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Dermatology: Meaning, scope, and other details

Team AckoJul 4, 2023

Dermatology, the specialised branch of medicine that focuses on skin conditions, encompasses a vast and intricate domain that extends far beyond mere blemishes or rashes. Serving as the body's protective shield, the skin acts as an intricate interface between our internal systems and the external world. Its health, therefore, plays a pivotal role in our overall well-being. This article endeavours to shed light on the multifaceted realm of Dermatology. 




What is Dermatology?

Dermatology is the discipline of medicine concerned with the research and treatment of skin-related disorders. Dermatologists are experts in handling skin problems ranging from acne to eczema, and psoriasis to skin cancer. They play an important role not only in treating current diseases but also in advising on how to maintain general skin health. 

Skin: Our largest organ

Let us first become acquainted with the structure and functions of the skin before going deeper into the field of Dermatology. The epidermis, dermis, and hypodermis are the three primary layers of your skin. 

  • The epidermis is your skin's outermost layer, and it protects you from the environment. 

  • The dermis offers structural support as well as housing vital components such as hair follicles and sweat glands. 

  • Finally, the hypodermis serves as a cushioning layer and controls temperature.

Common skin conditions treated by Dermatologists

Here is a list of the common skin conditions treated by Dermatologists regularly.

  1. Acne refers to a skin disorder that causes pimples, blackheads, and whiteheads as a result of blocked hair follicles and excessive oil production.

  2. Eczema refers to a chronic inflammatory skin ailment characterised by dry, itchy, and red areas. Allergies or irritants are frequently to blame.

  3. Psoriasis refers to an autoimmune condition that causes a fast accumulation of skin cells on the skin, resulting in thick, scaly patches. It can be uncomfortable and have an impact on one's quality of life.

  4. Rosacea refers to a chronic skin disorder that mostly affects the face, causing redness, visible blood vessels, and occasionally acne-like outbreaks. In certain situations, it can also cause eye discomfort.

  5. Dermatitis is an inflammation of the skin that can be caused by irritants, allergies, or a hereditary predisposition. It comprises contact dermatitis and seborrheic dermatitis.

  6. Melasma refers to a common skin disorder characterised by darker areas of skin, most typically on the face. Its development can be influenced by hormonal fluctuations, UV exposure, and hereditary factors.

  7. Sunburns are a very common occurrence during summer. Dermatologists are trained to reduce and treat suntans and severe sunburns.

Common techniques Dermatologists use to treat skin diseases

Dermatologists use a variety of procedures and treatments to diagnose, treat, and improve skin diseases. Here is a list.

  • Laser therapy: This is the use of laser equipment to treat skin issues such as birthmarks, vascular lesions, undesired hair, acne scars, and tattoo removal. Laser treatment targets particular skin structures while causing no harm to neighbouring tissues.

  • Excision: The surgical excision of skin lesions, moles, cysts, or tumours with a knife or other specialised surgical tools. This technique is done using local anaesthesia.

  • Skin Biopsy: A process that involves taking a tiny sample of skin tissue for microscopic inspection. It aids in the diagnosis of skin problems such as skin cancer, rashes, and infections.

  • Photodynamic Therapy (PDT): A therapy that destroys aberrant skin cells by combining light and a photosensitising chemical. It is often used to treat precancerous lesions, acne, and some forms of skin cancer.

  • Dermabrasion: The removal of the outer layers of skin with a rotating device or abrasive materials. It is employed in the treatment of acne scars, fine wrinkles, and some skin growths.

  • Chemical peels: A chemical solution is put on to the skin, causing controlled exfoliation and peeling. 

  • Cryotherapy: This is the use of severe cold to freeze and kill aberrant skin cells such as warts, precancerous lesions, or some benign skin growths.

  • Injectable Treatments: Dermatologists administer injectable treatments, such as botulinum toxin (Botox) and dermal fillers, to reduce wrinkles, restore volume, and enhance facial features.

  • Excess Hair Removal: The use of laser technology to permanently reduce unwanted hair. The laser targets and damages hair follicles, inhibiting future hair growth.

When to visit a Dermatologist

You should visit a Dermatologist for the following. 

  1. If you're dealing with severe acne that just won't go away no matter what you try, it might be time to seek some expert help. Over-the-counter products can be great, but sometimes you need a Dermatologist's guidance to find the right treatment for persistent acne that's causing you stress or leaving behind scars.

  2. If eczema, psoriasis, rosacea, or sunburns are causing you discomfort, making you self-conscious, or interfering with your daily activities, a Dermatologist can provide you with the right diagnosis and treatment plan to manage them effectively.

  3. If you're noticing excessive hair loss, thinning hair, or annoying scalp problems like dandruff or itching, consult a Dermatologist. 

  4. If you notice any suspicious moles or strange skin growths, it's a good idea to have them checked out by a Dermatologist. You want to catch any signs of skin cancer early on, so if you notice a mole that's changing in size, shape, or colour, or if it's asymmetrical or has irregular borders, don't hesitate to schedule that appointment.

  5. If you're bothered by wrinkles, age spots, or uneven skin tone, or you want to get rid of some unwanted hair, a Dermatologist can be your go-to person. They have a range of treatments and procedures at their disposal to help you improve your skin's appearance and boost your confidence.

  6. In cases of severe or recurring allergic reactions, a Dermatologist can be a real lifesaver. They can perform allergy testing to identify triggers and give you advice on how to avoid those pesky allergens. If you have skin allergies or suffer from contact dermatitis, a Dermatologist can provide guidance and treatments to help manage them.

Frequently Asked Questions

Here are some frequently asked questions on Dermatology.


What conditions does a Dermatologist treat?

Dermatologists treat skin disorders such as acne, eczema, psoriasis, skin cancer, rashes, infections, hair loss, and aesthetic concerns. They also offer skincare advice and carry out treatments such as skin biopsies and surgery.

How frequently should I have a skin cancer screening?

A skin cancer screening is typically suggested once a year, especially if you have a history of skin cancer, a family history of the illness, or spend a lot of time in the sun. Regular screenings aid in the early detection of skin malignancies, when they are more curable.

Are dermatological treatments uncomfortable?

The amount of discomfort felt during dermatological operations varies based on the technique, the patient's pain tolerance, and the use of local anaesthesia. The majority of operations are well tolerated, and Dermatologists take precautions to reduce pain and discomfort throughout treatments.

Can a Dermatologist advise you on anti-aging treatments?

Yes, physicians provide a variety of anti-aging treatments. To revitalise the skin and attain a more youthful look, they may propose procedures such as botox, dermal fillers, chemical peels, or laser therapy.

How can I keep my skin healthy?

To keep your skin healthy, stick to a regular skin care regimen that includes gentle washing, moisturising, and wearing sunscreen.

Disclaimer: The content on this page is generic and shared only for informational and explanatory purposes. Please consult a doctor before making any health-related decisions.


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