Doctors & therapists

Dermatologist – diagnosis, treatment & choice of doctor


The skin is the largest human organ. Therefore, the dermatologist , i.e. the skin doctor , is one of the most sought-after doctors in our healthcare system.

What is a dermatologist?

The skin can be affected by a variety of diseases. Dermatology essentially includes the areas of oncological dermatology ( skin cancer ), allergology, venereology ( venereal diseases ), diseases of the mucous membranes and skin appendages (hair, nails) also belong to the specialist area.

Like every doctor in Germany, the dermatologist completes a medical degree with subsequent approbation. This is followed by training to become a specialist, so the student works for at least five years in a corresponding facility or clinic. A finally completed specialist examination at the Medical Association then entitles the dermatologist to designate a specialist in dermatology.


Dermatologists can either be employed in clinics or open their own practice. Furthermore, dermatologists, including those in private practice, are entitled under certain conditions to carry out outpatient or inpatient operations, for example the surgical removal of suspect birthmarks or skin cancer operations including skin transplants.Aesthetic dermatology can also be part of their area of ​​responsibility, so there are numerous dermatologists who offer wrinkle injections, laser epilation or tattoo removal using lasers, as well as liposuction or surgical corrections of drooping eyelids.

Furthermore, dermatologists with an allergological focus can carry out hyposensitization, i.e. treat allergies in their practice. Dermatologists can determine the skin type at the request of patients who want to use the right sun protection sensibly on summer vacation, and hair analyzes for patients with hair loss are also possible, provided the doctor has the appropriate equipment and instruments.

Not all of these services can be billed via statutory health insurance, and a dermatologist is not automatically approved by health insurance companies. It is advisable to call the dermatologist to obtain the desired information before the first visit or treatment.

An example of this is the so-called skin cancer screening, i.e. the skin cancer screening test. It is offered by many statutory health insurance companies, but many dermatologists only carry out the examination with a reflected-light microscope in order to be able to better assess birthmarks and moles. Photo documentation is also possible.

However, these aids are among those services that are not covered by most health insurance companies. So even the supposedly free provision can become chargeable. A good dermatologist will always inform and explain the patient before the examination about possible costs.

Basically, the specialty of oncological dermatology, i.e. the early detection and treatment of skin cancer , is one of the increasingly important areas, since the number of skin cancer diseases is constantly increasing. Black skin cancer (melanoma) is fatal if left untreated. One of its main causes is extensive sun exposure, i.e. unprotected sunbathing and sunburns , even those that happened years ago.

Therefore, the main focus of the oncological area of ​​this specialty is on prevention, treatment and subsequent aftercare of skin cancer diseases over several years. The dermatologist is also responsible for all fungal diseases of the skin and mucous membranes, for example he treats nail fungi , skin fungi or fungal infections in the genital area.

Other acute clinical pictures that the dermatologist examines and treats can also be considered emergencies. Herpes zoster ( shingles ), the so-called erysipelas (erysipelas ) or acute allergic reactions ( anaphylactic shock ) must be treated immediately and, if left untreated, can cause serious damage to health. The dermatologist also bears a great deal of responsibility for his patients.

Diagnostic & examination methods

Since the field of dermatology is diverse, the instruments and examination devices with which he works can hardly be listed in one sentence. As already mentioned above, there are microscopic examination methods, surgical aids such as scalpels and curettage, as well as laser devices or devices for hair and nail analysis. Doctors also work closely with laboratory communities that do blood tests or analyze skin samples and test for fungal diseases, allergies or skin cancer, etc.

What should the patient pay attention to?

Before the patient visits a dermatologist , he should first find out whether the doctor specializes in the symptoms of his disease. Since dermatology covers many individual areas, a suitable dermatologist can usually be found quickly through a targeted search, possibly with the help of the health insurance company.

Lisa Newlon
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Hello! I am Lisa Newlon, and I am a medical writer and researcher with over 10 years of experience in the healthcare industry. I have a Master’s degree in Medicine, and my deep understanding of medical terminology, practices, and procedures has made me a trusted source of information in the medical world.