All dermatologists must go to medical school and undergo residency (dermatists have an “MD” after their names), which allows them to prescribe drugs and offer a variety of medical procedures. Meanwhile, beauticians mainly offer beauty services and treatments. Upcoming, Caroline Robinson, M.D., FAAD, certified dermatologist, owner Tonal dermatology, as well as Morgan Rackley, licensed cosmetologist and owner Glowing Skin Atlanta separate their careers to help you determine who to turn to for skin care issues.
According to Dr. Robinson, dermatologists are doctors in everything that concerns hair, skin and nails. They are well versed in the skin and its conditions.
Patients often seek the help of a dermatologist for various skin problems such as acne, eczema, hair loss, hyperpigmentation, and fungus on the skin or nails. Those who visit a dermatologist are familiarized with their condition and, if applicable, are assigned specific treatment plans, medications, or familiarized with lasers and peels.
“It’s really clear when you need to involve dermatologists because you need medical diagnosis and treatment,” says Dr. Robinson. If you have problems with skin care, such as how to treat persistent acne or hyperpigmentation, or questions about bumps, bruises and moles that have appeared on the skin and that may have worsened over time, it is recommended that you see a dermatologist to determine the cause and treat the issue.
After you find a dermatologist and perform a skin assessment, they will provide you with a treatment plan and tell you how often you need to register based on your concerns, conditions and overall goals. In Dr. Robinson’s practice, patients with complex skin care problems and conditions may require extensive treatments or medications, and these patients undergo more frequent check-ups than her patients with minor or more cosmetic issues such as dryness or mild acne.
Dr. Robinson says that even if you don’t have skin problems, “everyone who has skin needs to be judged at some point in their life because there are really complex and subtle changes that we can grasp and [we can] help you prevent illness. We don’t just cure a disease when it appears. ” It is recommended that you visit your dermatologist annually for skin examinations, screening for skin cancer and other conditions, and for any hair, nail, or skin problems you may have.
For people who may not have personal access to a dermatologist, there are many reputable certified dermatologists who use their social media pages and websites to share resources and information. Sites like Color Society Leather, American Academy of Dermatology, as well as Black Derm catalog provide information on general skin care conditions. In addition, dermatologists often share skin care tips on their social media.
Like dermatologists, beauticians treat common skin conditions such as acne and hyperpigmentation, and often work in collaboration with dermatologists. “We do a complete skin analysis, study diet, stress levels and their current skin care regimen. Then I draw up a treatment plan. [based on the information and concerns they shared] about what we’re going to do in the treatment room, ”says Ruckley.
Unlike dermatologists, beauticians cannot prescribe topical or oral prescriptions for skin conditions and often contact you if the condition is serious. If the client has classic acne, “and he hasn’t had any signs of serious infection or anything contagious, I can treat him in the treatment room, except that I will refer him to a dermatologist,” says Ruckley.
According to Rackley, beauticians can provide medical services such as microneedling, but only in medical spas and subject to the specific rules and regulations of the state in which they practice. She adds that in order for beauticians to provide services such as medical grade chemical peels, laser hair removal, dermaplanning and injections, there must be a doctor overseeing the practice.
Like a dermatologist, after consultation, a beautician will draw up a long-term treatment plan and provide you with the information you need to address your skin problems. “If the skin care condition is not serious, then my clients come every four to six weeks. For my clients who have more serious cases such as acne or hyperpigmentation, I invite these clients to come every two to three weeks, ”says Ruckley.
Working with skin specialists is a great way to learn more about your skin and how to take care of it, no matter what stage of life you are in. Dermatologists can help you identify, monitor, and treat skin, hair, and nail problems that may require medical procedures or medications, while beauticians can help you achieve smaller and cosmetic skincare goals through services such as facials and removal. While the two are not interchangeable, both will work for you to achieve healthier skin.