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What's The Difference Between A Dermatologist And An Esthetician?


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You may think that estheticians and dermatologists are basically the same. However, both said experts treat skin conditions but they have different purposes and ways of dealing with people who have acne. Thus, if you have acne problems, it is better if you take a careful note of the difference between a dermatologist and an esthetician so you may determine whom to consult for your specific needs.

The big difference between a dermatologist and an esthetician lies in their educational and training background. Dermatologists have completed courses in Dermatology, which is the study of how skin functions and its disorders. On the other hand, estheticians may have completed a one-year or two-year course focusing on skin care procedures and products.

Dermatologists are medically trained to diagnose disorders, can prescribe medications, have a vast knowledge on drug properties, and are certified to perform surgical procedures to remove scars. Although estheticians are not trained to do all this, they are highly skilled to do body massage, facial treatments that involve exfoliation, and other superficial procedures.

The difference between a dermatologist and an esthetician may also be identified in how they handle skin problems. Medical skin experts are usually found in dermatology clinics. Some estheticians, on the other hand, work for dermatologists or in medical spa establishments under the guidance of a doctor.

Before deciding on who to go to for your acne problem, determine first the characteristics or severity of your condition. Going to the wrong person might be a waste of your time and of your hard-earned bucks.

For mild acne, if you only have a couple of zits here and there, your best option is to see an esthetician first. He or she can give you advice and some preventive treatments for further breakouts and can perform facial treatments, which might remove small zits. Other issues like wrinkles, dry skin, and plugged pores, should be certified by estheticians since they can operate some cosmetic equipment.

But if your acne is so severe that it makes you want to stay in your house all day because of embarrassment, your best option might be to see a dermatologist. When you've already tried different kinds of over-the-counter acne medications and your condition hasn’t improved and continues to get worse, a professional dermatologist may be a better option than an esthetician.

Try to pay attention on your skin to see if it drastically changes or suspicious cysts are starting to grow on the acne-affected areas. If this is the case, visit your dermatologist as soon as possible because acne with cysts can become a long-lasting problem due to scarring.

Another tip that may help you decide on whether to go to a dermatologist or to an esthetician is to familiarize yourself with what each of them can offer to you. If what you want are just superficial methods to treat your acne, then an esthetician can help you. But for treatments that directly attack the underlying causes of acne such as bacteria and hormones, dermatologists can help you choose the best method.

The best way to treat acne may depend on your choice and on the type of acne you have. Just make it a point to assure that you are comfortable with the esthetician or your dermatologist since your skin's health may also depend on this factor.

Harvey B. Ong is an in-house writer for an online media company, Intelligraph Corporation. His insights for treating adult acne has led him to write several articles about acne. For more information on treatment options for adult acne, visit


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