What Career Specialities are in the Field of Dermatology?

Dermatology is the study of the skin, and there are a number of career specialties in dermatology people may not know about. Many simply know that a dermatologist is a doctor that takes care of the skin, hair and nails. However, the types of specializations within this field are actually quite vast. Let’s take a closer look at some of these subspecialties.


The pathology of the skin is the area of expertise for a dermatopathologist. These highly trained medical professionals are most concerned with the causes and effects of skin diseases. Much of their work is done in the laboratory, where they study samples to diagnose specific conditions. A year of specialized fellowship training is required for this position.

Pediatric Dermatology

Another of the specialties in dermatology is pediatric dermatology. Pediatrics is a specialization in meeting the medical needs of children. Dermatologists within this subspecialty frequently come across conditions such as birthmarks, warts, genetic skin diseases and acne. In order to become a pediatric dermatologist, one must complete residencies in both dermatology and pediatrics or complete a fellowship post-residency,  according the the American Academy of Dermatology.


Teledermatology is an innovative specialization in which dermatologists use various media to assist other medical professionals in identification and diagnosis of hair, skin and nail conditions. Technologies such as audio, visual and data use are employed to share information between providers. It allows a second-opinion to be given without requiring the patient make a special trip and allows off-site dermatologists to weigh in on patient cases with their specialized knowledge.

Mohs Surgery

Mohs surgery is the removal of skin cancers. This is a very specific type of surgical procedure that allows practitioners to make a complete assessment of tumor margins peripherally. It was named after its developer, Frederic E. Mohs, who discovered the technique in the 1930s. Dermatologists who choose to enter this specialty must commit to becoming proficient in both surgery and pathology during their time in residency. In addition, it’s possible to obtain training during a fellowship in Mohs Surgery.

Cosmetic Dermatology

A popular specialization within the dermatological field is cosmetic dermatology. This subspecialty focuses on procedures that are aesthetic involving the skin, hair and nails. They help to improve their patients’ appearance. Common treatments performed by cosmetic dermatologists are fillers, laser surgery, liposuction, botox and skin resurfacing. Most of the procedures undertaken by these professionals are minimally invasive, rather than extensive surgery. Specialized fellowships are required for this specialization.

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These are five common specializations within the field of dermatology that future medical professionals can consider. While dermatology is itself a specialization within the medical field, there are a wide assortment of subspecialties available to study. Patients benefit from seeing these specialists because of the peace of mind that’s provided in knowing their doctor is specifically and extensively trained in the types of medical issues the patient is experiencing. These specializations require additional training in residencies or fellowships, but these experiences provide professionals the knowledge and experience required to properly treat very particular skin, hair and nail conditions. These career specialties in dermatology are necessary within the profession.