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Why Board Certification Matters When Seeking Someone to Care for Your Skin

Murad Alam, M.D., M.B.A.

Dermatologist, Northwestern University; President, American Society for Dermatologic Surgery

Do you turn to social media and digital influencers for skincare tips? Do you know if the training your provider received is enough qualification to perform the treatment you’re considering? 

Unfortunately, there is a widespread lack of knowledge when it comes to “who’s wearing the white coat.” 

Trained and tested

A dermatologist is a physician who has completed 12 years of rigorous training, including 12,000 patient care hours, and is certified by the American Board of Dermatology. Unlike aestheticians, dermatologists are trained in the full anatomy and physiology of the face and body, to truly know how all the aesthetic treatments and procedures work together to create natural, beautiful, and high-quality results. 

Dermatologists perform scientific research to improve current treatments and invent new ones. They work with policymakers at the state and federal levels to make sure skin treatments are both effective and safe. 

Fact checking

According to a 2018 study by the American Society for Dermatologic Surgery (ASDS), nearly 70 percent of consumers are considering a cosmetic procedure, including wrinkle-relaxing injections, fillers, laser hair removal, body sculpting, and tumescent liposuction. 

If you’re in that group, remember that a cosmetic treatment is a medical procedure. There are real risks of complications and serious problems when procedures are done by practitioners who do not have appropriate training and expertise. 

It’s crucial that you verify your provider’s credentials to ensure they are qualified to advise you on your skin’s health, and perform dermatology-related procedures. Visit CertificationMatters.org for complimentary verification of your provider’s board certification. 

Additionally, many knowledgeable and trustworthy physicians belong to professional medical organizations, like the ASDS, that offer physicians continuing education throughout their careers and help fund research projects. Physician members of these organizations continue to invent new techniques and products that increase the benefits available to patients. A dermatologist’s thorough and medically trained expertise can guide you to appropriate options specifically to your needs that will yield the best results. Take responsibility for your skin’s health by choosing a board-certified dermatologist. Locate one near you who specializes in your area(s) of concern at asds.net/find.

Murad Alam, M.D., M.B.A., Dermatologist, Northwestern University; President, American Society for Dermatologic Surgery, [email protected]

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