Often, patients who are looking forward to having a cosmetic procedure may have a hard time choosing between a dermatologist and a plastic surgeon. These are different career paths that are oriented toward similar goals.

A dermatologist is a professional who is trained in cosmetic treatments, particularly those that are focused to improve the appearance of your skin or hair. Dermatologists typically focus on non-invasive treatments options such as dermal fillers and injectables. Dermatologists’ main strength lies in their expansive understanding of skincare.

A cosmetic or plastic surgeon is a professional who is specialized in surgical aesthetic treatments. They may be able to perform procedures such as facelifts, nose jobs, boob jobs, liposuction, and more. Plastic surgeons typically have the training and skills to reshape or reconstruct any part of your body.

Differences between plastic surgeons and dermatologists

If you’re considering having a cosmetic procedure, you may be wondering whether you should turn to a plastic surgeon or a dermatologist. The main differences between these two areas of specialization lie in their understanding of anatomy, skills, and aesthetics.

  • Anatomy – plastic surgeons have a deep understanding of facial anatomy. They learn how various structural features such as bones, muscles, and tissue may affect your outward appearance. For this reason, they are well suited to take care of facial procedures ranging from removal of moves to improving the appearance of deep scars.
  • Aesthetics – plastic surgeons have undergone extensive training in aesthetics. They know how to attain the best possible outcome from a range of treatments ranging from surgical procedures such as a facelift to non-surgical options such as injectables and dermal fillers.
  • Skills – plastic surgeons are intensely skilled in both invasive and non-invasive cosmetic techniques. They may be able to perform advanced surgical procedures such as abdominoplasty, weight loss surgery, and Brazilian butt lift. Dermatologists’ skills set are largely focused on non-invasive techniques.

Why choose a plastic surgeon over a dermatologist?

Dermatologists are the specialists most people go to when they have a skin problem. However, if you are looking to improve any aspect of your appearance, you may be better off working with a plastic surgeon. Unlike dermatologists, plastic surgeons have immense training and experience in both surgical and non-surgical techniques. They are thus better suited to reshape or recontour any part of your body. Below are some of the reasons why you should settle on a plastic surgeon over a dermatologist.

  • Plastic surgeons have a superior understanding of facial structure and anatomy.
  • Plastic surgeons may perform both surgical and non-surgical cosmetic procedures.
  • Plastic surgeons have the training to handle complex skin imperfections under extreme conditions.
  • Plastic surgeons perform procedures with the primary goal of enhancing aesthetics and appearance.

Considerations when choosing a plastic surgeon

When choosing a plastic surgeon, it is important to look for board certification. The American Board of Plastic Surgery (ABPS) provides this certification to make sure that professionals in the field adhere to the highest standards of care and safety. You should also work with a plastic surgeon that you have a rapport with and who inspires confidence. They should have more than adequate experience in the procedure that you are interested in. A good way to go about selecting a plastic surgeon is to research online then schedule face-to-face consultations to get a better impression of the surgeon’s style and approach.