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What is surgical dermatology?

Surgical dermatology, also called dermatologic or derm surgery, is the diagnosis and surgical management of skin lesions including skin cancers.

What is a dermatologic surgeon? Are they plastic surgeons?

A dermatologist surgeon or dermatologic surgeon is a consultant dermatologist who has undergone additional training to perform skin surgery under local anaesthesia. Dr Nelson has trained and worked in areas of the UK and New Zealand which have some of the world’s highest incidence of skin cancer, gaining extensive experience in the surgical management of skin cancer. Dr Nelson has performed thousands of dermatological procedures.

A plastic surgeon has had far greater training in advanced skin reconstruction. Plastic surgeons are able to operate under general anaesthetic as well as local anaesthetic. Unlike dermatologic surgeons though they typically have not undergone as much training or have the same experience in skin lesion recognition. Dermoscopy, for instance, is used by all dermatologic surgeons and is mandated by national guidelines when examining skin lesions. Dr Nelson works closely with senior plastic and reconstructive surgeons and is aware when his patients are best cared for by one of these colleagues. Dr Nelson receives referrals from plastic surgeons especially around tricky facial skin cancers where Mohs micrographic surgery is needed.

If you are having a skin lesion removed by a doctor, ensure they have undergone extensive skin lesion recognition and have also had formal surgical training. Ensure they look at your lesion with a dermatoscope. If they do not, ask them why not

What is medical dermatology?

Medical dermatology encompasses the diagnosis and treatment of skin, hair and nail diseases. Seeing a highly trained skin specialist (Dermatologist) is the best way to get a prompt diagnosis and expert treatment. Each of our consultant dermatologists in the Devon Hair and Skin Institute ensure they are up-to-date with all dermatological conditions.

Medical dermatology treatments work to control and treat skin disorders. Your dermatologist can also investigate for internal or external factors affecting your skin and aim to provide the best possible treatment for a patient’s personal condition.

Common conditions encompassing medical dermatology are:-

Eczema, Acne, Psoriasis, Hyperhidrosis, Melasma, Lichen planus, Rosacea and Urticaria.

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