A cosmetic dermatologist is always a medical dermatologist first, an M.D. with the full schooling and training required of a physician who in addition has several years of specialty training. Dermatology is the branch of medicine that deals with the diagnosis and treatment of medically necessary and cosmetic conditions of the skin, hair, nails, veins, mucous membranes and adjacent tissues.
A dermatologist is also trained in various reconstructive and cosmetic surgical methods, which may include laser surgery, cryosurgery, chemical surgery, and excisional surgery, designed to repair and/or improve the function and cosmetic appearance of skin tissue. Dermatologists have extensive training and experience in the diagnosis and treatment of skin cancers, melanomas, moles, and other tumors and conditions of the skin, and also expertise in the management of cosmetic disorders of the skin. Though the cosmetic end of dermatology has made great advances in recent years and has garnered a lot of attention, the specialty has always been about both skin health and appearance. The skin’s appearance is of course is an indicator of its health.