The Expert's Guide: Choosing Between a Plastic Surgeon or Dermatologist

As a board-certified facial plastic surgeon with years of experience, I have often been asked the question: is it better to go to a plastic surgeon or dermatologist? While both specialties have their own unique strengths, there are some key differences that patients should be aware of when making this decision. First and foremost, it's important to understand that plastic surgeons have extensive training and experience in both surgical and non-surgical techniques. This means that they are well-equipped to handle any type of cosmetic procedure, whether it involves surgery or not. On the other hand, dermatologists are experts in conditions affecting the skin, hair, and nails. While they may have some surgical training, it cannot compare to the comprehensive education and training that plastic surgeons receive. One of the main differences between a dermatologist and a plastic surgeon is their knowledge of anatomy and aesthetics.

Plastic surgeons have a deep understanding of facial anatomy and how different parts of the body can affect the appearance of the face. This allows them to perform a wide range of cosmetic procedures that can greatly improve a patient's appearance. In addition to their extensive surgical training, plastic surgeons also have a more detailed understanding of anatomy. This is crucial when it comes to achieving safe and effective results. For example, if a patient has a deep scar that they want to correct, it is highly recommended that they see a plastic surgeon rather than a dermatologist. While dermatologists are best at diagnosing various skin conditions, plastic surgeons are often the most knowledgeable medical providers when it comes to treating skin problems.

This is because they have dual training in both medicine and surgery. So while dermatologists may be clinically and medically trained, facial plastic surgeons have the added expertise in surgical techniques. It's also worth noting that there are different certification boards for dermatology and plastic surgery, as well as for facial plastic surgery in particular. This means that a board-certified facial plastic surgeon has undergone rigorous training and passed a state exam, making them highly qualified to perform both surgical and non-surgical procedures. When it comes to specific procedures, it's important to consider the expertise of each specialty. For example, if a patient is concerned about scarring, I always recommend seeking the advice of a plastic surgeon.

On the other hand, if acne scarring is the main concern, a dermatologist may be the better choice. Ultimately, the decision between a plastic surgeon or dermatologist will depend on the specific needs and concerns of each patient. However, as a facial plastic surgeon, I believe that patients should consider going to a plastic surgeon for any invasive or non-invasive procedure. Routine visits and check-ups can be reserved for dermatologists, who can provide excellent care for skin conditions. In conclusion, while both plastic surgeons and dermatologists have their own unique strengths, it's clear that plastic surgeons are more suitable for cosmetic procedures involving any part of the body. With their extensive training and knowledge of anatomy and aesthetics, they are well-equipped to provide safe and effective treatments that can greatly improve a patient's appearance.

So if you're considering any type of cosmetic procedure, I highly recommend seeking the expert guidance of a board-certified facial plastic surgeon.