Dermatologist job sheet

Welcome to this fact sheet about the macute;tier of dermatologist!In this article, we'll detail the crucial role this health professional plays in the management of skin conditions.

What is a dermatologist?

A dermatologist is a physician specialized in dermatology, the branch of medicine that treats diseases and disorders of the skin, hair and nails. These specialists are trained to diagnose and treat a wide range of conditions such as acne, eczema, psoriasis, skin infections and skin cancers. In addition to medical care, dermatologists can also perform aesthetic procedures such as injections, laser treatments or peels.

Training and career paths to become a dermatologist

The academic path required in order to become a dermatologistis demanding. It requires advanced medical skills. This specialization includes internships, research and training. It consists of a first year of study in the Parcours Accès Santé Spéifique (PASS) or Licence avec Accès Santé (L.AS), followed by two years of general medical studies to obtain the Diplôme de Formation Générale en Sciences Médicales (DFGSM), followed by a further three years to obtain the Diplocirc;me de Formation Approfondie en Sciences Médicales (DFASM). Finally, the young graduate will have to take the National Classifying Examination (ECN) and specialize in dermatology. At the end of the examination, he or she will become an intern for five years, before officially becoming a dermatologist. To find out more about études de dermatologie, find our fiche études dermatologue.

After training in dermatology, some practitioners choose to specialize in specific fields such as pediatric dermatology, dermatopathology, dermatological surgery or aesthetic dermatology.

Rôles and responsibilities of the dermatologist

Drug therapies

Dermatologists prescribe a variety of drugs to treat skin conditions. These medications can be administered topically (applied directly to the skin) or orally (taken by mouth). Here are some common examples:

  • Crèmes and ointments
      • Corticostéroïdes : used to reduce inflammation and mangeaisons in conditions such as eczema, psoriasis and dermatitis.
      • Topical antibiotics : employed to treat bacterial skin infections, such as impétigo.
      • Rétinoïdes : prescribed to treat acné and certain forms of actinic kératosis. They help regulate skin cell growth.
  • Oral medications
      • Antibiotics : used to treat acne; severe acne and deep skin infections.
      • Antifungal : administered for fungal infections of the skin, nails and scalp.
      • Immunosuppressants : prescribed for autoimmune skin diseases such as lupus or pemphigus.
  • Injections
    • Corticosteroid injectionséroïdes : used to treat chéloïdes or hypertrophic scars and psoriasis plaques.
    • Biothérapies : injectable biologic drugs to treat moderate psoriasis and certain forms of atopic dermatitis.

Medication therapies are chosen according to the patient's specific condition, the severity of the disease and individual response to treatment.

Minor surgical procedures

Dermatologists are also trained to perform minor surgical procedures. These procedures are often necessary to diagnose or treat skin conditions. Here are some of the most common procedures:

  • Cutaneous biopsies
  • Excision of lésions
  • Micrographic surgery
  • Cryothérapie
  • Électrosurgery and curettage

These procedures effectively treat a variety of skin conditions while minimizing discomfort and recovery time for patients.

Cosmetic treatments

In addition to medical and surgical treatments, dermatologists offer cosmetic procedures to improve skin appearance. These treatments are often sought for aesthetic reasons:

  • Botulinum toxin injections
  • Dermal fillers
  • Laser treatments
  • Chemical peelings
  • Microneedling

Prévention and education in dermatology

Prévention and éducation play crucial roles in dermatology, as they help reduce the incidence of skin diseases. Dermatologists strive to educate their patients on the best practices for maintaining healthy skin and preventing skin disorders. Here are just a few key aspects : 

  • Sun protection
      • Advice on the correct use of sunscreens, the importance of wearing protective clothing and avoiding exposure to the sun during peak hours.
      • Explanation of the risks associated with excessive exposure to UV rays, including premature aging of the skin and skin cancer.
  • Hygiène and skin care
      • Recommendations on skin care routines, including the choice of cleansers, moisturizers and other skin care products.
      • Tips for avoiding irritants and allergens that can trigger skin conditions.
  • Skin self-examination
      • Instructions on how to perform regular skin self-examinations to detect suspicious changes, such as new beauty spots or changes in existing ones.
      • Importance of consulting a dermatologist for any suspicious changes or persistent skin lesions.
  • Healthy lifestyle
    • Discussions on the importance of a balanced diet, good hydration and exercise in maintaining skin health.
    • Information on the negative impact of certain habits, such as smoking and alcohol.

Finally, research plays a vital role in dermatological prevention. Dermatologists are often involved in studies to discover new methods of prevention and to assess the effectiveness of existing preventive treatments. Innovations in genetics, immunology and skin technologies continue to transform the landscape of preventive dermatology, offering new opportunities to improve long-term skin health.

The working environment and daily practice of a dermatologist

The different workplaces

Dermatologists can work in a variety of environments, including:

  • Private practices : this is the most common working environment for dermatologists. Private practices enable doctors to manage their own practices, organize their schedules and offer personalized consultations. They are autonomous in managing their schedules and pricing their procedures, but must assume the financial and administrative burdens of the premises they occupy.
  • Hospitals and clinics : dermatologists often work in hospitals where they collaborate with other healthcare professionals. Here, they treat more complex cases requiring a multidisciplinary approach.
  • University medical centers: some dermatologists are dedicated to scientific research, exploring new treatment methods, innovative drugs and advanced technologies.
  • Aesthetic care facilities: dermatologists can also practice in facilities dedicated to aesthetic skin care, offering treatments such as chemical peels, lasers or botulinum toxin injections.
  • La téléconsultation : with the advancement of digital technologies, dermatologists can offer remote consultations via digital platforms. This allows them to freely supplement their schedules, while giving isolated people access to care.
  • Medworking : a modern way of working in which healthcare professionals work in dedicated coworking spaces, with shared services and advanced technologies.

Tools and technologies used in dermatology

Dermatologists use a variety of tools and technologies to diagnose and treat skin conditions, such as dermatoscopes to examine preexisting skin, lasers to treat a variety of aesthetic and medical conditions, and a wide range of other instruments;tic and medical conditions, cryotherapy devices to treat warts and other skin lesions, and equipment for micrographic surgery, a technique for treating skin cancers.

Key skills and qualities required of a dermatologist

Technical skills required include mastery of diagnostic techniques, such as biopsies and dermatoscopies, surgical skills to perform minor procedures and knowledge of dermatological treatments. In addition, dermatologists must possess interpersonal skills such as empathy and the ability to reassure patients, excellent communication skills, as well as patience and attentiveness to ensure quality care.

Opportunities and prospects for a dermatologist

Throughout his or her career, the dermatologist will have significant opportunities for development. From a factual point of view, they may, for example, change their working environment by opening their own practice or joining a specific structure. He or she could also move into research, handle more complex cases or pursue specialized training.

In the future, skin diseases will increase due to an ageing population and atmospheric pollution. Faced with this threat, dermatologists will have access to more comprehensive, faster and more precise technological tools. These will introduce new treatment techniques that dermatologists will need to train themselves to respond to.

Another growing aspect of dermatology and the medical world as a whole is digitalization. Modern solutions such as teleconsultation are becoming increasingly popular, enabling isolated patients to connect with qualified dermatologists. While this mode of consultation is intended solely for diagnosis, it broadens practitioners' range of action, while enabling them to better manage their schedules.

Salary of a dermatologist

The salary of a dermatologistvaries according to a number of factors: 

  • L’expérience : dermatologists at the beginning of their careers generally have lower salaries, but these will increase steadily as they gain experience and establish a loyal patient base.
  • Location : when setting up, the practitioner must take into account certain criteria that will have an influence on his income. In particular, he must take into account the standard of living of the local population, the usual rates charged by his colleagues, and the population density that will determine the flow of his patients.
  • Types of practice :as we saw earlier, the dermatologist can practice in very different conditions. A dermatologist working in a freelance environment will generally earn more than a salaried dermatologist.

Are you interested in learning more about this topic? Find our dermatologist salary sheet!

Comparison of salaries by region

In France, the revenues of dermatologists vary from region to region. They are influenced by factors such as population density, standard of living, competition and demand for dermatological services. Evaluating these factors is crucial when applying for a job as a dermatologist.

The regions where dermatologists enjoy the highest salaries are those with the largest populations, as they offer a regular flow of patients. However, the level of competition can be higher in these areas, particularly in large conurbations. Lastly, within a single city, people's standard of living can vary from one neighborhood to another, further modifying these data.

Regions with the salaries means dermatologists with the most élevés: 

  • Auvergne-Rhône-Alpes
  • Île-de-France
  • Nouvelle-Aquitaine
  • Occitanie
  • Provence-Alpes-Côte d’Azur

Regions with the lowest salaries means dermatologists:

  • Bourgogne-Franche-Comté
  • Centre-Val de Loire
  • Normandy

The medium of dermatologist is therefore essential for the health and well-being of the population. Thanks to rigorous training, dermatologists can diagnose and treat skin, hair and nail disorders. They also play a key role in aesthetic treatments, responding to a growing demand for treatments that enhance appearance and self-confidence. Lined with challenges, dermatology is an evolving medical specialty, offering many exciting professional opportunities.