The Differences Between an Allergist, a Dermatologist, and an Immunologist
The work that these medical specialists do can be so closely related at times. But in terms of treating skin allergies, how do they differ anyway?
When our gadgets are not working properly due to certain problems, we instinctively take them right away to repair service centers. Tech guys who specialize in tech diagnostics and repairs know better complexities of the malfunction than us, so we allow their expertise to take over. The same could be said when health is on the line.
For health matters, especially when delicate skin conditions are involved, always seek a trusted medical expert to depend on your treatment. No matter how simple or serious your allergy symptoms are, it's highly important to consult those issues with a board-certified medical specialist.
However, when the skin reactions seem to be confusing, people are often left scratching their heads—thinking why they have it and who should they run to? Allow us to break down the differences among these doctors to understand what they can do in case your skin needs help.
If you are experiencing a rash, itchy skin, seasonal nasal congestion, hay fever, frequent asthma attacks, or food sensitivities, you might need to consult an allergist.
While they may share the same general tasks with immunologists, allergists are specially trained to treat two of American's most common chronic problems - allergist and asthma. After completing long years of medical education programs, allergists then work in clinics, hospitals, or other medical facilities.
They review the medical history of their patients, determine what medical tests are needed, provide diagnoses, assess treatment options with patients, update their medical files, and provide them better approaches to prevent or manage their allergic reactions.
Aside from that, an allergist can help you figure out whether you have a severe allergy or not. After gathering information, they can know if a patient has allergic rhinitis, allergic conjunctivitis, contact dermatitis, urticaria, eczema, food allergy, anaphylaxis, among others.
They then recommend the best course of action to manage your condition, recommending antihistamines, corticosteroid creams, decongestants, epinephrine injections, and others.
Immunologists are also allergists in their distinct ways. When you’re sick or have an allergic reaction, your immune system isn’t working properly. This is where immunologists step in.
They focus on allergic reactions and diseases and treat them through improved testing, diagnosis, and immunizations. To identify the allergens or substances that cause your flare-ups, immunologists perform a series of tests, which include blood testing, patch testing, pulmonary function testing, skin testing, or a nasal smear.
According to Study.com, immunologists often study specific illnesses that affect the immune system, perform tests on medications, determine which treatments are most effective for different conditions, assessing patients, prescribe a treatment plan or medication, and educate patients about their conditions.
However, the American Academy of Allergy Asthma & Immunology ruled out that allergists and immunologists are the same as they both share the same scope of work, calling them "physicians [who are] specially trained to diagnose, treat and manage allergies, asthma and immunologic disorders including primary immunodeficiency disorders."
While allergists/immunologists treat health conditions by understanding the wrongs in a patient's immune system, dermatologists, on the other hand, are the expert on all things skin-related.
According to Study.com, dermatologists usually conduct physical examinations on patients to identify and treat any skin abnormalities or issues. They assist patients and treat their concerns involving their skin, hair, nails, mucous membranes, lips, nose, and eyes, and others.
Aside from managing conditions like eczema, psoriasis, skin cancers, rosacea, or fungal infections, dermatologists also specialize in cosmetic procedures by providing products that rejuvenate the skin, diminish blemishes, remove scars and wrinkles, or reduce acne breakouts.
They may as well perform other services like a biopsy, liposuction, cold therapy, Botox, laser abrasions, or other skin surgeries to improve physical appearance.
TAKEAWAY: When you put your life in someone else's hand, finding the right medical practitioner fit for your needs is important. Always choose a specialist that's qualified, experienced, and dependable.
While the mentioned specialists above walk a thin line between their job description and the services they provide, they can still work together to successfully solve a patient's health woes.
Whether you seek an allergist, a dermatologist, or an immunologist, they will still collaborate to give you the best course of treatment to help you live freely despite skin having skin sensitivities.
DISCLAIMER: The information presented on Cottonique is not, and will never be, intended to be a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment. All content materials found on this site, from text, treatments, outcomes, charts, graphics, photographs, and study findings, are created and published for general informational purposes only. It should not, in any way, be construed as a standard of care to be followed by a user of the website.
Thus, readers are encouraged to verify any information obtained from this website with other accurate references and review all information regarding any medical condition or treatment with their physician. As Cottonique strives to help those with allergies live with better days, the hypoallergenic apparel brand encourages everyone to always seek the advice of your physician or other qualified health providers with any questions you may have regarding a medical condition.