02 February 2012

Who should be providing your cosmetic treatment?

SCHAUMBURG, ILL. (June 28, 2011) – — The American Academy of Dermatology (Academy) urges patients to select a qualified physician for a cosmetic treatment. The Academy recommends consumers ask a series of questions and consider the training and credentials before they decide if a physician is the right choice for them.

“Today, many non-physicians are performing various cosmetic procedures in spas, shopping malls and walk-in clinics,” explained dermatologist Amy J. Derick, MD, FAAD. “While these locations may offer some convenience to consumers, the supervision of the person performing the procedure, as well as the training and equipment available to handle complications or medical emergencies, can jeopardize the health and appearance of the patient.”

To assist consumers in choosing a qualified physician for any cosmetic procedure, the Academy has developed a new video, Who Should Be Providing Your Cosmetic Treatment. The video follows a patient who is considering a cosmetic procedure. In the video, Dr. Derick discusses the dangers associated with non-physicians performing cosmetic surgery with the patient. The video can be found at along with the following list of questions to ask a physician before a cosmetic treatment.

  • What are the doctor’s credentials?  Is he/she a board-certified dermatologist or other appropriately trained surgeon?
    Ask to see the doctor’s credentials. Remember, dermatologists are physicians with extensive education, training and experience for keeping the skin, hair and nails healthy.
  • How many of these cosmetic surgery procedures has the physician performed?
    The procedure should be one that the doctor performs regularly. Ask to see before and after photos of previous patients.
  • What results can be expected and are there any risks?
    Since your results depend largely on the skill and experience of the person performing the procedure, it is important to select a board-certified dermatologist. A dermatologist can tell you if the procedure will deliver the desired results, based on the condition of your skin as well as your age and health.

“Patient safety is the No. 1 priority for dermatologists. The overall care a patient receives from a dermatologist in his or her office is incomparable to the walk-in clinics now set up in shopping malls and spas,” said Dr. Derick. “A well-informed patient and a skilled physician are always the best prescription for a successful outcome.”

Headquartered in Schaumburg, Ill., the American Academy of Dermatology (Academy), founded in 1938, is the largest, most influential, and most representative of all dermatologic associations. With a membership of more than 17,000 physicians worldwide, the Academy is committed to: advancing the diagnosis and medical, surgical and cosmetic treatment of the skin, hair and nails; advocating high standards in clinical practice, education, and research in dermatology; and supporting and enhancing patient care for a lifetime of healthier skin, hair and nails. For more information, contact the Academy at 1-888-462-DERM (3376) or