What credentials are important to administer the right skin care treatment for you?
When you are worried about a skin problem, a dermatologist is the person with the most training, experience and expertise to help you. This is especially true when you need professional skin care treatment for acne, rosacea, skin cancer, rashes, skin sores, and even wrinkles and age spots.
But not all medical professionals are the same so what should you look for in a dermatologist?
How do you choose a dermatologist?
A dermatologist spends a minimum of 12 years after graduating from high school studying, training and being tested in the science of skin physiology and skin problems.
- 4 years in college where they take college science classes to prepare to enter medical school.
- 4 years of medical study focused solely on the science and medicine of the human body.Here, they earn either a degree of Medical Doctor (MD) or a Doctor of Osteopathy (DO) degree.
- 1 year of required internship in an official and accredited hospital training program where they learn to be a general doctor.Then, they are eligible for a license to practice medicine. Licenses are granted by states.
- 3 years of study AT MINIMUM in an official, accredited dermatology residency program.This is where all the previous 9 years of study are now focused and honed on the complex science and medicine of the skin. This includes how it works, what happens when it does not work and how to fix skin problems.
In these last, four years of study, a dermatologist is a full-fledged and licensed physician, treating patients while they also study.
It takes a lot of hands-on experience and study to be a real dermatologist.
There are milestone tests along the way that must be passed in addition to study and practice requirements that must be fulfilled.
Typically, a dermatologist is about 30 years old when they finally finish the process and become a dermatologist and are now a skin health expert.
Before going into practice though, they also take a really hard and long examination, called the Dermatology Boards.
If they pass, you will see their brag. Their title and name say will say, “Board-Certified Dermatologist,” or the letters “FAAD” will be after their name. This means they are a Fellow of the American Academy of Dermatology and have been allowed to join the professional society of dermatologists.