What is a dermatologist?
A dermatologist is a specialist skin, hair and nail doctor who has completed not only their medical degree, but several extra years of training. Not everyone is accepted to be a dermatologist; a medical student must become a doctor at a teaching hospital, then apply to be accepted to further study.
A dermatologist in Melbourne can diagnose, treat and prevent about 3,000 skin diseases, but a dermatologist can also improve the appearance of your skin, hair and nails, including modifying scarring.
About the skin and how dermatology works
We are covered from head to toe in several layers of skin, which acts as a barrier to the outside world while also holding us together. Without skin, we don’t survive for long, because our insides are subjected to the outside world – physical, chemical and biological intrusions. This makes the skin one of the most important organs we have.
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‘Skin’ can also include the ‘wet’ parts of our bodies, since this tissue is also part of our dermal protections. This might include eyelids, nose, genitals or the mouth, though these also have crossover with gynaecologists, nose and throat specialists, optometrists or dentists.
About a tenth of those seeing their regular doctor will be doing so because they have a skin problem. It could range from acne to dandruff to toenail fungus, and everything in between. Once your regular GP has assessed the problem, a dermatologist may be recommended to assist with treatments or diagnosis.
The word dermatology can be broken down into its two Ancient Greek parts:
derma – the skin
ology – the study of
Who can see a dermatologist?
Anyone can see a dermatologist, but in Melbourne (and Australia), a doctor is most likely to refer you. Specialist dermatologists can be sought independently for treatment by anyone – our Enrich clinic takes bookings from the general public for consultations with our specialist dermatologists.
We have patients of all ages, including babies, teens and the elderly.
What do dermatologists in Melbourne spend most of their time on?
Melbourne dermatologists – due to our climate –often deal with the negative effects of sun on skin. That is, sun damage causing wrinkles, moles, freckles, sunspots and cancers. Melbourne dermatologists also treat and manage a huge variety of skin, scalp, hair and nail problems.
What is cosmetic dermatology?
Cosmetic dermatology is focussed on the appearance of skin, rather than a disease per se. Some of our most popular treatments are actually cosmetic dermatology procedures that improve the appearance of skin, for example muscle-relaxant anti-wrinkle injections or liposuction for body sculpting. Not all procedures are to treat disease, which means we do all manner of beautifying skin treatments too. We can address wrinkles, blemishes, liver spots, sagging skin, sun-damaged skin, and lips that have lost their fullness, for example.
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Cosmetic dermatology has been responsible for some great advances in medicine, for example perfecting the techniques we now use for some people suffering spasticity and migraines with anti-wrinkle injections, and for advancing reconstructive techniques for those who have had extreme surgeries like mastectomy (breast removal). We help make people feel more like themselves.
Cosmetic dermatology has played an important role in the advancement of medicine in some incredible aspects.
What are the different types of dermatology and dermatologist?
- Cosmetic dermatologist
Using treatments on the skin, hair, or nails to improve aesthetics – possibly useful for scarring, wrinkles, unwanted fat deposits, skin resurfacing, tattoo removal, hair transplantation, etc.
Samples are taken from skin, hair, or nails to be examined under the microscope, as a form of diagnosis. This is particularly useful for, say, skin cancer diagnosis, which may be more specialised.
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- Mohs surgeon
A Mohs surgeon may perform the removal of a skin cancer, in a specialised procedure.
- Surgical dermatologist
A dermatologist who performs surgery to treat skin, hair, or nail disease.
- Medical dermatologist
A dermatologist who diagnoses, treats and manages disease of the skin, hair, and nails.
- Paediatric dermatologist
This is a dermatologist who specifically treats children. Some conditions affect children more than adults, such as eczema and certain infections.
Each of these specialties in dermatology has its own special role to play, and all of these roles may be played by a dermatologist of any specialty.
Why see a dermatologist?
Whatever your skin needs, we can make it healthier and more beautiful with a vast range of state-of-the-art equipment and our highly-trained, experienced dermatologists and doctors.
Skin conditions and treatments
Treating acne can be really difficult, so a dermatologist is well-placed to help clear up your skin. We use a variety of treatments, depending on your particular acne issue, including a new, non-invasive light therapy. Talk to the staff at our Melbourne clinic for more information on your acne-treating options.
Scarring caused by acne can really put a dampener on your self-image. There are things we can do to reduce acne scarring, from remodelling collagen to laser resurfacing, with some really effective options now appearing, technologically speaking. Talk to the staff at our Melbourne clinic to make an appointment to discuss your options.
We have state-of-the-art lasers that we use for everything from removing unwanted blood vessels to resurfacing the skin. Our resurfacing lasers target just the top layers to reveal the fresh, healthy skin beneath, removing whatever was on top, bit by bit. Laser resurfacing is an excellent multi-treatment strategy used for many skin conditions, so talk to our Melbourne clinic to see if laser resurfacing is right for you.
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When other options are limited, a chemical peel can work wonders on skin of any tone. There are varying degrees of chemical peel, so getting the right one for your skin will be a matter for the specialist dermatologists at our Melbourne clinic. If you have a skin condition or just want a freshen up, we can help.
Platelet-rich plasma is now being used for facial and body rejuvenation with rave reviews from patients. PRP is also a technique used in wound care and for stimulating hair growth, among other novel uses. It works by taking your own concentrated stem cells and growth factors and injecting them into specific areas of your body. If you want a facial pep-up or want more hair on your head, call our Melbourne clinic to discuss PRP as a treatment option.
Being too sweaty in all the wrong places can be a hindrance to your enjoyment of life. Treating hyperhidrosis, particularly stubborn cases, can be tricky, but we have a solid handful of treatments to try. Call our Melbourne clinic for a private consultation with one of our specialist dermatologists to discuss your hyperhidrosis treatment strategy.
There are many reasons why pigmentation may develop on skin. A dermatologist will be able to place your pigmentation into the right category, then offer treatment strategies based on that information. Talking to our Melbourne office to make an appointment to start the process of diagnosing and treating your pigmentation.
Melasma – melanin-producing cells producing too much pigment – treatment can get tricky, so finding a trusted dermatologist near you is a useful step. Find a dermatologist who is well acquainted with treating melasma, since it is a ‘mystery’ condition that remains responsive to a variety of management techniques. Having only the best dermatologist treating you means you will get the best results. Contact our Melbourne clinic to make an appointment with our melasma specialist dermatologist.
Vitiligo is a pigmentation issue whereby the melanin-producing cells stop producing melanin for a reason we do not know, resulting in areas of pale, pigment-free skin. Treating vitiligo can be tricky, and sometimes the only option is to cover the pale areas with specialised skin-coloured products. Our specialist Melbourne dermatologists will decide on the best course of action for your unique case, and help find the cause of your vitiligo as well as helping to treat the symptoms.
We have our very own vaginal rejuvenation program for women suffering from vaginal laxity, dryness, or stress urinary incontinence. The program uses non-invasive wave-based technologies to target epithelial cells that produce collagen and elastin in the pelvic tissue, strengthening and restoring function. This can provide vaginal rejuvenation from a truly cellular level, which has not been routinely offered to women before. The results can be life-changing. Contact our Melbourne office to have a private consultation with one of our doctors.
Pearly penile papules are harmless, but are easily removed without lasting consequence – if yours bother you, they can be painlessly vaporised in a matter of minutes, with a couple of weeks’ light recovery. Don’t let something as small as a pearly penile papule get you down. Pop into our Melbourne clinic to see one of our specialist dermatologists who can solve the problem quickly and cleanly.
Whatever your skin needs, we can make it healthier and more beautiful with a vast range of state-of-the-art equipment and our highly-trained, experienced doctors.
There are several blood-vessel conditions that can affect us throughout our lives, ranging from varicose and spider veins to port wine stains. Each of these has its own unique characteristics, and each treatment will be different depending on the size, depth and nature of the blood vessel issue. Our Melbourne dermatologists can diagnose, treat and prevent many blood vessel conditions that appear on the skin, including: