WHAT IS COSMETIC DERMATOLOGY ?
Cosmetic dermatology might be defined as that aspect of the practice of dermatology that emphasizes lookin’ good.” While cutaneous medicine and surgery focuses on the diagnosis, treatment, and prevention of skin disease, there is a significant aspect of the specialty directed towards improving the patient’s appearance.
This concept is illustrated by two patients:
1. the man with significant psoriasis who tolerates the distracting itching and even associated joint pain but who is embarrassed to be seen with red, scaling plaques on the arms and face and
2. the woman who has ignored the signs of skin cancer and then fears having surgical intervention which might leave a scar and even disfigurement.
Patients who seek relief from worry lines or acne scars are obviously cosmetic patients. Other patients who have medical skin problems may also have cosmetic concerns. All of them want to look good and are part of the practice of cosmetic dermatology.
Cosmetic dermatology represents that aspect of diagnosing, treating, and preventing the changes to the skin that are aesthetically not pleasing to the patient. Whether it be aging lines, pitting from acne, or scarring from sun damage, each of these occurrences prevents the patient from lookin’ good.