Eczema: Why See a Specialist?
Eczema, also known as atopic dermatitis, is a complex condition that affects everyone differently. That’s why all eczema patients should follow unique treatment plans tailored to their specific needs. But your primary care doctor may not have all the information you need to manage your eczema successfully. That’s where specialists come in: an eczema specialist, called a dermatologist, has the right skills and insight to help you stay in control of your eczema. Here’s why:
A dermatologist is a physician who specializes in treating diseases related to the skin, hair and nails. These parts of the body are involved in many aspects of human health, so dermatologists must train extensively to master this area of study. A dermatologist will have expertise in treating eczema and other conditions related to the skin, hair and nails.
All doctors complete a training program called a residency after they finish medical school. But dermatologists receive considerable training beyond that. Dermatologists spend several additional years in a fellowship, during which they train under experienced dermatologists and focus on patients with eczema and issues affecting the skin, hair and nails. At the end of this period, specialists are qualified to become board-certified dermatologists. Look for a doctor who is board certified in dermatology, and you’ll know you’re seeing an expert.
To maintain their board certifications, dermatologists must keep up with new developments in their field. They must complete continuing education and renew their licenses every few years, depending on the state in which they practice and other factors. By following these requirements, board-certified dermatologists stay on top of new treatments and discoveries about the mechanisms involved in eczema, so they can then provide their patients with insightful, informed, and up-to-date treatment plans.
Dermatologists see a higher volume and concentration of patients with eczema, and thus are more experienced in treating the condition successfully. Because they see lots of patients with eczema, they can add real-world knowledge of the disease to their academic and clinical training. They’re able to assess how well patients respond to certain treatments, have a deeper understanding of how eczema progresses over time, share insight about effectively implementing lifestyle changes, and recognize symptoms that a general practitioner may miss, among other skills.
Dermatologists work with teams of other health care providers who treat patients with eczema and can connect patients with immunologists, nurse practitioners, and other experts in eczema management. Working with a team can help patients address all aspects of the disease and ensure success.
There are thousands of dermatologists in the United States, so how do you know which is the right doctor for you? By searching on Healthgrades.com, you can identify the best dermatologist to help you manage your eczema successfully.