5 steps for choosing the right dermatologist
Consulting a qualified dermatologist to address skin concerns or for preventative care can make a difference in your health and self-esteem. But to select a dermatologist, there are various factors you should consider. And steps to take. We will address five of them. However, note that above all, the dermatologist’s expertise and your comfort matter when trusting one with your skin health.
1. Know the type of dermatologist you are looking for
There are two types of dermatologists: general and cosmetic. A general dermatologist treats medical skin problems like acne, rosacea, or spider veins, while a cosmetic dermatologist focuses on aesthetic treatments. Understanding which service you need will influence your search. If you need non-surgical solutions like fillers or micro-needling, a cosmetic dermatologist will do.
2. Ask your primary care physician (PCP) for referrals
Whether your PCP has detected skin issues or you have worries about your skin, asking for referrals is effective in finding a dermatologist. Your PCP can provide you with a list of dermatologists to consider. Alternatively, you may ask your relatives and friends for referrals.
3. Check the dermatologist’s experience and credentials
This is an important part of choosing the right dermatologist. Ensure they are board-certified. It shows their commitment to ethical and high-quality care. The American Board of Dermatology issues certifications to dermatologists. The addition of F.A.A.D (Fellow of the American Academy of Dermatology) after their names indicates they have this certification.
If you have a particular skin issue, you should find a dermatologist who specializes in it to maximize your chances of receiving successful advice and treatment. You can also search for any history of malpractice to ensure they are a safe provider.
4. Check your health care plans coverage
Choosing a dermatologist covered under your care plan means a significant difference in your medical or cosmetic expenses. If you are looking for a specific treatment, you can also contact your health insurance provider and ask whether they include it in your coverage. This can help you have a general idea of what your out-of-pocket cost might be and possibly ask the dermatologist if you have possible alternatives. When it comes to cosmetic treatments, few healthcare plans include them.
5. Schedule a consultation
Once you have followed all the previous steps, scheduling an initial appointment is next. It allows you to receive an examination, understand what your options are, and ask questions. After your consultation, you should evaluate your experience. If you were uncomfortable during the appointment, find another provider.
Do not be discouraged if the first dermatologist you consult is not a good fit for you. Taking time to find a medical professional that you trust is important.