FAQ

  1. What kind of training do dermatologists go through?
  2. What should I expect during my first visit?
  3. What can I do to improve the look of my skin?
  4. What conditions can dermatology treat?
  5. Do I need a referral to see a dermatologist?
  6. What sunscreen should I use?
  7. Which moisturizer(s) should I use?

1. What kind of training do dermatologists go through?

As medical specialists, dermatologists go through an extensive training program that involves several years of additional study beyond the education, training and residency required by medical doctors. Dermatologists receive advanced education and training in management of diseases of the skin, nails, hair and mucous membranes. Dermatologists also sit for a certifying exam by the American Board of Dermatology, which serves as documentation of a high level of training expertise.

2. What should I expect during my first visit?

After examining the records and information that have been supplied to us, we will obtain a detailed history and perform a thorough examination. Occasionally, a biopsy may be necessary to aid in our diagnosis. This will help in creating an effective treatment plan. We encourage you to ask questions, and we will be glad to address any concerns you may have.

3. What can I do to improve the look of my skin?

There are many ways to help improve the appearance of your skin. The first rule to follow is avoid overexposure to the sun's harmful rays by wearing protective clothing and using sunscreen. The use of mild soaps and moisturizers is also helpful in reducing dryness and scale. In addition, it can never be overemphasized that good nutrition and exercise contribute to good overall health and that will reflect well in your skin's appearance. If damage has already been done, consultation to your dermatologist is a good next step in treating the problems effectively. The dermatologist has many options available in confronting both medical and cosmetic issues that patients face. In advanced cases, procedures such as Botox® and Juvederm® have been very successful in improving the look of your skin.

4. What conditions can a dermatologist treat?

A dermatologist can treat a wide range of conditions affecting the skin, hair and nails, including, but not limited to, acne, psoriasis, rosacea, skin cancer, wrinkles, sun spots, pigmentation problems, warts, rashes, bacterial or fungal skin and nail infections, stretch marks, spider and varicose veins, and sun damage. If you have a skin-related problem, a dermatologist is the best choice for lasting, effective treatment.

5. Do I need a referral to see a dermatologist?

Not always. If you would like to have a consultation, simply contact us and we will schedule a convenient appointment time for you. Please note, however, that insurance policies may vary and a referral may be necessary for insurance to cover some forms of treatment. If you have questions on what is covered, or the necessity of a referral, you should contact your insurance company directly.

6. What sunscreen should I use?

We routinely recommend patients seek shade, avoid the midday sun and wear protective clothing. But the addition of a sunscreen is always a must to insure your skin is protected from harmful UV rays. As a general rule, we recommend applying a broad-spectrum UVA/UVB sunscreen with either zinc oxide or titanium dioxide at an SPF of 30 or above. The sunscreens containing zinc oxide or titanium dioxide are currently deemed “safe and effective” by the FDA.
Recent studies have shown that many sunscreens contain benzene. This is considered a carcinogen by several regulatory agencies including the U.S. Center for Disease Control and Prevention, the World Health Organization and others. The FDA conditionally restricts the limit of benzene to 2 parts per million. For a list of the sunscreens containing benzene and the amounts detected you can visit: https://www.valisure.com/blog/valisure-news/valisure-detects-benzene-in-sunscreen/. Recently there have been environmental concerns regarding sunscreens containing oxybenzone, octinoxate, octocrylene and avobenzone as these have been implicated in harmful effects on ocean coral reefs. While no definitive association has been proven, the State of Hawaii and the U.S. Virgin Islands have banned sunscreens containing these substances from being used. Therefore, with all this in mind the zinc oxide or titanium oxide sunscreens for now make the most sense.

7. Which moisturizers/lotions should I use?

Retaining moisture is an important aspect of skin care, and can not only help your skin feel soft, but also help it maintain health and vitality. Choosing a moisturizer involves knowing your skin type and specific needs. If you have dry skin, for example, you may want a heavier, oil or petroleum-based moisturizer, and if you have oily, acne-prone skin, look for moisturizers that are water-based, oil-free and labeled “non-comedogenic” or “non-acnegenic”. People with sensitive skin should get hypo-allergenic, perfume-free formulations. Moisturizers with SPF protection are also an excellent choice if you plan to be out in the sun.