treat thousands of conditions that affect your skin, hair, or nails. A few of the most common conditions they treat include:
- Acne. Based on the severity of your acne, a dermatologist can treat this condition with topical treatments, medication, lasers, or other light therapies, chemical peels, or by removing large cysts.
- Skin cancer. Skin cancer can occur anywhere on your body. A dermatologist can remove cancer cells and monitor you to make sure it doesn’t return.
- Dermatitis. Dermatitis encompasses several types of skin conditions that cause inflammation and irritation. This may include eczema, cradle cap, and allergic reactions.
- Infections. Viruses, bacteria, fungi, and parasites can all find their way into your skin and cause a variety of skin infections. A dermatologist can help diagnose the cause of infections and prescribe treatment.
- Hair loss. Hair loss may be caused by hereditary baldness. Conditions like stress, illness, and hormonal changes may also impact hair loss. A dermatologist can determine the underlying cause and help treat it if possible.
- Nail problems. Spots, discoloration, and nail separation are common nail issues that are treated by dermatologists.