A dermatologist is a specialist doctor who, after qualifying with a medical degree and working for three or four years in a hospital, then undertakes a further five years of study in dermatology. Most, but not all dermatologists in New Zealand hold the FRACP or FACD qualifications.
Dermatologists are expert in the diagnosis and treatment of all skin diseases and skin cancer, including melanomas. They are also expert in the assessment of moles. They are trained in surgery relating to skin lesions and skin cancer. Some carry out cosmetic procedures and cosmetic surgery.
Dermatologists treat people of all ages from birth to extreme old age. They are trained to diagnose skin disorders in all ethnic groups.
Ultraviolet (UV radiation) is the main risk factor for most forms of skin cancer. People in sunny countries, such as New Zealand, Australia, tropical countries and parts of the United States are certainly at increased risk. Certainly, many people who live in New Zealand and Australia have fair skin types and are very poorly equipped to cope with lots of UV radiation. The vast majority of them are sun damaged before the age of 18 years of age and yet despite this, many people in this age group enjoy sunbathing to get a tan or alternatively, use sunbeds.Read more