What is the difference between a medical aesthetician and a dermatologist?
I often get asked what the difference is between a dermatologist and a medical aesthetician. A dermatologist is a doctor who specializes in conditions involving the skin, hair, and nails. Medical aestheticians assist dermatologists with some of their work. A medical aesthetician provides services geared towards improving overall skin health such as recommending clinical skin care routines, and performing medical facial treatments, such as those that beautify the skin, cleanse pores, exfoliate dead skin cells, hydrate and moisturize the skin, and treat skin abnormalities like acne, melasma, fine lines, wrinkles, and rosacea. Medical aestheticians also perform mild to moderate chemical peels.
Comparing a dermatologist to a medical aesthetician is like pondering the difference between a dentist to a dental hygienist. Dentists perform surgeries, root canals, etc. Dental hygienists handle the cleaning of the teeth, they assesses patients’ oral health and report their findings to the dentist. They also document patient care, prepare treatment plans and they help patients maintain good dental health. Both medical aestheticians and dental hygienists work as an adjunct to a particular physician.
Medical aestheticians can advise a patient to go to a dermatologist if they recognize a serious skin issue, such as an abnormality on a lesion, alerting them to a possibility of skin cancer. From a cosmetic point of view, an aesthetician is trained and certified to provide treatments to improve the look, health and feel of their clients’ skin.