Should I go to a cosmetic plastic surgeon, a dermatologist or spa for acne scars and hyperpigmentation?

Should I go to a cosmetic plastic surgeon, a dermatologist or spa for acne scars and hyperpigmentation. Also I don't want perscriptions I want chemical peels or laser resurfacing performed. Which ever is best for me.

I’m glad you asked this as there seems to be a lot of confusion on this issue.   

  1. A cosmetically oriented dermatologist is best for acne scars, pigmentation problems and all other issues related to skin health, skin diseases and diseases of the hair and nails.  We are trained first for either 1-3 years in internal medicine (I did 3 years) or pediatrics and then we do 3 more years of training (more for Mohs surgery)  just related to skin.
  2. Plastic surgeons – make sure they are certified in plastic surgery NOT cosmetic surger.  Why the “cosmetic surgeons” have much less training.  Plastic surgeons do a general surgery residency first and then 3-4 years of plastic/aesthetic surgery. They get no training in health or diseases of the skin. They are best for any surgical problems and often they or their nurses are quite good with injectibles. 
  3. Spas and aestheticians get no medical training and, in my opinion, should never be operating lasers.  They are wonderful usually for all conventional spa treatments including lighter peels. The regulations on them vary widely state by state and by country.  

More information on finding a good doctor

Also check for board certification at the AAD.org for example. 

Hope this helps,  Dr. I

 

Dr. Brandith Irwin, MD

Ask me your skincare question!

Hi, I’m Dr. Irwin, and I believe that consumers deserve a medically trained and unbiased skincare advocate. That’s why I write these skin care tips and guides.

  • All our content is written and researched by myself and my trained staff.
  • My medical office in Seattle has experience treating thousands of patients.
  • This site is not affiliated or financially tied to any product line.
Ask Me Something
SkinTour Skincare
One of the best investments in your skin is your daily skincare. Why? Because you can prevent many problems with blotchy skin color, lack of glow, texture, some types of acne, and fine lines with good skincare products. You can also correct some of these problems with effective skincare products. Great skincare is often more expensive because quality ingredients are expensive. Some companies spend on research/development which benefits all of us and adds to the cost. Are they worth it? In general - yes! I have handpicked some of what I consider to be the best skin care products, and offer them for sale on SkinTour's shop. This is based on my team and I's testing and research at our clinic. Many of the products are in my own regimen. What could be better than using skin care products a dermatologist uses?!