As good as you may take care of your skin, you may face a few dermatologic concerns in your lifetime. When concerns like spots, wrinkles, or roughness occur, it is important to know who to call. With so many med spas providing services these days, it can be confusing trying to figure this out. Here, we discuss how a dermatologist differs from an esthetician and when you need to see a board-certified physician for the best results in your skin.

“A dermatologist is a medical doctor  and  an esthetician is a skin care professional”

An Esthetician

Estheticians specialize in treating the skin’s surface through procedures like facials, skin peels, and microdermabrasion. Estheticians are more commonly associated with the cosmetics side of skin care than the medical side. However, many estheticians work directly with dermatologists to help clients create a personalized skincare routine. Although they cannot diagnose skin conditions, estheticians play an essential role in specialized skincare since they can help clients with chronic skin conditions find the right products for their specific needs.

Estheticians can:

  • Assess skin care needs and develop a treatment program using professional-grade products.
  • Perform facials.
  • Conduct makeup application.
  • Master estheticians, who receive extra training, may conduct laser hair removal.

A Dermatologist

A dermatologist is a medical doctor who has completed residency and, often, fellowship programs after graduating from medical school. Their post-graduate programs are conducted in the area of dermatology, teaching them all of the many ways the skin may be affected. Board-certified dermatologists are not only medical experts, but they are also trained to conduct minor surgical procedures as needed to address diseases of the skin. Dermatologists, on the other hand, can work directly with estheticians to develop personalized beauty routines for patients based on their direct knowledge and an esthetician’s recommendations.

Dermatologists can:

  • Diagnose skin disorders and diseases.
  • Write prescriptions.
  • Conduct dermatologic surgery.
  • Perform various cosmetic procedures.


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