Your skin is the largest organ of your body, it also serves an important function in maintaining a healthy body. While taking care of everything else around you, the stress level can increase and it can severely hamper your skin's health. Other environmental factors, stressors, diet, lifestyle, and hormones also contribute to the damage to the skin. All these are the primary cause of skin concerns like acne, premature aging, dark circles, and even skin cancer.
So it is important to consult a doctor and take care of your skin, and by the doctor, we mean a dermatologist.
It is believed that the success of any treatment, be it medical or cosmetic, rests on two essential things - the expertise of the doctor and the compliance of the patient. That is why choosing a dermatologist who can effectively address all your skin-related concerns is critically necessary.
So, who is a dermatologist?
A dermatologist is basically a skin doctor that diagnoses and treats any condition that impacts your skin, nails, or hair. Since the skin makes an explicit part of your body, it is important to find an experienced dermatologist who will address the concerns associated with it.
Choosing the right dermatologist can be tricky. If you have never been to the dermatologist but want to now, here let us help you.
Tips for choosing the right dermatologist
Determine your need if it is medical/ surgical or cosmetic
You have a skin concern to solve, but not every dermatologist is suitable. Reason? Dermatologic care, like any other medical care, must be specific to your needs. Your concerns may be medical, surgical, or cosmetic.
Like rosacea or cystic acne are medical concerns. Nodular melanoma or removal of a benign growth are surgical concerns while hydrafacial or facial sculpting are cosmetic concerns.
Ideally, choosing the right dermatologist must be based on how well their specialty aligns with your needs. When in doubt, always call the doctor's office and ask if the dermatologist is experienced in treating your specific areas of concern.
Referral, reviews, and survey
Take time and create a list based on the referrals from your family, friends, or your primary care doctor. Ask them about their experience with their dermatologist. Research about them, and read reviews on different sites. Surveys can reveal former patients' views on dermatologists' behavior, scheduling, wait times, and the friendliness of the staff.
Look for red flags like:
- an unwelcoming office
- rude staff/doctors
- hidden fees
- non-specific treatments
- prescribing unnecessary medicines/products
- unsatisfactory results
- sale-sy behavior
Check the dermatologist's credentials
Board certification is one of the most important factors to consider when you are choosing the right dermatologist. The certification tells you that the doctor has the necessary skill, training, and experience to provide healthcare in dermatology. Also, rule out the possibility of the dermatologist having a history of malpractice claims or disciplinary actions.
It is very important to feel comfortable with your dermatologist's gender because you will have to openly discuss your personal information. You should be able to communicate well and openly with your dermatologist, there shouldn't be any room for shyness when it comes to your skin concerns. You shouldn't be withdrawing yourself from sharing personal information with your dermatologist.
We all are familiar with the surprising out-of-pocket bills we face while visiting a doctor. So, it is important to choose a dermatologist that participates in your insurance plan.
Lastly... Evaluate after your first session
Create a checklist of these below questions and see how many of these you can cross off?
- The dermatologist listened to your problems clearly
- The dermatologist examined you thoroughly
- You felt encouraged to share all the information with the dermatologist
- You were able to ask questions and you get answers to all of your questions
- The dermatologist gave you many treatment choices
- The dermatologist gave you an overview, risk, and success rate of the treatments
- You were convinced to schedule a follow-up appointment
While a surprising pimple may not be serious enough to warrant all that effort in choosing the right dermatologist, other skin concerns do. For instance, severe acne scars, pigmentation, serious hair loss, hormonal skin issues, skin cancer, etc.
So, if you feel you are in a need of a dermatologist, follow these tips before making an appointment.