Art of Skin

Distinguishing Between a Dermatologist and an Aesthetician

Distinguishing Between a Dermatologist and an Aesthetician

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Many of us have been there – strolling through a mall when an esthetician advertises a discounted facial, making you think – “why not… I deserve this!” Despite the appealing price tag, such decisions can occasionally lead to unwanted skin issues, irritation and even scarring. That’s why it’s crucial to know the difference between a dermatologist and an aesthetician and determine when it’s best to consult either.

Distinguishing Between a Dermatologist and an Aesthetician

The primary distinction lies in their level of education and training. Dermatologists undergo extensive training, including college, medical school, and a residency program, which can total 12 to 14 years of advanced education. Dermatologists typically run their clinics and operate within the medical and cosmetic sectors, providing treatment for patients with both medical and cosmetic skin concerns. They conduct thorough skin assessments and tailor treatments to address individualized skincare needs, applying the most effective, lasting solutions.

Aesthetician training varies by location, but it usually involves completing a one or two-year course at a college, focusing on skincare, facials, and non-invasive procedures. Aestheticians commonly work at spas, salons, or under the supervision of a dermatologist. It’s worth noting that aestheticians often employ standardized treatments from predetermined options, without customization to accommodate individual skin types or unique skincare requirements. Also, aestheticians can offer valuable advice on maintaining skin health but lack the authority to diagnose or treat medical conditions.

Guidelines for Choosing the Ideal Path on Your Skincare Journey

While the price may be tempting, seeking the services of an under qualified aesthetician for complex skincare procedures can result in lasting damage. Nevertheless, if you’re in good health and seeking a relaxing non-invasive facial, an aesthetician can effectively perform basic skincare procedures.

Opting for a medical spa or a dermatology clinic that offers cosmetic services such as facials, laser hair removal and injectable treatments is best. At Art of SKIN, Dr. Lubitz DFLS, BSc, MD, FRCPC (Derm CAN), FAAD (Derm USA), oversees all nurses and aestheticians providing a wide range of procedures, offering the best of both worlds. You can indulge in a spa experience while having a certified dermatologist oversee the process and offer medical insights. Aestheticians at such clinics also possess a deeper understanding of potential skin issues and know when to seek a dermatologist’s input.

If you choose to visit an aesthetician, always search for a certificate from a reputable school displayed on the wall. Keep in mind that an aesthetician can open a practice without regulation.

It’s also essential to communicate any allergies or health conditions with your aesthetician, including conditions like herpes simplex. A medically reviewed article on, titled “Dermatologist or Aestheticians: How Do You Decide Which to See?” highlights the importance of this. For instance, individuals with a history of herpes simplex who undergo laser treatment without prior prophylactic (preventive) medication could potentially experience a widespread outbreak of herpes on their face.

In addition to disclosing your health concerns, inquire about your aesthetician’s experience and whether they have previously worked with clients who have similar skincare issues. When considering more complex procedures such as laser hair removal and injections, it’s highly recommended to seek the expertise of a dermatologist.

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