Your skin is the largest organ of your body, and despite what many people might believe, it serves an important function in maintaining a healthy body. It might not be pumping blood or sending signals to the rest of your body, but it does play a huge role in protecting you.
That said, just as you would spend time finding and choosing the right doctor for any heart or stomach-related concerns, you need to find the right dermatologist to effectively address all your skin-related concerns as well. Here are seven tips for choosing the right dermatologist for yourself.
1. Consider Your Needs
Since the whole idea is to find a dermatologist that is right for you, you need to start by assessing your own needs. Why exactly are you looking to consult a dermatologist? Your precise skin concerns or needs could fall into three categories: medical, surgical, and cosmetic.
While all three are meant to improve the appearance of the skin, they tackle different skin concerns. Not all dermatologists will be experienced or skilled in providing all three types of dermatology services.
Certain dermatologists specialize in only medical dermatology, while some excel at providing cosmetic dermatology services. Medical dermatology usually caters to skin concerns such as cystic acne or rosacea. Surgical dermatology usually covers the removal of tumors or melanoma.
Cosmetic dermatology covers skin treatments, like Botox and face sculpting, that aim to reverse signs of aging or make aesthetic changes in the face. Once you know what your needs are and where they fall, you can significantly shorten the list of potential dermatologists for you.
2. Consider Your Skin Color
Another important factor to consider when choosing a dermatologist is the color of your skin. Sometimes, people with certain skin colors deal with skin problems that are unique to them. Therefore, it makes sense to go to a dermatologist that deals with or is well experienced in treating people of that color.
In addition to that, even if it’s just a general skin concern, like hyperpigmentation, or something common, like Basal Cell Carcinoma (BCC), it is still important to consult a dermatologist who knows their way around different skin colors and types as these differences can lead to different treatments as well.
3. Check Their Credentials
When you are searching for ‘best doctors to remove skin cancer near me’, make sure to check their credentials. By doing so, they can know for sure if they have basic information about dermatology and if they have gone through extensive training and experience to gain valuable skills meant for treating various skin concerns.
Therefore, check the board certification of any dermatologist you are considering. This even lets you know if the dermatologist has had any malpractice cases before or of any other disciplinary history.
4. Look at Reviews and Referrals
Along with their board certification, another thing that greatly attests to a dermatologist’s skills and expertise is their previous patients’ reviews. Go through what other people have to say about that dermatologist and their services.
Look for reviews that reveal information about the dermatologist and highlight any additional features such as their welcoming office, after-hours care, or hidden fees. However, don’t trust the reviews completely. It’s always good to take them with a grain of salt.
Besides that, referrals are also an excellent starting point if you can’t find any good dermatologists on your own. Ask your primary care doctor or even friends and family for dermatologist referrals.
5. Consider Their Experience
Experience also speaks volumes about a dermatologist’s skills and expertise. Between a dermatologist who has been practicing for just two years and one who has been in the field for more than 20 years, you would definitely find yourself trusting the latter more.
This is because there are certain things and knowledge that you pick up only over the course of time. Moreover, don’t just look at their overall experience; you must also but consider their experience within their specialty or with the specific skin concern you have.
6. Check Your Insurance Policy
Another factor that can help you narrow down your choices is your insurance coverage. Most medical insurance policies don’t cover all types of skin and dermatology treatments. Therefore, after assessing your needs, you should check with your coverage provider if that service is covered under your insurance.
If not, you might have to compare your options based on how much you can pay yourself. Most insurance policies cover basic treatments, like acne treatment as well as skin cancer screenings, but they might not cover cosmetic dermatology services.
7. Evaluate After the First Appointment
Going to a dermatologist is not like signing a lifelong contract that you can’t ever break. Sometimes, it takes a few wrong turns to eventually find the right dermatologist. Therefore, if you do go for a first appointment, evaluate your experience afterward.
How attentive were they? How did they make you feel about your skin? Was their clinic welcoming? Did they give you ample time? If you find yourself not satisfied with their level of care, you can cancel the next appointment and begin your search again.
While a simple pimple may not seem serious enough to warrant all that effort to find the right dermatologist, there are other skin concerns that do. For instance, certain types of skin cancers can be quite dangerous and need to be treated right away.
Rather than panicking at the last moment and frantically searching for the ‘best doctors to remove skin cancer near me,’ we suggest using these tips for choosing the right dermatologist right now and scheduling a visit with an experienced and certified dermatologist right away.