Dermatology is a branch of medicine that deals with the skin and diseases of the skin. It concerns the study, research and diagnosis of normal skin and disorders of the skin. Cancers, cosmetic and aging conditions of the skin, fat, hair, nails and oral and genital membranes are all aspects of dermatology.
Subspecialties of the dermatology field include dermatopathology, which is involved with the pathology of the skin; immunodermatology, which specializes in the treatment of immune-mediated skin disorders, including lupus, bullous pemphigoid and pemphigus vulgaris; Mohs’ surgery, which involves removing tumors from the skin without harming healthy cells; and pediatric dermatology, in which dermatologists may treat infants, hereditary skin disorders and children.
An expert in the field of dermatology is a dermatologist. A dermatologist may be involved with medical or surgical treatments. Dermatologists may perform a range of procedures, many of which are cosmetic. These include cosmetic filler injections, hair removal or transplantation, intralesional treatment, laser therapy, photodynamic therapy, phototherapy, tattoo removal, tumescent liposuction, radiation therapy and vitiligo surgery.
Other treatments in the dermatology field include cryosurgery, which is the treatment of warts, skin cancers or other dermatoses; allergy testing; systemic therapies such as antibiotics, immunomodulators or injectable products; or topical therapies.
The skin is the largest organ in the body. Moreover, because the entire surface area of the skin is visible, dermatologists have the advantage of direct visual examination.
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