Cosmetic Dermatology

cosmetic dermatologyPeople often view cosmetic dermatologist consultations as a form of luxury: only reserved for those who can afford it. Maintaining healthy skin seems easy enough. Follow the well-established “cleanse, tone, moisturize” routine, and you’re done. Incorporate a few more cosmetic products and your skin will be in its best form.

However, there are a few skin conditions that are not visible to the naked eye. They require a certain level of skill and expertise to be diagnosed appropriately. Even if maintaining a simple and all-natural beauty routine would never hurt anybody, seeing a specialist every once in a while will help you maintain your skin better. This way, you will be sure that you are free from hidden problems that may lead to more serious conditions in the future.

What is a Cosmetic Dermatologist?

A cosmetic dermatologist is a specially-trained medical doctor whose expertise is in the diagnosis, treatment, and prevention of possible skin conditions. They tend to patients of different ages and provide them with the help that they need on their way to having better skin.

A cosmetic dermatologist’s expertise ranges from treating simple skin condition, like pre-pubescent acne and skin irritations, to providing solutions for more complex problems like skin cancer and psoriasis. People who are suffering from different nail problems may also visit them for treatment. Cosmetic dermatology is also often concerned with patients who want to delay signs of aging and to minimize lines and wrinkles that are already visible.

They can also help patients who are experiencing extreme weight loss, and provide scalp treatments that can help in making the hair grow stronger and longer.

Like other doctors who have their own respective specializations, cosmetic dermatologists spend six years, at the very least, to undergo highly specific classes and practical on-the-job training. An additional five years are spent to train specifically for cosmetic dermatology. Trainees are required to take Clinical Sciences examinations, while those who are nearing the end of the program take the Fellowship examination. Those who pass the last exam are recommended to different hospitals for further training.

After completion of every training requirement, cosmetic dermatologist aspirants need to take and pass the examination given regularly by the American Board of Dermatology. Those who qualify for certification may then choose to open their own private clinic, or to be a part of a hospital’s dermatological roster. Those who wish to undergo further training to may do so to specialize on more specific procedures.

What Procedures Do Cosmetic Dermatologists Perform?

There are different types of cosmetic dermatology procedures that your doctor may perform on you, depending on your skin condition and your target result. Based on the needs of your body, your doctor may guide you through the following procedures:

Chemical Peels

Chemical peels remove the other layer of the skin to make way for a smoother layer. There are three types of peels that a cosmetic dermatologist may use on a patient, depending on the state of their facial skin.

The acids burn off the outer skin to remove fine lines and wrinkles. For the best effects to be achieved, the patient needs to undergo a series of sessions. No sedation or anaesthesia is required. It is an outpatient procedure that usually takes thirty minutes to an hour.

Eyelid Surgery

In this surgical procedure, an incision is made near the upper eyelid, along the natural skin fold. Unwanted skin and fat are then removed from the area after the muscles are tightened. After all of these, the incisions are stitched up, dressed. Scars, or any signs of the incision, are hidden by the folds of the eyes.

This procedure will take one to three hours of your time. It may either be an out-patient operation or a hospital treatment, depending on your cosmetic surgeon.


Before the treatment, the doctors will cover your eyes and your hair using a hair cap and cotton pads. Anaesthesia will then be applied all over your skin. Some doctors prefer to spray the skin with refrigerant to numb the area.

Damaged skin will then be scraped off the face to make way for the formation of a new layer. Handheld and motorized instruments, like brushes and sanding wheels, are often used to mildly scrub the skin. This is a very quick procedure, usually taking thirty minutes to an hour. If the target area is severely damaged, your cosmetic surgeon may ask you to undergo a series of treatments to ensure optimum results.

Laser Hair Removal

Different options are available to remove body hair, but women usually go through laser hair removal treatments because it removes hair permanently. For patients who have darker skin tone, bleaching treatments are often recommended as well.

The area will be shaved clean before the procedures and an anaesthetic will be topically applied. Pulsations of laser are used to deactivate the hair follicles under the skin. The cooling effect of the laser adds to the anaesthesia’s numbing effect.

The treatment will take a longer amount of time if the target area is larger. Small areas, like the upper lip, will only take five minutes; while larger areas, like legs and arms, will take up to an hour.

Tattoo Removal

Your cosmetic dermatologist will explain the small risks that come along with a tattoo removal procedure during initial consultation. He will also ask about your medical history to prevent possible complications.

To begin the procedure, your cosmetic dermatologist or one of his medical staff will clean the tattooed area. Intense emissions of light will be directed to the area. This will effectively lighten, if not totally remove, the unwanted tattoo.

Tattoo removal treatments usually take ten to twenty minutes to complete. Several sessions may be required to completely lighten the tattoo, depending on its size. Remember to allow at least one month between treatments to avoid further skin damage.

Lip Augmentation

There are different types of lip augmentation procedures that you may undergo. Consult your doctor and find out which option is the best for you.

The first, and the most common type, makes use of injectables to make the lips appear fuller and plumper. Fillers are injected on certain part of the lip to give them an additional pout. Small needles are used to directly administer the injectables underneath the skin of the lips.

Fat injections may also be used. Fat is harvested from other body parts and transferred to the lips. Using fat as a filler completely minimizes the risks of complications and allergic reactions.

The second type requires the use of skin grafts. Under local anaesthesia, the graft is administered through incisions inside the mouth. After the grafts are placed on strategic places in the area, the incision is closed using very small and barely noticeable sutures.

Both types of lip augmentation options produce permanent and irreversible results; so you better make sure that you are completely decided on going through the operation before you even talk to a doctor.

Neck Liposuction

Incisions are made on the creases of the chin or behind the ear lobes. The cosmetic dermatologist will then insert a cannula to break up fat deposits on the neck. Broken down fat is suctioned out using a high pressure vacuum, leaving the skin and muscles unaffected.

Like other liposuction procedures, neck liposuction treatments may be done under local or complete anaesthesia. Patients will also be asked to stay in the hospital for further observations. People who undergo neck liposuction are advised to wear a neck brace both to restrict movement in the neck area and to prevent the incisions from opening again.

The procedures listed here don’t even scratch the surface of the total number of procedures that a cosmetic dermatologist may perform. To find out which procedures will give you the best results, consult a cosmetic dermatologist near your area.