Dermatologists are medical doctors who take care of your skin, hair, and nails. Their work can involve everything from treating uncomfortable and itchy allergic rashes, to injecting Botox and removing wrinkles, to performing surgery to remove life-threatening skin cancers.
Dermatology is divided into several branches. A dermatologist may perform all of these services in his or her daily work, or he or she may specialize and focus on just one field.
Dermatopathology deals with the identification of skin diseases. Dermatopathologists diagnose skin problems, usually by taking scrapings of skin and examining them under a microscope.
Cosmetic dermatology is the branch of dermatology that works to improve the appearance of the skin. This can include wrinkle reduction, liposuction, hair loss treatment, or the treatment of scars.
Dermatological Immunology is a subspecialty that deals specifically with immune related problems of the skin, such as eczema or lupus.
Pediatric dermatologists treat newborns and children with skin disorders. They also provide help to families with inherited skin problems.
Mohs surgeons are specialized dermatologists who can remove skin cancers using a microsurgery known as Mohs technique, where slides of the tissue are examined as they are removed. This is a very exact surgery with an extremely high cure rate.
Your skin is extremely important: it covers and protects everything in your body. A dermatologist helps keep it healthy, as well as looking and feeling good.
What is Allergy & Immunology?
A physician who specializes in allergies, asthma, and other disorders of the immune system is called an allergist-immunologist or simply an allergist. Allergic reactions can cause a huge number of symptoms in the body, and allergy-immunology specialists treat a wide variety of problems, including:
Allergies affecting the respiratory tract, such as allergic rhinitis (hay fever) or asthma.
Allergies affecting the skin, such as eczema, hives, welts, and allergic rashes.
Adverse reactions to substances such as foods, drugs and vaccines, or stinging insects.
Autoimmune diseases, where the immune system mistakenly attacks healthy tissues. Some examples are rheumatoid arthritis, where the immune system attacks the joints; celiac disease, where the lining of the small intestine is damaged; and Sjogren’s syndrome, where the glands producing tears and saliva are attacked.
Certain diseases of the immune system, such as antibody deficiencies, primary immunodeficiency disease, or in some cases, HIV.
During a visit to an allergist-immunologist, the physician may perform allergy testing to identify which substances are causing the allergic reactions. An important part of the care they provide is prevention education, where patients with allergies learn how to decrease their exposure to problematic substances and control their symptoms of allergic reaction. Allergists might prescribe medication, such as inhaled corticosteroids or beta agonists for asthma. They may also provide immunotherapy, where small amounts of the problem allergen are given via injection to the patient and the amount is increased slowly over time. The shots help the body get used to the allergen and train the immune system to react appropriately to it without causing problem symptoms.
Immune disorders can range from making patients uncomfortable to being life-threatening, and they are becoming more common. Allergy-Immunology is a quickly growing field.
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