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About Dermatologists

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What is dermatology?


Dermatology is a branch of medicine that deals with skin, hair, and nail health. A Doctor of Dermatology–also known as a dermatologist–has advanced training and clinical experience to diagnose and treat conditions related to the largest organ in the human body–the skin. For example, you might see a dermatologist to get treatment for persistent acne or to have a mole on your skin examined.

A dermatologist has completed a four-year bachelor's degree, four years of medical school, a year-long internship in medicine, and a three-year clinical residency (or 10,000 hours of training) before they practice on their own. In addition to this training, dermatologists will take an exam for board certification from either the American Board of Dermatology or the American Osteopathic Board of Dermatology. Board certification means that the dermatologist has demonstrated their mastery of dermatology knowledge and has met the highest standards to specialize in this field of care.

In addition to having the clinical knowledge and training to diagnose and treat over 3,000 conditions, dermatologists can perform cosmetic procedures on the skin, hair, and nails to improve appearance.

Cosmetic procedures include:

  • Treatment for wrinkles (anti-aging)
  • Scar tissue reduction
  • Treatment for sunspots and discolored skin
  • Laser tattoo removal
  • Laser hair removal
  • Fat/ cellulite removal
  • BOTOX injections

This is a partial list of all aesthetic services offered by dermatologists, though these are among the most commonly performed.

Dermatology also plays a key role in skin cancer treatment. Nearly 9,500 people are diagnosed with some form of skin cancer every day. 1 in 5 Americans will develop some form of skin cancer in their lifetime. Regular dermatology appointments can help with the early detection of melanoma (skin cancer), increasing treatment efficacy.

Think of dermatology as primary care for your skin. A dermatologist offers diagnostic, therapeutic, and preventative maintenance for your skin. In addition, you can see a dermatologist for an acute condition–like melanoma–or a general skin exam.

What conditions does a dermatologist treat?


A dermatologist has the training and experience to diagnose and treat over 3,000 conditions and disorders related to the skin, hair, and nails.

Some of the most common conditions treated by a dermatologist include:

Acne: Acne is a common skin condition that affects people of all ages. It occurs when the pores on your skin become blocked, trapping oil and dirt inside. Acne can range from mild to severe.

Skin cancer (melanoma): Skin cancer is the most common type in humans, accounting for more than half of all cancers diagnosed. It occurs when cells in the skin grow abnormally and uncontrollably, often forming tumors or lesions on the skin's surface. Skin cancer can be caused by environmental factors, such as UV radiation from sunlight and genetic factors that make a person more susceptible to developing it.

Psoriasis: Psoriasis is an autoimmune condition that causes skin cells to grow abnormally rapidly. This results in thick, scaly patches of skin known as plaques which can be itchy, painful, and uncomfortable. While the exact cause of psoriasis is unknown, it has been linked to genetics and environmental factors such as stress or certain medications. It typically affects the elbows, knees, and scalp but can appear anywhere on the body.

Eczema: Eczema is a common skin condition that causes itchy, red, and dry patches of skin to appear on the body. It can affect people of any age and is more common in children than adults. Eczema is not contagious but may be triggered by environmental or genetic factors such as allergies, stress, weather changes, or certain foods. Symptoms range from mild itching to severe inflammation and discomfort.

Hair loss: Hair loss, also known as alopecia, is a common condition that affects both men and women. It can occur due to genetics, hormonal changes, or conditions like thyroid disease. Hair loss can be temporary or permanent and come in many forms, including thinning hair, bald patches, or complete baldness.

Rosacea: Rosacea is a chronic skin condition that causes facial redness and inflammation, typically in the cheeks and nose area. It can also cause other symptoms, such as acne-like bumps, visible blood vessels, facial swelling, eye irritation, or stinging sensations. The exact cause of rosacea is unknown, but it has been linked to genetics and environmental factors like sun exposure and certain foods or drinks.

Do I need a referral to see a dermatologist?


Because dermatology is considered a specialized form of care, many health insurance plans require a referral from a primary care provider before seeing a dermatologist. If you are getting care through an insurance network, you need to talk to your primary care physician about whatever signs, symptoms, or concerns you are experiencing. They will examine the affected area. Then, if they deem it appropriate, they will write you a referral to see a dermatologist in your network. With this referral, you can have most of your dermatology visits covered by insurance. It should be noted that insurance may not cover elective aesthetic procedures like laser hair removal or tattoo removal.

When you book a dermatology appointment through Sesame, no referral is needed. You can connect directly with a dermatology provider through Sesame and book an appointment without worrying about networks. Just find a dermatologist you want to see in the Dallas/Fort Worth area, find a time that works for you, and book an in-person or virtual appointment.

Here’s how it works:

  • Search “Dermatology” in Sesame’s search bar
  • Browse the list of available providers near you
  • Choose between video and in-person services
  • Pick a time that works best for your schedule
  • Set up your appointment

If you book a video appointment, you will receive an email with a link to join the video appointment. You will also be able to access this link in another reminder email you will receive 30 minutes before the appointment start time and within your account.

Should I see a dermatologist in-person or online?


It depends. Virtual visits are great options for those who cannot access a clinic, do not have time to see a physician in person, or just want to talk through a concern. Dermatologists on Sesame can diagnose conditions over video and write prescriptions for medication delivered to your home or available for pickup at your nearest pharmacy.

Some skin conditions, like melanoma, require lab testing before being definitively diagnosed. Similarly, laser hair removal requires an in-person visit.

You can talk to a licensed dermatology provider about your symptoms and discuss the next steps. Your dermatologist may be able to address your symptoms online or order a follow-up appointment. Sesame will reach out to you about that visit.

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