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What’s the difference between a cosmetic dermatologist and a plastic surgeon?

What’s the difference between a cosmetic dermatologist and a plastic surgeon?
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There was a time when anytime we had cosmetic ‘work’ done, it was assumed to be under the plastic surgeon’s knife. Now, Hollywood’s elite reveres their cosmetic dermatologist, not just their plastic surgeon alone, with plastic surgery often the last resort, rather than the first port of call for cosmetic concerns.

Cosmetic dermatologists can now achieve some great results with non-surgical cosmetic tools, such as non-surgical nose jobs using dermal filler and moderate facial skin lifting using collagen boosters and suture lifts.

A cosmetic dermatologist and a plastic surgeon have comparatively similar years of education. At a certain stage of medical training, however, a dermatologist goes to dermatology school and studies the skin, hair and nails, while a hopeful surgeon goes off to surgical school to learn the art of manipulating tissue with incisions and stitches.

A GP versus a cosmetic dermatologist versus a plastic surgeon

There may be some crossover in terms of what tasks doctors of all kinds can do. For example, your GP can cut a spot out of your skin, give you stitches and do other minor surgical tasks.

Many cosmetic procedures require the correct training by any registered doctor to perform, which includes your GP, cosmetic-specialist doctors, cosmetic dermatologists, and plastic surgeons. Not every procedure requires a full specialisation; a training course may be adequate.

A qualified surgeon is required by law for most non-cosmetic and some cosmetic surgical procedures in Australia, such as abdominoplasties.

The beauty of the cosmetic dermatologist

There are clear delineations when it comes to which type of practitioner you want for different cosmetic tasks, based on what training a specialist doctor has.

If you’re after non-invasive non-surgical beautifying and anti-ageing treatments or have a specific skin problem you want treated (such as scarring, pigmentation or cellulite), the cosmetic dermatologist is your best bet. It is, after all, their specialist area.

A cosmetic dermatologist’s toolkit

High-tech cosmetic toolscosmetic dermatologist tools

A cosmetic dermatologist clinic like ENRICH Clinic has state-of-the-art equipment, with a multitude of lasers, radiofrequency devices, ultrasonic devices, light-based and infrared rejuvenating machines. You name it; we’ve got it.

Our technology smooths skin, improves tone and texture, removes or softens fine lines and wrinkles, fills creases, removes pigmentation, freckles and moles, soothes redness, and remodels scars. We resurface sun-damaged skin, clean up a dull complexion, tighten loose skin, and vaporise pigmentation.


Dermal fillers can work small miracles these days. Dermal fillers are considered very effective in the right hands. The fillers we use at ENRICH Clinic naturally absorb into the body over time and gently improve your skin from the inside out. Dermal fillers are used commonly to:

  • Reduce the appearance of fine lines and wrinkles by filling creases
  • Reduce bags under the eyes (filling tear troughs)
  • Increase volume in the cheeks, which naturally reduces eye bags and creates a more youthful look
  • Fill out deeper grooves on the face, for example, frown lines, nasolabial folds and marionette lines
  • Boost skin’s ‘glow factor’
  • Increases hydration

Anti-wrinkle injections work to prevent the deepening or development of wrinkles and can be an indispensable element of an ongoing anti-ageing strategy.

Skin disorders

A cosmetic dermatologist is first and foremost a dermatologist: a skin, hair and nail specialist. Many skin problems that affect the aesthetics of skin are medical conditions, for example, psoriasis, eczema or acne.

Some skin disorders, such as those that are influenced by the immune system, may require ongoing management to reduce symptoms, rather than aiming for a complete or quick resolution. A cosmetic dermatologist has the tools to support and heal skin damaged or affected by disease, infection and injury. cosmetic dermatologist for skin disorders

We’re also medical doctors and therefore can help patients with other aspects of their health, especially that which may be affecting skin, hair or nails.

We do liposuction at ENRICH Clinic

Not all cosmetic dermatologist clinics offer all services – that depends on who runs the clinic and what their specialist areas are. At ENRICH Clinic, Dr Michael Rich is a liposuction expert, so our clinic offers liposuction surgery, one of our most sought-after treatments.

We also do laser tattoo removal, vaginal rejuvenation and hair-loss treatments

We are truly cosmetic dermatology experts, helping people be their best selves, which extends to caring for women experiencing symptoms associated with pelvic tissue laxity. We’ve helped many women resolve symptoms of stress urinary incontinence and improved their day-to-day life, which is incredibly meaningful to us. At ENRICH Clinic, we help change lives for the better.

Tattoo removal is becoming more and more popular – we use a series of lasers to effectively remove tattoos. Similarly for hair loss treatments, where our options stimulate growth rather than “replace “ the follicle with transplanted hair.

At ENRICH Clinic, we offer our patients a huge range of expert dermatology services, but most of all, we offer our patients our ongoing commitment to their care and support. We believe that the patient-practitioner relationship is one of the most important and valuable we can have in our lives and foster that with every patient.

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