Are you looking for the best dermatologist for your needs? You probably associate most dermatologists with skin matters. But did you know that these professionals deal with nails, hair, and their associated diseases too? Besides that, some of the best dermatologists are surgical experts in their chosen field. They are not all about the medical issues only.
Not everyone who calls themselves a dermatologist is an actual dermatologist, which makes it difficult for you to determine the best professionals around. Two boards that certify the best dermatologists in the U.S. exist including the American Board of Dermatology (ABD) and the American Osteopathic Board of Dermatology (AOBD). If one of these two boards has not certified a dermatologist, then it’s likely that the professional in question is not the expert in dermatology that you want to consult.
Types of Dermatologists
If you are looking for the best dermatologist for your needs, find a specialist in the field in which your health issues lie. There are four main types of dermatologists. They are classified based on the field of dermatology that they chose to pursue.
An immunodermatologist is a dermatology specialist that has studied the correlation between the skin and immune system. Many specialists of this kind run their immunopathology labs. In these labs, they explore how the immune system and the skin interact when different stimuli are involved. They may also help to come up with solution skin conditions that arise from immune system complications. Some of the illnesses that immunodermatologists handle include lupus, eczema, and contact dermatitis.
2. Pediatric dermatologists
A pediatric dermatologist is a specialist trained to deal with children and their dermatological issues. These dermatologists undergo training that qualifies them to handle children because the little ones tend to be more delicate and react to medication and diseases differently from adults. Some of the diseases that pediatric dermatologists deal with include hives, dermatitis from allergic reactions, and even birthmarks.
3. Cosmetic dermatologist
Most dermatologists that you hear about are probably cosmetic dermatologists - they are the most outstanding professionals in their field. A specialist of this kind usually deals with the beauty aspect of your skin, hair, and nails. Some of the tasks they perform include skin tightening, hair removal, and tattoo removal. They also deal with liposuction and facelifts too. Some of them have surgical training that qualifies them to perform surgery to sort out skin problems like scarring. But most usually avoid dealing with invasive procedures.
A dermatopathologist is a dermatologist that specializes in skin pathology. Part of their training program includes the study of pathology. If a cosmetic dermatologist takes some any of your skin and tissue samples, this kind of dermatologist is the one who will receive them. The professional will then determine where various forms of skin diseases come from. Their tasks include performing skin biopsies to determine diseases like skin cancer.
Dermatologists and Tattoo Removal
Do you regret getting inked and want to get rid of your tattoos? You are not alone. Studies show that at least 23 percent of people who have tattoos regretted getting them. If you have decided that you would like to remove your tattoo, then it’s vital for you to consult a cosmetic dermatologist. That is because specialists of this kind have the medical training and expertise to deal with issues that affect the surface of your skin.
Why You Should Consult Dermatologists When Removing Tattoos
It is crucial for you to consult the best dermatologist when removing your tattoos. There are several reasons for this. Dermatologists have the training that one requires to handle effective tattoo removal procedures like laser treatments. You are not in a position to do these treatments on your own. And there are certain tattoos that you may not be able to reach on your body unless you are a contortionist.
Dermatologists will also take the time to find out certain things about your tattoo that you may not deem essential but are. Details like how long you have had your tattoo, how deep the ink goes into your skin, which medications you take, and whether you have dealt with raised scars in the past are all crucial. They guide the cosmetic dermatologist in determining the best way to remove your tattoos in a manner that leaves minimal scarring and reduces chances of potentially deadly allergic reactions. To put it simply, dermatologists are worth consulting because they know what they are doing and you don’t.
How to Find the Best Dermatologist for Your Needs
So, how should you go about finding the best dermatologist for your needs? What criteria should you use?
1. Research on their academic credentials
The first thing you need to consider is whether your dermatologist has the right academic credentials to handle your skin issues. The last thing you want is to deal with a quack masquerading as an expert because that person may mess up and cause you more problems than you are already dealing with.
Take the time to do your research and find out whether the dermatologist you are considering has the basic academic qualifications for starters. First, the specialist should have obtained an undergraduate degree from an accredited college or university. Then they should have undergone a graduate four-year medical program. Lastly, they should have undertaken a three-year residency program in dermatology. It’s also essential for you to determine whether the dermatologist in question has been licensed to practice in your state.
You also need to ensure that the dermatologist you are considering has been board certified by either the ABD or the AOBD. These are the boards that accredited practicing dermatologists and given them additional validity as experts in their field.
2. Referral from your General Practitioner (GP)
Your journey to the dermatologist’s office may start at your local GP’s office. 80 percent of American adults have a doctor that they see regularly. So, why not use your doctor as a resource to help you find the best dermatologist for your tattoo removal needs?
Your doctor is part of the network of medical professionals in your area. He or she likely knows a good dermatologist or knows someone who can refer one. And the chances are that your GP can recommend one or two dermatology experts at the top of their game. Your doctor is unlikely to steer you wrong since it would affect your relationship. It will also affect the doctor’s reputation if he or she makes a habit of recommending the wrong specialists for the patients. You are therefore likely to get access to one or two good dermatologists that you can put on your shortlist.
3. Referrals from your family, friends, and colleagues
You can request for information concerning the best dermatologists from your family, friends, and colleagues. Americans spend up to $15 billion on cosmetic procedures on an annual basis. Someone within your social circle probably has had a cosmetic procedure of some sort or knows someone who has. And they can recommend at least one cosmetic dermatologist between them. That would considerably cut down the time you would require to search for the best dermatologist.
4. Budgetary constraints
How much money are you willing to spend to get rid of your tattoo? Is your budget constrained? You need to ask yourself these questions if you want to find the best dermatologist for your needs. Good professionals cost money. Besides that, the kind of tattoo that you have, it’s size, and the inks used will all determine the cost of removal. And most of these tattoos don’t come out in one session. You will require multiple sessions to make considerable headway in removing them from your skin, which means more money.
Cheaper dermatologists may charge you between $100 and $170. But the more expensive ones will charge you $200 or more. One study shows that the average cost of tattoo removal is $1,225, which is not surprising considering the per-session price of seeing a skin expert to help you out.
You should also consider whether the best dermatologist for your needs accepts your insurance. However, do bear in mind that most insurance packages do not cover tattoo removal unless your tattoos pose a danger to your health. Since the average person tends to want to remove tattoos for other reasons altogether, the chances are that your tattoo removal procedure would not be covered. And even if it is, you may have to jump through many hoops to get compensation, which may not be worth the hassle. So, it’s essential that you have a reasonable budget that can help you find the best dermatologist without necessarily breaking the bank.
5. Consider customer ratings and reviews
It’s not your job to be a dermatologist’s guinea pig when getting tattoo removal. So, don’t go out there and hire a dermatologist that no one can vouch for.
Take your time to come up with a shortlist of the best dermatologists for your needs. Then consider their customer ratings and reviews. Start with Facebook and Google, which are the main players in the search engine and social media categories. Take the time to see what other people are saying about your shortlisted dermatologists. Also, pay attention to any complaints that they make.
Other platforms that you should consider using include Yelp, which is one of the leading platforms for customer ratings and reviews. Also consider Better Business Bureau, Angie’s List, and Glassdoor. Glassdoor provides employee reviews of the company, which makes it an excellent tool. An unhappy employee may decide to sabotage the employer by ruining your tattoo removal procedure, which would be very bad for you. So do pay attention to a wide variety of opinions and testimonials to enhance your chances of getting the best dermatologist for your needs.
6. Go for a consult and observe the professional behavior
Once you determine which dermatologist has the most appealing testimonials and suits your criteria, take the time to book an appointment. When you get to see this professional, observe how the dermatologist conducts business. Do they take the time to listen to you and make you feel comfortable? Or do they talk continuously and fail to give you the room to express your concerns?
Do they advertise and push products right from the beginning? You need to be wary if they do. It means the specialist in question only cares about generating sales and could cares little about the patient. Their interests supersede yours. What about the employees who work within that dermatology clinic? Do they take the time to welcome you? Are they polite? Do they come across as reliable? How other employees within the dermatology clinic conduct themselves will tell you a lot about whether they are happy with their work conditions or not. Sometimes, ratings and reviews that appear on sites like Glassdoor may not give you a full picture on what is going on in the background.
Do take the time to observe the hygienic standards within your dermatologist’s clinic. Did you know that at any given time, 4 percent of hospital patients acquire a healthcare-associated infection? The last thing you want is to get additional infections when trying to remove your tattoos. And such infections can easily be found within dirty clinics where people fail to observe proper hygiene standards. And these infections may end up being very deadly.
7. Pay attention to the after-hours care and ask the right questions
What if you developed a health complication after undergoing a dermatological procedure? Would your preferred dermatologist be willing to provide after-hours emergency care? Are there procedures in place to tackle this kind of situation and how adequate are they?
Do not be afraid to ask the right questions. And when you do, observe how the dermatologist is answering the questions you ask during the consult. That will tell you in great detail what kind of professional that person is. If your gut instinct tells you that something is off about that person, listen to it even when it makes no sense because Science shows that it works. Then go and consult the next dermatologist on your shortlist.
Determine the Best Dermatologist for Your Needs
The best dermatologist is the one that meets most or all of the selection criteria that you set out. That professional should have the right academic credentials and come highly recommended. He or she should charge reasonable prices while providing excellent quality services for the money. The best dermatologist should also be someone you click with and feel you can trust. Only then should you hire that professional to remove your tattoos and deal with other skin issues that may arise.