Dermatology involves the study, research, diagnosis, and management of any health conditions that may affect the skin, fat hair, nails, and membranes. A dermatologist is the health professional who specializes in this area of healthcare.
The skin is the largest organ of the body, which acts as a barrier to protect the internal organs from injury and bacteria. It is also a good indicator of the overall health of the body, making the field of dermatology important in the diagnosis and management of many health conditions.
Conditions of the hair, skin, or nails are very common and almost everyone experiences symptoms of one or other dermatologic condition at some point in their life. In fact, approximately one in six of all visits to a general practitioner involves a problem of the skin. Some of the most common dermatologic conditions include:
If you were to watch a dermatologist at work on any given day, you might see them:
Each of these dermatologic conditions has characteristic symptoms and should be managed in a unique manner. Additionally, each case will vary considerably in severity, which will influence the treatment decisions.