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Dermatopathology

What is dermatopathology, and why should you demand a skin pathologist?

A dermatopathologist is a highly trained physician who specializes in diagnosing disorders of the skin under a microscope. The subspecialty of dermatopathology is a combination of both dermatology (the diagnosis and treatment of skin, hair. and nail disorders) and pathology (identification of disorders microscopically).

A dermatopathologist is a detective, of sorts, because in order to make a definitive diagnosis, he or she must make microscopic observations regarding your skin cells and tissue as well as assess information received from the clinician who performed your biopsy.

Because of this highly specialized training, a dermatopathologist should be the diagnostician of choice when your dermatologist suspects various skin disorders. Dermatopathology cases may include melanoma and other skin cancers, immunologic, infectious, and pediatric disorders. Since misdiagnosis of certain skin disorders can be fatal, it is imperative that you and your dermatologist receive the most accurate and timely diagnosis.

Diagnosing your skin tissue is not another automated laboratory test. Dermatopathologists provide a personal, consultative service to your biopsying clinician, which includes analyzing your medical information in conjunction with observations through the microscope. The ultimate goal is to provide the best possible care for you, the patient.

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