Procedures Performed by Dermatologists

Dermatologists are physicians who diagnose and treat skin disease, as well as help patients maintain the health and appearance of their skin.  Procedures are an integral part of dermatology.  This article will outline the most commonly performed procedures by dermatologists, many of which will be discussed in further detail in future postings.

Most all dermatologists, especially those focusing on medical dermatology perform the following procedures:

  • Skin Biopsies – removal of a small sample of skin under local anesthesia to help diagnose a skin condition.  The specimen is then sent to a pathologist for examination under a microscope.
  • Cryotherapy – treatment of various types of skin lesions with liquid nitrogen, including warts, pre-cancers and other benign lesions.
  • Simple Excisions – removal of moles, cysts or other lesions via simple skin surgery.
  • Skin Cancer removals – discussed further below. 

Procedures that utilize mechanical devices to treat dermatologic conditions include:

  • Phototherapy – use of ultraviolet light (UV) with or without medications to treat various skin conditions such as psoriasis, eczema, intractable itching or other more rare skin conditions.
  • Laser Treatments – use of specialized devices to treat various types of skin conditions or lesions.
  • Photodynamic Therapy – use of topical compounds that are activated by a special light source to treat pre-cancers, photodamage, acne or other conditions. 

Skin cancers can be removed by one of several procedures:

  • Electrodessication and Curretage
  • Excision
  • Mohs Surgery
  • Chemotherapy with Prescription Creams 

Many dermatologists also perform cosmetic procedures to enhance the appearance of the skin, including:

  • Injectable Toxins – including Botox, Dysport and Xeomin.
  • Fillers and Volumizers – including Restylane, Juvederm, Belotero, Radiesse, Sculptra and others
  • Chemical Peels – including Glycolic Acid, Salicylic Acid, Trichloracetic Acid and Phenol
  • Resurfacing – using microdermabrasion, dermabrasion or lasers 

Future posting will discuss many of these procedures in greater detail.  Stay tuned!

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