A dermatologist is a physician who specializes in the treatment of skin conditions and diseases. Dermatologists are certified by the American Board of Dermatology after extensive education and a three year dermatology residency program where all aspects of skin care are studied in great detail. They treat everything from minor skin rashes, like poison ivy, to chronic skin diseases, such as eczema, acne or psoriasis to the full gamut  of skin cancers. They are the only practioners besides pathologists whose boards include extensive slide reading to prove their ability to identify dermatologic pathology under the microscope.  (Dr Masters still remembers the hassle of trying to get his microscope to the board exam location to take this part of the test.)  Dermatologists are also extensively trained in surgery.  The surgery can range from removal of small lesions very quickly to large, more complicated surgical cases involving excisions that require flaps or grafts or other specialized closure.  In addition, dermatologists are at the forefront of the newest office-based cosmetic procedures and have pioneered many laser and filler procedures as well as the now gold standard tumescent liposuction.  Many of these new cosmetic and laser procedures are very helpful in treating stubborn medical conditions such as acne or toenail fungus.  A combination of procedures can be very beneficial in achieving medical or cosmetic improvement with little down time.  The immediate future already holds exciting prospects involving new technology and methodologies for the well-trained and experienced dermatologist.




Dr. and Mrs. (Patrice) Masters at the C. S. Lewis Wardrobe Statue in Belfast, Northern Ireland