Dermatopathologist vs. Dermatologist

Typically, a dermatologist is the doctor you would turn to for any symptoms or conditions that affect the skin, hair or nails. Most dermatologists will be able to examine a lesion, growth, rash or other skin-related symptoms and diagnose the problem based on a visual exam alone; however, when further testing is required such as a biopsy, then a dermatopathologist is going to be the best doctor to turn to.

What is a dermatopathologist?

A dermatopathologist is both a dermatologist and a pathologist that has received specialized training to be able to analyze, diagnose and treat skin conditions at a more cellular level. When does this come in handy? Say you need to get a biopsy performed on a suspicious growth or lesion. You could go to a dermatologist, but more than likely a dermatopathologist is going to be better suited to your needs. Why? Because a dermatopathologist can actually take the samples, examine the tissue under a microscope and provide a clear diagnosis.

When should I turn to a dermatopathologist?

There are many reasons to seek out care from a dermatopathologist instead of a dermatologist; however, these two professionals often work closely together. You may benefit from seeing a dermatopathologist if you are dealing with,

Immunological skin problems
Infectious skin diseases
Melanoma and other skin cancers
Pediatric skin diseases 

For many skin disorders and diseases that require further testing, a dermatopathologist will typically be the one examining the tissue and providing a diagnosis. Furthermore, if you are looking for a second opinion regarding a cancer diagnosis, a dermatopathologist can also provide you with extensive testing, diagnosis and a treatment plan.

A dermatopathologist provides you with specific and detailed observations based on the tissue sample they have analyzed. They offer one-on-one consultative services and second opinions to those dealing with more complex and serious skin diseases, infections and disorders. A dermatopathologist also treats patients of all ages, from infants to seniors.

If you are experiencing changes in moles, new growths or other skin problems that have you concerned, schedule an evaluation with our Seattle, WA, dermatopathology team at Young Dermatology by calling (206) 456-4464.