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As the U.S. population ages, the number of Americans who suffer from skin diseases will continue to rise, according to the American Academy of Dermatology (AAD). Skin diseases can be the first sign of an underlying health condition. Further, many chronic illnesses can lead to or exacerbate skin conditions.
“Most people don’t realize that Dermatologists have at least 3 years of specialized training specific to the diagnosis and treatment of over 3,000 skin disorders,” says Julie Countess, MD, of Cumberland Skin Surgery and Dermatology. “While ‘pretty skin’ is in style, the most gratifying part of my job is treating skin cancer and educating patients about how to keep their skin healthy for a lifetime.”
Dermatologists are trained to treat thousands of conditions that fall under the umbrella of the specialty. However, there has been a trend in entertainment and the media to portray Dermatologists as merely glorified cosmetologists, and such popular YouTube sites as ‘Dr. Pimple Popper’ reinforce these stereotypes.
To help correct this misconception, the AAD is working to educate patients, other clinicians, and health insurance companies about the importance of Dermatology. As part of its SkinSerious campaign, the organization has produced an excellent video which highlights the importance of Dermatologists and how this specialty can help improve the health of patients.