Q. What kind of training do dermatologists receive?

A. Dermatologists receive advanced education and training in the treatment of skin, nail, hair and mucous membranes. After earning a bachelor's degree, dermatologists attend medical school to become either a medical doctor or doctor of osteopathic medicine. After graduating from medical school, they complete an internship and extensive residency training.

Q. What should I expect during my first visit?

A. Depending on your condition, your initial visit with us could take anywhere from 15 to 20 minutes. After examining the records and information that have been supplied to us, we will conduct a thorough skin examination, followed by a diagnosis and detailed treatment plan. We encourage you to ask questions, and we will be glad to address any concerns you may have.

Q. What can I do to improve the look of my skin?

A. The most effective treatment for skin, much like anything else, is prevention. It is important to have a balanced, nutritious diet, to get plenty of exercise, and to avoid overexposure to the sun. Sun exposure is responsible for the majority of medical and cosmetic skin conditions, so always be sure to protect yourself by using large-brimmed hats and high-SPF sunscreens when in sunlight. Try to avoid sun exposure between 10 a.m. and 2 p.m. During these hours, skin-damaging UV (ultraviolet) radiation is at its highest peak.

Q. What conditions can dermatologists treat?

A. Dermatologists can treat a broad range of conditions affecting the skin, hair and nails, including, but not limited to, acne, psoriasis, rosacea, skin cancer, wrinkles, sun spots, pigmentation problems, warts, rashes, bacterial or fungal skin and nail infections, stretch marks, spider and varicose veins, and sun damage. If you have a skin-related problem, a dermatologist is the best choice for lasting, efficient treatment.

Q. How much does dermatologic treatment cost?

A. As with any medical treatment, costs vary, depending upon the scale and severity of the condition as well as the treatment method. However, many medical dermatology treatments are covered by insurance. For treatments not covered, we offer convenient payment options. We will work hard to make sure that your skin treatments are affordable!

Q. Do laser treatments hurt?

A. Generally speaking, laser treatment does not "hurt." Most treatments are administered in pulses that last only a small fraction of a second, which minimizes how much you feel. Many of our patients describe the sensation of fractional and CO2 lasers to be like the feeling of a rubber band snapping on the skin. Topical anesthetic is available for patients with sensitive skin.

Q. Do I need a referral to see a dermatologist?

A. No! If you would like to have a consultation, simply contact us to schedule an appointment. Please note you may need a referral for your insurance to cover some procedures. If you have questions on what is covered, please contact your insurance company directly.

Q. What sunscreen should I use?

A. Any sunscreen is better than going without, but some types of sunscreen may protect you better. Finding the right sunscreen is partly finding one with the right consistency for your skin type. Those with oily or acne-prone skin may want to go with a less greasy sunscreen, for example. Most importantly, it is crucial to choose a sunscreen with a high SPF factor to help shield you from ultraviolet (UV) radiation.

Q. Which moisturizers/lotions should I use?

A. Choosing the right moisturizer involves knowing your skin type and specific needs. If you have dry skin, for example, you may want a heavier, oil or petroleum-based moisturizer, and if you have oily, acne-prone skin, look for moisturizers that are water-based, oil-free and labeled "non-comedogenic" or "non-acnegenic." People with sensitive skin should get hypoallergenic, perfume-free formulations. And moisturizers with SPF protection are also an excellent choice if you plan to be out in the sun.