A dermatologist is the medical expert you should consult if you have any significant problem with your skin. Dermatology is the science that is concerned with the diagnosis and treatment of diseases of the skin, hair and nails.
What is Dermatology?
Dermatology involves but is not limited to study, research, and diagnosis of normal and disorders, diseases, cancers, cosmetic and ageing conditions of the skin, fat, hair, nails and oral and genital membranes, and the management of these by different investigations and therapies, including but not limited to dermatohistopathology, topical and systemic medications, dermatologic surgery and dermatologic cosmetic surgery, immunotherapy, phototherapy, laser therapy, radiotherapy and photodynamic therapy.
How many people get skin disease?
The skin is the largest and most visible organ of the body. It reflects the health of the body and acts as a barrier against injury and bacteria. Unfortunately, at one time or another, nearly everyone has some type of skin disease - infants, children, teenagers, adults and the elderly. One in six (15%) of all visits to the family doctor (GP) involves a skin problem.
What are the most common skin disorders?
Common skin diseases include:
►Psoriasis - a skin disorder which affects 100,000 New Zealanders.
►Acne affects every teenager to one degree or another.
►Hand dermatitis, resulting from external contact with detergents and household chemicals, affects most women with young families.
►One in six of all children develop atopic eczema
►One in five persons suffers from cold sores (herpes simplex).
What do dermatologists do?
Trained dermatologists usually combine several activities seeing patients in public hospital clinics and/or in private practices, acting as consultants to other specialists, teaching, and delving into clinical or basic research.
Dermatologists must have expertise in their field. They must be familiar with all the other medical specialties because of their consultant work and because skin diseases are often associated with internal conditions.