Skin conditions are an unfortunately common problem in the United States. Research shows that around 50 million Americans suffer from acne, 7.5 million Americans have psoriasis, and as many as one in five people will develop skin cancer over the course of their lifetime. To treat these conditions, many people will visit a dermatologist clinic for treatment over the course of their lives. But how do you find the best dermatologist for you? By asking these four questions, you can typically determine if a dermatologist has the expertise that you can trust, or if you would be better off choosing another doctor.
- Is There a Doctor On Site? The amount of time a doctor spends on site is regulated at the state level and differs accordingly. However, some dermatologists leave much of the day-to-day work to technicians. And while the technicians may be very qualified, the absence of a doctor leads to logical questions about the quality of the clinic’s service, the treatment you will receive, and the trust you can place in the establishment.
- Is the Doctor Board-Certified in Dermatology? Shockingly, there is no law requiring that a doctor be certified or trained in dermatological medicine. And due to the high profits associated with cosmetic dermatology, some physicians set up dermatologist clinics without actual experience or knowledge of skin disorders. Whether you’re interested in acne treatment products or treating skin cancer, these uncertified clinics do not deserve your trust or your business.
- How Long Have They Been in Business? While it may not be fair to assume that a new business might not have the expertise to properly treat skin disorders, research shows that many new dermatologist clinics and skin care centers fail after only a few years. The best dermatologists will have demonstrated excellent customer service and a proven ability to treat skin conditions, and will therefore have avoided this fate. Look for a clinic that has been in business for five or more years.
- Who Will Be Performing the Procedure? It is reasonable for experienced technicians to perform a number of fairly non-invasive treatments, such as laser acne treatment and laser varicose vein treatments. However, these technicians should be certified, trained and be able to prove their ability to successfully perform the procedure. And if the procedure is surgical in nature, it should be performed by a doctor.