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This article was written by Tania Bhattacharya on behalf of Sherley Altidor.
A trichologist or a dermatologist who should you see for your hair and scalp problems? Isn’t a dermatologist supposed to be the skin doctor? If you have asked yourself several such questions lately, you are not alone. Many of us go through the same phase because we don’t have enough information about the specific branches and the services offered. One of the easiest ways to make up your mind is hence to know more about them.
What is trichology?
Trichology is a field of study of the hair and the scalp. Although more and more people are becoming aware of the practice today, its origin dates back to 1902 Britain. A trichologist can help you if you are suffering from hair or scalp problems. It is common for people to consult a trichologist for treating receding hairline, baldness, scalp irritation, brittle hair and the likes. They may also introduce you to a number of hair care regimen and techniques and help you in getting strong and healthy hair. Forensic trichologists are also trained to take hair samples to check for traces of medication and for DNA analysis.
What is dermatology?
According to the American Academy of Dermatology, “Dermatology focuses on the diagnosis and treatment of conditions related to the skin, hair, and nails. It also focuses on maintaining the health of your skin.” Dermatologists are the medical doctors who are experts in these fields. They specialize in treating the various conditions of the skin, hair, nails and the mucous membranes, that is, the lining inside the mouth, nose and the eyelids.
Every dermatologist receives training in medical dermatology, dermatopathology, surgical dermatology and cosmetic dermatology. These let them help the patients with preventing, diagnosing, treating and even improving the skin, hair and nail conditions through medicines and surgery. Some dermatologists study further to specialize in treating the children including the newborns and the infants. They are known as pediatric dermatologist.
Trichologist or Dermatologist?
One of the best ways to make up your mind is to understand your own condition and the severity of it. Always remember that dermatologists are doctors while trichologists are not. This means while a dermatologist can prescribe you medicines and do surgery if needed, a trichologist cannot.
How to decide if you need a trichologist or a dermatologist
Between the symptoms of a medical condition and their proper treatment lies proper diagnosis. Which is why finding the right person who can treat your problem is very important. And that is a bit more involved a process than reading up online reviews or asking friends and colleagues for references. To begin with, you might even wonder about the particular specialist that you need to see. Often the branches of medical study overlap and making the decision is a little difficult. If you have faced hair problems recently and are thinking about who to consult, ask yourself, what are my issues?
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