How to become

How to Become a Cosmetic Dermatologist

How to Become a Cosmetic Dermatologist


A cosmetic dermatologist’s primary responsibility is to diagnose and treat cosmetic skin disorders. In this capacity, a cosmetic dermatologist typically performs operations including chemical peels, laser surgery, liposuction, and botox. Cosmetic dermatologists typically perform medical operations more for aesthetic or cosmetic purposes than for medical need. Working closely with patients in this capacity entails determining the appropriate degree of care to meet their requirements and achieve the intended outcomes.

What is a cosmetic dermatologist?

A cosmetic dermatologist is a doctor that focuses on skin operations that are typically done for cosmetic purposes. This covers liposuction, botox, collagen injections, anti-aging, and acne therapies. Cosmetic dermatologists, like other medical practitioners, must consider a patient’s medical background and needs before proposing a specific course of action. They might also be asked to advise patients on the course of their therapy and make sure they are selecting the best course of action for themselves.

Within the larger discipline of dermatology, certain cosmetic doctors carry out additional operations. For instance, they may diagnose and treat patients who are at risk for disease, cure skin, hair, and nail problems, or provide preventative medications to patients.

What is the work of a cosmetic dermatologist ?

In dermatology clinics, general offices, or health spas, a cosmetic dermatologist may work. They cater to patients’ desires as opposed to their needs, offering services like:

Exfoliating Procedures

Dead skin cells can be removed in a variety of methods so they don’t accumulate on the skin’s surface and cause issues:

  • Applying an abrasive material to the face to remove dead surface cells is known as physical exfoliation.
  • To get to the skin’s middle layer, microdermabrasion uses microscopic crystals that are sprayed on the skin.
  • Chemical compounds, which are often acidic, are used in a variety of strengths in chemical peels to exfoliate the skin.
  • With the use of light energy, laser skin therapy exfoliates the skin and helps to promote collagen development.
Therapy with intense pulsed light (IPL)

To promote collagen formation, light beams of various, filtered wavelengths are administered to the skin. Sunspots, tiny vascular spiders, small moles, wrinkles, and expression lines can all be treated with IPL.

Hair removal with lasers

In order to suppress or postpone future hair development, a focused laser is used in this process to harm the hair follicles. Although laser hair removal inhibits hair growth for a very long time, it does not remove hair permanently.

Tattoo erasure

Nowadays, the majority of dermatologists use lasers to remove tattoos since they are safer and more effective than prior techniques.

Removal of Non-Invasive Fat

This treatment is used to treat stubborn fat deposits that diet and exercise alone have not been able to eliminate. The dermatologist will use cold, heat, ultrasonic waves, or injections to permanently remove the targeted fat cells.

Skin fillers

Another form of injection used to enhance the youthful appearance of the skin is dermal fillers. A material with a nearly immediate volumizing effect is injected into facial hollows, creases, or wrinkles. There are various filler types; to choose the one that is ideal for you, speak with your doctor.

  • Filled with hyaluronic acid
  • Synthetic fillers for wrinkles
  • Collagen fillers for wrinkles
  • Wrinkle fillers created from a patient’s own fat or blood are referred to as autologous fillers.
Injections of Botox

Botulinum toxin injections into the skin make wrinkles appear less prominent. It prevents the release of acetylcholine, which causes the face muscles to contract. Because repeated contraction of these muscles causes wrinkles, acetylcholine deficiency momentarily lessens the appearance of wrinkles.

They might or might not require an initial appointment to establish a treatment plan, depending on where they practise and what you want done. They might also suggest drugs (oral or topically applied), suggest changes to one’s lifestyle, and offer skin care advice in addition to in-person treatments.

What Qualities Are Required?

Cosmetic dermatology is a delicate field that necessitates close patient interaction. In order to make sure that patients are supported and at ease throughout the operation, a variety of personal attributes are needed. For the position, empathy and compassion are crucial traits. As with all medical specialties, it will be simpler for both the patient and the medical expert involved if they are aware that a patient may feel anxious or uncomfortable and are able to soothe such feelings.

Problem-solving abilities are crucial for cosmetic dermatologists since they must evaluate and provide the right treatments to make a variety of patients feel their best. A cosmetic dermatologist will also require strong written and vocal communication skills to communicate the results of their evaluation to the patient and, maybe, their colleagues.

As the position includes assessing and diagnosing various diseases, attention to detail is also essential. It will be necessary for a cosmetic dermatologist to note and monitor information on patient treatment.

Required Qualifications

To become board-certified dermatologists, medical students must finish substantial coursework and training. They start their adventure by earning a bachelor’s degree from a recognised university. Students who want to work in medicine typically major in a science, health, or math-related discipline. In order to prepare for the Medical Undergraduate Admission Test (MCAT) and medical school, college students interested in a career in medicine are strongly urged to enroll in science and math courses.

The MCAT is meant to evaluate a student’s premedical understanding as well as other abilities required for a career in medicine. According to the Association of American Medical Colleges, the MCAT test consists of a writing sample and multiple-choice questions in verbal reasoning, biological science, and physical science.

The majority of medical schools require a passing MCAT exam score in order to admit students, and students who wish to raise their score have three opportunities to do so each year. Medical schools consider the student’s previous exam result despite the fact that the exam may be retaken. Prior to taking the MCAT again, students ought to be made aware of this.

Many medical schools need applicants with at least one year of biology, physics, and English as well as two years of organic chemistry in addition to MCAT scores.

Students in medical school acquire knowledge in clinical medicine and provide direct patient care during their four years of rigorous academic study. The first two years are devoted to medical education and fundamental scientific ideas. Typically, the final two years of medical school are spent working with patients.

According to the American Board of Dermatology (ABD), residency training must last at least three years and at least 75% of that time must be spent treating actual patients. Conferences, student lectures, and seminars connected to academic matters take up the remaining 25% of the residence. Residents in their last year may spend some of the year researching dermatologic subspecialties like cosmetics.

Scholars must take and pass the board certification exam offered by the ADB after completing their residency in order to be recognised as board-certified dermatologists. Dermatologists must successfully complete the recertification exam once every ten years to keep their license.

Get an internship

Only cosmetic dermatologists are required to complete a preliminary year after graduation. You will be working in surgery or internal medicine during this time, which is officially part of your residency but is seen as just an internship (and can be completed at a separate institution) (probably). Hey, you graduated from college and are headed in the right direction! Super. It’s time to demonstrate your knowledge now.

  • Some people decide to take a year off. When it comes to their actual residency, people that choose to do this struggle because it is typically seen as less scholarly. Take a preliminary year in pediatrics, general medicine, or whatever else you could stand to do for another year.
  • It’s important to secure an internship and residency. As was already established, many people fail to succeed. If you lack the necessary resources, it won’t happen and it certainly won’t just fall into your lap. You must set this as your initial objective.

Following your internship, begin your three-year cosmetic dermatology residency

You might be allowed to stay at your current school, but it’s likely that you’ll relocate and enroll in a new residency programme for teaching in a different location. The school must have accreditation from the American Osteopathic Association (AOA) or the Accreditation Council for Graduate Medical Education (ACGME) in the United States, and from the Royal College of Physicians and Surgeons of Canada in Canada.

  • Within 30 days of beginning your cosmetic dermatology residency, you must submit a Preliminary Registration Form to the American Board of Cosmetic Dermatology. The Yearly Report Form must also be completed annually by your training director to confirm that you are successfully completing the programme.
  • Finding your specialization and learning from your mentors during this time is time well spent. Although you are a young doctor and will still need supervision, you are a doctor nonetheless.
  • Depending on whether you choose a medical residency, a surgical residency, or family medicine, residencies can last anywhere between 2 and 6 years.

Job Information

Cosmetic dermatology is expanding in tandem with the increasing beauty sector. Through cosmetic dermatology, many people are looking for solutions to enhance their looks or reverse the effects of aging.

In general, doctors had excellent employment prospects. Physicians and surgeons’ employment was anticipated to expand as quickly as the average for all occupations from 2019 to 2029, according to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS).

The minimum educational requirements for cosmetic dermatologists include a bachelor’s degree, completion of medical school and residency, and often additional cosmetic dermatological training. To practice medicine, one must be licensed as a doctor, and board certification is frequently sought for. Cosmetic dermatologists might start their own clinic or join forces with other doctors in an existing practice. 

Job growth 2020-2030 3% (for all medical professionals)

Average Salary

Salary of Cosmetic Dermatologists in the USA

What is the average annual salary of a cosmetic dermatologist in the US? In the United States, a cosmetic dermatologist can expect to earn between $217,806 and $297,018 annually.

American cities with the highest salaries for cosmetic dermatologists

The salary for cosmetic dermatologists varies by city in the United States. The eight American cities with the highest salaries for cosmetic dermatologist employment are listed below. San Jose has the highest salaries of any city.

San Jose, CA                                        $316,982 Per Year

Santa Clara, CA                                    $316,982 Per Year

Fremont, CA                                          $316,174 Per Year

Daly City, CA                                         $315,719 Per Year

San Francisco, CA                                $315,719 Per Year

Bronx, NY                                              $303,848 Per Year

New York, NY                                        $303,848 Per Year

Brooklyn, NY                                         $303,848 Per Year


What brand of dermal filler would be the most successful in eradicating my wrinkles?

Hyaluronic acid fillers like Juvederm, Perlane, and Restylane work well to regenerate damaged skin and erase wrinkles around the eyes, nose, and mouth to smooth out fine lines and overall wrinkling of the skin due to aging or excessive sun exposure. Dermal fillers Perlane and Prevelle, which have more of a “plumping” action to restore firmer, smoother skin, are advised for treating deeper wrinkles and furrowing of the skin.

What is the duration of Botox?

Your BOTOX® treatment should have a three to four month lasting impact. Your muscles will start to contract once more after the three to four months, and the wrinkles will return. The bad news is that. Because your muscles may have been somewhat “trained” to be in a more relaxed state, the good news is that your wrinkles may be less noticeable after BOTOX® treatment.

What serves fillers?

Aging causes the epidermis, the skin’s outermost layer, to shrink with time, which reduces its capacity to act as a water-retentive barrier. Additionally, the body produces less collagen and the collagen it already has loses some of its effectiveness. Eye wrinkles and other aging symptoms like volume loss are caused by thinning epidermis and diminished collagen efficacy. The face droops and seems fatigued due to volume loss and thinning skin. Dermal fillers restore the volume that has been lost in the face, providing immediate anti-aging satisfaction. One of our clients at the USF Cosmetic and Laser Center comments, “Your skin fits better on the face.”

What conditions do dermatologists treat?

Dermatologists are physicians who focus on identifying and treating conditions affecting the skin, hair, nails, and mucous membranes. Some dermatologists practise surgery as well.

The following are some of the most typical ailments that a dermatologist may treat:

  • Acne
  • Eczema
  • hair fall
  • Fungal nails
  • Psoriasis
  • cutaneous cancer
  • Rosacea

Are cosmetic dermatologists skilled?

With patients of various ages seeking assistance for medical, surgical, and aesthetic treatments, dermatology also offers a wide range of services. Dermatology is one of the most challenging specialties to break into for all of these reasons and many more. Rotations for auditions are an essential component of the application process.

Do cosmetic dermatologists perform operations?

Numerous dermatologists do minor surgery, including the removal of moles, warts, and skin biopsies. More extensive surgery will be a specialty of other dermatologists. These procedures could involve getting rid of skin cancer or benign cysts.

Do dermatologists come in a variety of forms?

  • Cosmetic dermatology
  • Dermatology for health
  • Dermatology during surgery