How Do You Find the Best Cosmetic Dermatologist?
There’s something about your face that’s been bothering you for years (maybe a scar, or wrinkles), and nothing you’ve tried so far has worked to change it. Now you’ve learned about a cosmetic dermatology procedure (or maybe several) that can do exactly what you need to get the face you want. Your next step is to choose the dermatologist who will perform your procedure. Of course, you want the very best dermatologist around. But with thousands of doctors in practice, how can you possibly know who to choose?
Don’t worry; you’re not alone. Here at Doctor Review, helping you choose the right provider for your elective health procedure is one of our specialties. Here are a few tips to make sure you’re choosing the best cosmetic dermatologist for your procedure.
Things to Look For in a Cosmetic Dermatologist
Cosmetic dermatology procedures, such as botox injections, chemical peels, and other similar procedures, are sometimes offered in questionable settings, such as in the back of salons or spas. This may lead you to believe that these procedures are easy to perform, and almost anyone can do them. Don’t make this mistake!
In fact, while cosmetic dermatology is quite safe and adverse reactions are rare, the quality of the results has a lot to do with the training of the person performing the procedure. If you choose the back room of a salon, you could end up needing several more procedures to undo the damage caused to your face. Additionally, adverse reactions can and do happen to a few people, and you want to know that someone is present who can handle the problem and ensure your safety. For this reason, you should ensure that a medical doctor is present at the clinic and has at least met you.
You might be surprised to learn that medical procedures can be performed without the supervision of medical doctors. In fact, they can’t be — or they aren’t supposed to be, anyway. There will always be the name of an MD who is “supervising” the procedures at any cosmetic dermatology clinic. However, many MDs do not ever see the patients being treated by technicians at “their” clinics, and some don’t even stay in the building during the day. This is a problem, because the staff won’t know what to do when the rare adverse reaction does arise.
For the best quality results as well as for your safety, you should check to be sure that the MD on staff is present at the clinic when you’re there. Preferably, the doctor should also meet you in person. Additionally, you should choose an MD with specialty training relevant to the procedure you’re having; either a surgeon (preferably a plastic surgeon) or a dermatologist would be the ideal choices. Because of the popularity of cosmetic dermatology, some MDs with little to no training in this area have begun to practice or “supervise” these procedures, so make sure your doctor is well-trained.
Additionally, inquire as to how much training the staff performing your procedure have had. Ideally, if not performed by a medical doctor (MD), these procedures should be performed by a physician’s assistant (PA) or a registered nurse (RN) or nurse practitioner (ARNP).
Recent Training and Experience
You also want information on how often this clinic has done the particular procedure you’re considering, or whether they’ve recently had continuing education to learn new techniques in that particular area. Cosmetic dermatologists (like everyone else) tend to have particular areas of interest. Some may perform certain procedures more or less often, and may choose their continuing education courses to be in their area of greatest interest. If you’re calling the front desk as a potential new patient, you may be able to ask about this information. Sometimes, it’s available on the clinic’s website.
In addition to the training and experience of the doctor in charge, you should also ensure that the staff (who will likely be performing your procedure) have also been specifically and thoroughly trained in this procedure. Find out who will be performing your procedure and how much training they’ve received in this area. If you want good results, you need a well-trained clinician to do your procedure!
While you do want someone who’s experienced, it’s at least as important to find a cosmetic dermatologist with whom you feel comfortable, who listens to you, tries to understand your goals, and answers your questions. If your clinician doesn’t take the time to connect with you in this way, then you could end up making choices that you later regret, because they really weren’t right for you.
You also want a clinician who helps you feel calm, rather than heightening your anxiety. This makes cosmetic dermatology far more pleasant, helps you make the best choices for yourself, and may even speed your healing.
What About the Money?
It’s important not to let cost be the only factor in your decision. Simply choosing the cheapest cosmetic dermatologist you can find is likely to lead to unsatisfying outcomes, and possibly to much larger expenditures down the road to fix the problems that were caused. However, since medical insurance rarely covers cosmetic procedures, the balance in your bank account might force you to consider cost as part of your decision. You can sometimes simply ask the front desk staff to give you estimated prices on a variety of procedures, or you can have a consultation to get a more accurate estimate. Just keep in mind that if you don’t have the money you need to pay the provider you want, financing your procedure is an option.
Ask For a Little Help From Your Friends
Referrals from friends and family, especially if they’ve had the particular procedure you’re considering, can be especially valuable. You might not know who’s had cosmetic dermatology recently, because if it’s done well, then it looks natural! You might feel comfortable putting it out there: “I’m looking for a great cosmetic dermatologist in my area, do you know of anyone?” You might find the perfect fit this way. However, many people would like to be more discreet, rather than announcing their choice to seek cosmetic dermatology to the world. Instead, or in addition, you can search on Doctor Review to read reviews of dermatology clinics in your area. This is a great way to broaden your search and make sure you’re considering all the options, and to get advice from people who’ve had exactly the procedure you’re seeking, all while maintaining your privacy.
So Who’s the Best Cosmetic Dermatologist?
The best cosmetic dermatologist is the one who offers all of the factors above — training and experience in the procedure you’re considering (including specialty training, in surgery or dermatology), a caring and compassionate manner, and great results. If you want to feel good about your cosmetic dermatology procedure, it starts with feeling good about your clinician!