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Dermatologist vs Esthetician: 6 Key Differences and Who To Choose For Healthier Skin

We’ll talk about what they do and when to pay them a visit. 

Researched, written by Amber & The Team
Updated on August 1, 2023

Woman Choosing Between Dermatologist Vs Esthetician For Acne Problem

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“Can you explain dermatologist vs esthetician?”

With pleasure.

The skin is not just the largest organ in the body.

It’s also the layer that protects us from intruders and the elements, keeps us hydrated, and allows us to experience our environments.

Plus, healthy, unblemished skin indicates a healthy diet and overall well-being.

So, it makes sense to do everything in your power to protect it.

Sometimes, this also means asking for professional help.

But where exactly should you go when something goes wrong with your skin?

Today we’ll talk about the two major professionals involved in skin care and health – dermatologists and estheticians. We’ll talk about what they do and when to pay them a visit.


Dermatologist vs esthetician explained


What does an Esthetician Do?


Estheticians are cosmetic professionals trained to provide care and treatments for the appearance of your skin.

Therefore, an esthetician’s job is limited to the most outer layers of the skin.

  1. These professionals don’t have (or need) medical treatment, but they need a license that requires them to complete courses specific to their specialization.

    While almost anyone interested in this line of work can take a course (see an esthetician program curriculum), only those who take their license can practice.

  2. You go to an esthetician for facials, hair removal procedures, body scrubs, superficial chemical peels, masks, and other procedures that help your skin look refreshed and rejuvenated.

    Some estheticians are trained in electrolysis, acne treatments, or microdermabrasion, but they’ll have to complete a separate course for these types of procedures.


What does a Dermatologist Do?


Dermatologists are trained doctors who specialize in the skin, hair, nails, and mucous membranes.

They offer medical and cosmetic procedures (even though some professionals choose only one line of work), and they can diagnose and treat a wide range of health conditions that affect the skin, such as eczema, psoriasis, dermatitis, or skin cancer.

  1. You go to a dermatologist when there’s a problem with your skin, hair, or nails, such as rashes, growths, pigmentation, burns, scars, and so on.

    Plus, you can get specialized treatment to reduce the appearance of fine lines or sunspots.

  2. In short, a dermatologist can help with a wide range of tips and treatments, from recommending the right face wash for your skin type to chemical peels, dermal fillers, or laser hair removal.

    Plus, if you have acne troubles, you’ll need to visit a dermatologist who can offer prescription medication (if this is the case).


Where Can You Find These Professionals?


Even though they work in the same field, dermatologists and estheticians do their job in different locations.

Let’s see how dermatologist vs esthetician differs in terms of practice spots.

  1. Dermatologists who specialize in cosmetic procedures often have their own practice or collaborate with specialty clinics and other private practices.

    Those who specialize in medical procedures often work in hospitals or large healthcare organizations.

  2. Estheticians, on the other hand, work at salons or spas.

    There is one exception – medical estheticians (or aestheticians).

    These professionals get extra training for specific procedures and treatments and often work as assistants to dermatologists, dermal therapists, or cosmetic surgeons.

    They can offer services such as tattoo removal, laser hair removal, or deep chemical peels with glycolic or other acids.

It’s also good to know that dermatological procedures essential for your health and recommended by a dermatologist are covered by insurance companies.

However, insurance doesn’t cover elective cosmetic procedures such as lip fillers or laser treatments.


Dermatologist vs esthetician: The Wrap Up


In summary, if you have a problem with your skin, hair, or nails, the first professional to visit needs to be a dermatologist.

This includes anything from acne to sunburns, rashes, hair falling, or nail discoloration.

If you want to treat yourself and give your healthy skin a boost with a nice hydrating mask, you should book an appointment with your esthetician.

Also, if they ever recommend you see a dermatologist, you should listen to their advice.

Even though they don’t have medical training, estheticians know skin and can recognize the early signs of a more significant problem.

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