A dermatologist is a medical specialist who "is trained to evaluate and manage pediatric and adult patients with benign and malignant disorders of the skin, hair and nails."  Dermatologists receive specific training in:
- Diagnosis and treatment of skin cancers
- Management of contact dermatitis and other skin disorders
- Recognition of skin diseases
- Surgical techniques used to treat skin conditions
Some of the most common reasons to see a dermatologist:
Acne - Although many people treat acne with over-the-counter products, there are times a dermatologist can help. If these types of treatment aren’t working or have stopped working, you are embarrassed or your acne is causing scarring, a dermatologist can help.
Skin Cancer - Early detection of skin cancer is important and experts suggest seeing a dermatologist on a annual basis for skin cancer screenings. If you notice any changes, such as shape, size or color, of any moles or spots on your skin, you should see a dermatologist. And of course, if you have skin cancer, you should visit your dermatologist for regular follow-up care.
Treatment of skin conditions - Eczema is a chronic skin condition which causes flaky, itchy patches of skin. Psoriasis is a skin condition characterized by red, itchy, scaly patches on your skin. Dermatologists can treat both of these chronic conditions as well as many others.
Cosmetic - Dermatologists can perform procedures to help with appearance, such as liposuction, wrinkle fillers, laser skin treatment, hair removal and improvement of scars. They can also help with spider veins and pigmentation issues. Remember, your insurance may not pay for visits to your dermatologist for cosmetic reasons so be sure to check before going.
Expert advice - Dermatologists can help you prepare a sun safety regimen, help you understand your skin type and which products would be best to use, give you information on skin care, nails and hair. Your dermatologist is a wealth of information to help you better care for your skin all year long.
Many people are concerned with the cost of seeing a dermatologist. If you are going for a medical reason and have health insurance, you should have at least part of the cost paid by the insurance company, however, all insurance policies are different so it is best to check before going. Even so, the cost of a dermatologist visit may save you money in the long run. Treatment for acne may be less expensive than buying all different over-the-counter products that don’t work. And a dermatologist can help you understand your skin type so you buy the proper cosmetics instead of wasting money on those that are wrong for your skin type.
 "What is a Dermatologist," Date Unknown, Staff Writer, The American Board of Dermatology
Eileen Bailey is a freelance health writer. She is the author of What Went Right: Reframe Your Thinking for a Happier Now, Idiot’s Guide to Adult ADHD, Idiot’s Guide to Cognitive Behavioral Therapy, Essential Guide to Overcoming Obsessive Love, and Essential Guide to Asperger’s Syndrome. She can be found on Twitter @eileenmbailey and on Facebook at eileenmbailey.