There are several specializations within the dermatological field, which makes it hard to differentiate between these professionals. When you visit a dermatologist for a skin condition, and then they realize that the condition is beyond their scope, they may take a biopsy of your skin. The sample of the skin is then sent to another specialist, usually to a dermatopathologist for further analysis. Dermatopathology refers to a specialty falling between dermatology and pathology and sometimes including surgical pathology.
Dermatopathology deals with the study of various skin conditions at a molecular level, usually using a microscope. The work of a dermatopathologist is to evaluate the potential causes of various skin conditions at the lowest level. These professionals work closely with a clinical dermatologist, and some of them are trained dermatologists.
Dermatopathologists undergo rigorous and specialized training before they can be allowed to practice. There are two routes to this specialization. The first route involves taking training as a dermatologist and then going to class for another year to specialize as a dermatopathologist. Alternatively, you can start off as a pathologist and then undergo a one-year fellowship training. Taking a board examination after the fellowship will then earn you the title of a dermatopathologist.
Due to their specialization, dermatopathologists can identify skin conditions based on how they appear and their behavior. Dermatopathologists may use various techniques to examine a biopsy.
The main goal of dermatopathology is to diagnose skin conditions as early as possible and then provide the correct remedy. If you are dealing with any type of skin, nail and/or hair condition, our dermatopathology services at Orange County Skin Lab in San Juan Capistrano could benefit you greatly. Contact us today to book a consultation and learn more.