17 May Medical + Cosmetic Dermatology = Ultimate Power Couple
What’s the difference between medical and cosmetic dermatology? Sometimes there’s a lot of overlap, and that’s why RefinedMD specializes in both. “Medical dermatology” is the treatment of medical skin conditions, and that includes very common issues such as acne, rosacea, melasma, and skin cancer. Dr. Lindsey Yeh treats the medical aspect of the more than 3,000 medical skin conditions covered at RefinedMD, but a lot of the time there are cosmetic concerns as well. We have a premium aesthetics team to partner with our medical providers so that you can get all of your skin goal needs met in one convenient location.
Let’s take acne for example. Contrary to popular belief, acne is a genuine medical condition—it’s just so common that we don’t think of it that way. There are many types of acne ranging from the mild, occasional whitehead to the more severe and painful cystic acne that can cause scarring. Treating all forms of acne will usually require a blend of medical and cosmetic dermatology. Let’s take a look at some of the most popular approaches.
Treating ALL Aspects of Acne
Acne affects up to 90 percent of women, and it’s not true that you’re “over acne” once you stop being a teenager. There are genetic components to acne, but hormones and stress can also trigger or exacerbate acne (which is why it’s also common for those who are pregnant or in menopause to see breakouts). Dr. Yeh can recommend prescription topicals and medications that can actually stop and prevent acne. Over-the-counter solutions rarely work, and when they do it’s usually only for mild cases. No over-the-counter cream is going to be effective against nodules and cysts.
But what about the strictly cosmetic side of acne? Pairing medical treatments with something like laser or light skin rejuvenation can be a great tool to soothe and calm the redness associated with acne. Acne can also cause permanent scarring, particularly severe acne. Lasers and chemical peels, as well as microneedling, are some of the most effective cosmetic dermatology tools to get rid of lingering signs of past breakouts. From scarring to hyperpigmentation, you DON’T have to live with the tell-tale signs of acne’s past forever.
Eczema and Rosacea Management
Eczema and rosacea are two other common types of skin conditions that have no “cure.” Instead, they can be managed and this is definitely something you deserve to take advantage of. The first step is identifying any triggers, which your medical dermatology team can help with. Prescription medications can also be effective.
However, once again lasers and energy-based devices can do a great job of helping to reduce the symptoms of eczema and rosacea. Controlling the “flush” of rosacea by targeting the blood vessels that cause this redness or soothing the rash associated with eczema are both possible with cosmetic dermatology. Every patient is different so your exact approach will be customized just for you.
Staying on Top of Skin Cancer
There are many types of skin cancer, and melanoma is the deadliest. However, skin cancer is completely preventable and easy to treat when caught early. Everyone, no matter their skin tone or how much (or little) time they’ve spent in the sun, should be scheduling annual “mole checks” with their dermatologist. A suspicious mole can be quickly excised and biopsied to determine if it’s cancerous or pre-cancerous. When caught early, treatment simply means removing the affected area and testing the borders to ensure they are “all clear” from cancer—no chemotherapy or radiation is required for early-stage skin cancer in the vast majority of cases.
But what if you just don’t like the look of moles? That’s when cosmetic dermatology comes into play. Moles, freckles, brown spots, and sun spots can all be treated with various procedures such as chemical peels and lasers. Your dermatologist might determine that a mole should be biopsied before removal for cosmetic purposes (just in case!). This means that your medical and aesthetic team might work together when it comes to mole removal and management.
Make skin care part of your routine, combining medical and cosmetic dermatology at RefinedMD. We’re your one-stop destination for all your skin care needs, so you can stay healthy and look your best. Book your appointment today by calling RefinedMD or use the online form.