What is Dermatology?

Dermatology is one of the branches of medical sciences related to physiology and pathology of the skin, hair and nails. The field involves the diagnosis and treatment of conditions and diseases of the skin and appendages.

Dermatologists have been leaders in the field of cosmetic surgery. The terms Dermatology and Cosmetology are often mistaken as one and the same. But, Dermatology and Cosmetology are two entirely different streams which deal with human skin and related issues. One main difference between Cosmetology and Dermatology is that- Cosmetology is the study of beauty treatments which have practical applicability which include hairstyles, hairdressing, shampoos, and skin care specialties and nail treatments etc. Dermatology is a division of medicines which includes the study of skin and related issues, prescribes medicine and even conducts surgery if needed. It is an actual science. It also involves various methods of diagnosing, treating, and protecting skin from external and internal impacts. Acne scar removal, treatment of aged or sun-damaged skin, chemical peel, dermabrasion / dermaplaning, cryosurgery etc. are some of the treatments done by a cosmetic dermatologist.

As the dermatologist is a physician, he/she must complete the Bachelor’s degree in medicine (MBBS) and then get specialized by taking a Master’s degree in Dermatology.

Educational Qualification Required:

Educational: An aspiring candidate wanting to make a career as dermatologist needs to opt for science stream with physics, chemistry and biology as subjects at 10+2 level. After plus two they have to go through the entrance exam and get a seat for MBBS. After MBBS, one can do a Master’s degree program in Dermatology or a Doctorate in medical science in the related field of Dermatology. One can also opt for a post graduate diploma or diploma course in the respective field after Bachelors in Medicine.

Personal attributes:

Dermatologists must possess the following qualities as in any other medical field.

Care and concern

Critical thinking

Ability to counsel

An eye for detail


Stress management

Friendly approach




Job Prospects & Career Options                              

People, young as well as old are becoming more conscious about their skin and looks. Owing to this, the demand for professionals in this field of skin care is expected to upsurge in the coming years.

Dermatologists could work in hospitals or clinics or take up private practice. They could even take up positions as professors, teaching faculty, supervisors or research heads in their specialized fields in medical colleges and institutes/universities. After gaining considerable experience in India, dermatologists can pursue lucrative careers aboard as the demand is increasing tremendously.

Private practitioners may opt for specialized dermatology courses in pediatric and cosmetic dermatology. The specializations in dermatology can be done in the fields like immune dermatology, dermo pathology, pediatric dermatology and cosmetic dermatology.