Dermatologic Surgery Pathways To Healthy Skin

Dermatologic Surgery Pathways To Healthy Skin


Dermatologic surgery is that discipline which deals with diagnosis and treatment of conditions of the skin, hair, nails, mucous membranes and adjacent tissues by various surgical methods. It is a means of repairing and/or improving the fraction and appearance of skin tissue.

Dermatologic surgery is a sub-specialty of dermatology, one of 23 medical and surgical specialties recognized by the American Board of Medical Specialties.


A dermatologic surgeon is trained and experienced in the use of a wide variety of surgical and non-surgical modalities to treat an entire organ — the skin — and its problems. A dermatologic surgeon demonstrates competence in the diagnosis and surgical treatment of:

* Diseases and disorders of the skin, hair, nails, veins and mucous membranes

* Benign and malignant growths and skin cancers

* Aging and sun-damaged skin

* Cosmetic improvement of the skin


Dermatologic surgeons are physicians who have completed an internship and at least three additional years of specialized training in the medical and surgical treatment of skin disorders, including a core curriculum in the therapeutic, reconstructive and cosmetic treatment of skin conditions. Clinical training in residency programs nationwide focuses on the treatment of allergies and immunology, cryosurgery, dermatologic surgery, laser surgery, dermatopathology, clinical pathology, parasitology, photobiology, physiotherapy, topical and systemic pharmacology and microbiology, including sexually transmitted diseases. As a group, most dermatologic surgeons are Board-certified by the American Board of Dermatology.


Numerous procedures and techniques have been developed, refined and used by dermatologic surgeons. Treatment methods most commonly utilized are those that accomplish tissue removal, lesion removal, primary closure, adjacent tissue transfer and tissue augmentation. These include, but are not limited to:

Blepharoplasty – Upper and lower eyelid surgery to remove loose skin and excess fatty tissue.

Chemical peeling – Application of a chemical solution to remove the outer layer of skin to treat fine lines, wrinkles, mild scarring, acne, skin discoloration and pre-cancerous growths.

Cosmetic rejuvenative surgery – Aesthetic procedures to enhance the appearance of the skin, e.g., facial resurfacing, scalp reduction for hair loss, rhytidectomy etc.

Cryosurgery – Freezing the skin tissue with liquid nitrogen to remove skin growths.

Curettage and desiccation – Use of a sharp instrument to scrap away skin tissue, followed by application of a heated electric needle to destroy skin growths.

Dermabrasion – Surgical sanding or planing of the outer layer of skin to improve acne and other scars, remove tattoos and minimize age spots, wrinkles and certain types of skin growths.

Excision and closure – Cutting into the skin to remove a growth and then closing the wound with stitches.

Flap surgery – Transfer of adjacent skin tissue, often used to move hair-bearing skin to cover balding areas of the scalp.

Grafting – Surgical transplantation of a patch of skin to repair a defect.

Hair replacement surgery – A variety of techniques, such as punch grafts, scalp reduction and scalp flaps, to correct baldness anti restore a person s natural hairline.

Laser surgery – A beam of laser light directed at a site to selectively eliminate tissue abnormalities, such as skin lesions and tattoos and to resurface facial skin.

Micropigmentation – A permanent method of implanting pigment into the skin to add color for the treatment of vitiligo, skin grafts or burn scars and for cosmetic purposes.

Mohs micrographic surgery- Precise removal of skin cancer layer by layer with the aid of a microscope.

Nail surgery – Removal or repair of a nail abnormality for the purposes of diagnosis and/or treatment

Sclerotherapy – Injection of a solution to remove unwanted varicose and spider leg veins.

Soft tissue augmentation – Injection under the skin of a filler, like collagen, Fibrel or one’s own fat, to correct wrinkles, acne scars and other depressions.

Tissue expansion – A technique used to close large surgical wounds and aid in reconstructive surgery.

Tumescent liposuction – A resculpturing technique to remove unwanted fat deposits from specific body areas using only local anesthesia.


Most often, dermatologic surgical procedures are effectively and efficiently performed with utmost safety in a doctor’s office, surgical suite or out-patient surgical centaur. This offers a cost-saving alternative to hospital stays. Under special circumstances, treatment may be delivered in a hospital operating room.


The resells achieved largely depend not only on the skill and experience of the dermatologic surgeon, but also on a patient’s age, general health, overall skin texture, healing capacity and. the specific skin problem. A patient’s realistic expectations also help contribute to a positive outcome.


Aging or sun-damaged Blepharoplasty, cryosurgery,

skin: wrinkles, sagging chemical peel, dermabrasion,

skin, liver spots, laser therapy, soft tissue

actinic keratoses, argumentation, including

loose eyelid skin fat transplantation

Baldness: hair loss Hair transplantation, punch

grafts, scalp reduction, scalp

flap surgery, tissue expansion

Birthmarks, Laser surgery, excisional

tattoos, growths surgery, cryosurgery, chemical

peel, chemical surgery

Cysts, moles Surgical excision

Fat deposits Tumescent liposuction

Scars: acne, injury Laser therapy, dermabrasion,

or previous trauma soft tissue augmentation,

or surgery surgical scar revision,

chemical peel

Skin cancers Surgical excision, Mobs

micrographic surgery, laser

surgery, cryosurgery electrosurgery,

and curettage

Spider and Sclerotherapy, intense pulsed

varicose veins light therapy, laser surgery

Warts, seborrheic Cryosurgery, curettage, excision,

keratoses electrosurgery chemical treatment,

laser surgery


The risks involved in most dermatologic surgery procedures are minimal. However, there are inherent risks associated with any type of surgery, and these should be discussed with your dermatologic surgeon. Hundreds of thousands of dermatologic surgical treatments are performed successfully each year.


The American Society for Dermatologic Surgery (ASDS) is a professional organization founded in 1970 to promote excellence through training and research in the subspecialty of dermatologic surgery and to foster the highest standards of patient care. The ASDS operates a toll-free consumer hotline. 1-800-441-2737, that provides a referral list of qualified dermatologic surgeons in your geographic area. However every dermatologic surgeon may not perform alt of the surgical procedures and techniques described in this pamphlet. Therefore. it would be most helpful to mention the treatment you are interested in when contacting the physician’s office.

For more information on skin conditions and referrals, please call 1-800-441-2737 during weekday business hours (CST). Thank you for your interest.

COPYRIGHT 2000 American Society for Dermatologic Surgery; 930 North Meacham Road, Schaumberg, IL 60173-6016; Consumer Hotline–1-800-441-2737(ASDS);

COPYRIGHT 2007 Gale Group