Tips for Choosing a Dermatologist

Visiting the dermatologist is an important step in maintaining sustainable and healthy skincare. Whether you want a professional to address your fine lines and wrinkles or you have skin cancer in your family, it is important to see a specialist for whatever skin-related care you need. That said, finding a specialist isn’t always easy. If you’re ready to visit a dermatologist but don’t know what to look for, we’ve curated the below list to start you on your journey. 

Check Your Insurance Coverage

Dermatology visits can be surprisingly expensive, but not all insurance plans cover certain types of visits and treatments. Before selecting a dermatologist, contact your insurance provider to clarify what is and is not covered. Then, find a dermatologist that works within your network. Skincare is very important, but you won’t want to visit the doctor’s office if you get slapped with a $300 fee every time.

Know the Types of Dermatologists

Some dermatology clinics provide a wide range of services, while others are more specific. General or medical dermatology includes services like rash treatment, acne management, and rosacea mitigation. This type of dermatologist will also check your moles and help with other issues, like thinning hair. On the other side, anything that may require a peel, laser, or injection is considered cosmetic dermatology. This is the office to visit for wrinkle, scar, and discoloration treatment.

Read the Doctor Bios

When choosing a dermatologist, it is important to look for board certification from the American Academy of Dermatology. This means they have met the common standards for physicians necessary to maintain board certification. You’ll also want to check this to see what your doctor has a background in. Maybe they began as a medical dermatologist and switched over to cosmetic. Perhaps they worked as a general physician before beginning to specialize. All of this information is important, so soak it up before heading in for a visit.

Get a Consultation

Before agreeing to receive a treatment, schedule a consultation with a dermatologist who fits your criteria. This is a great opportunity to visit the office, meet the staff, and ask other patients about how they like the practice. It sounds crazy, but if you have to wait several weeks to schedule your consultation, that’s a good sign. It means that the doctors are in high demand.

During this consultation, it is important to clearly communicate what you need from the doctor. If you’re interested in regular skin checks and skin cancer monitoring, make that known. If you want to ensure you can get the Botox treatments you want, tell your doctor. If the medical professional does not provide a service you need, or if they think you might receive better specialized treatment elsewhere, they will tell you.

Consider Alternatives

Not everybody has the ability to visit the dermatologist. Between taking time off from work, driving to the office, and postponing other responsibilities, doctor’s visits can be quite a burden. Luckily, dermatology clinics are beginning to find ways to help their busier clients receive treatment.

Some offices, like West County Dermatology in St. Louis, offer virtual visits for patients stretched for time. These virtual visits ask patients to provide details about their medical history and skin condition. The patient then uploads photos of their current condition to the clinic’s secure platform. Within three days, the office will respond with a diagnosis and personalized treatment plan. If you don’t have the time to visit the dermatologist, this is an excellent option.