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Cosmetic or General Dermatology: Which is Right for You?


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Dermatology is a diverse field that addresses a wide range of skin, hair, and nail concerns.

When choosing between cosmetic treatments or general dermatology, it can sometimes be difficult to determine which type of dermatology care you’ll need—especially when it comes to certain skin conditions that can benefit from both.

While there are similarities, the scope and focus of each practices is what really separates the two.

Let’s dive into the differences between these two related practices.

What is General Dermatology?

General dermatology can be thought of as a traditional doctor’s office that specializes in diagnosing and treating chronic skin conditions and diseases.

For example, a provider of general dermatology will help diagnose and treat conditions like:

Routine care like regular skin check-ups skin cancer screenings also fall under the scope and function of general dermatology. 

When to Choose General Dermatology

If you have a medical skin condition or suspect one, a general dermatologist can help provide a diagnosis and treatment. For things like routine skin examinations, mole checks, and skin cancer screenings, a general dermatologist is also the right choice.

Lastly, chronic skin issues like eczema, acne, psoriasis, or any condition that requires ongoing care will be best suited for general dermatology.

a female patient during a free cosmetic consultation

What is Cosmetic Dermatology?

Cosmetic dermatology focuses on improving the aesthetic appearance of the skin and facial features through various procedures and treatments.

Anti-aging procedures, such as wrinkle reduction, skin tightening, and age spot removal are also typically handled by cosmetic dermatologists.

The following aesthetic treatments are great examples of cosmetic dermatology:

When to Choose Cosmetic Dermatology

If you are looking to enhance your appearance, reduce wrinkles, or address pigmentation issues, a cosmetic dermatologist can provide hyper-focused, specialized treatments that will enhance your appearance or target a specific concern.

For non-invasive procedures that improve skin texture, tone, and overall appearance, cosmetic dermatology offers a range of options.

Treatments for acne scars, stretch marks, and other skin texture concerns are typically managed by cosmetic dermatologists. 

How to choose between Cosmetic and General Dermatology

The first thing you need to do when choosing between cosmetic and general dermatology is to consider your needs—determine whether your primary concern is medical or cosmetic issues.

Let’s use acne as an example, are you concerned with ongoing acne outbreaks or acne scarring?

Medical concerns like an uncontrollable acne breakout warrant a visit to a general dermatologist, while aesthetic concerns like acne scars are best addressed by a cosmetic dermatologist.

At DermaBlue, we offer both general and cosmetic services. If you have both medical and cosmetic concerns, a practice that provides comprehensive dermatological care may be the best option—we’re able to diagnose skin conditions at our office and then offer additional cosmetic treatments to enhance your appearance if necessary or desired.

If you’re looking for general dermatology services in Asheville or Hendersonville, you’ll want to start by scheduling an appointment online with one of our providers.

On the other hand, if you already know you’re looking for cosmetic enhancements, you’ll benefit most from a free 30-minute aesthetic consultation with one of our expert injectors, body shaping consultants, and estheticians. 

Contact us today if you have any other questions about general dermatology, cosmetic dermatology, or need help deciding between the two. We’re here to help!


What is the difference between general and cosmetic dermatologist?

General dermatology typically focuses on diagnosing and treating chronic skin conditions like acne, eczema, psoriasis, and more, or screening for skin cancer.

On the other hand, cosmetic dermatology focuses on aesthetic treatments that enhance appearance.

What is the difference between esthetician and cosmetic dermatologist?

An esthetician and a cosmetic dermatologist are different in their training and scope of practice.

An esthetician is a skincare specialist who provides non-medical treatments like facials, waxing, and exfoliation, typically working in salons or spas after completing a certification program.

In contrast, a cosmetic dermatologist has a medical degree with extensive education, including medical school and dermatology residency, who can diagnose and treat skin conditions as well as perform advanced cosmetic procedures like Botox, laser treatments, and fillers.

Essentially, estheticians focus on beauty and maintenance, while cosmetic dermatologists address both medical and aesthetic skin concerns.

Dr. David LaMond, D.O.

Dr. LaMond is a nutrition, hormone and prevention expert. Drawing from his foundation and board certification in Family Medicine, he has created the core medical principles behind the blue sky concept of total patient care…




BOTOX® and Dysport are neuromodulators. These types of facial injectables target the muscles responsible for facial expressions. By temporarily blocking nerve signals, they relax these muscles, reducing the appearance of wrinkles and fine lines caused by repetitive muscle contractions.


Cosmetic fillers offer a non-surgical way to enhance facial features and restore youthful volume. Since many visible signs of aging can be traced back to volume loss, fillers can help replace what is lost to help restore a more youthful appearance. We offer the complete line of Juvederm Fillers.


Aesthetic injectables are minimally invasive cosmetic treatments that involve injecting various substances beneath the skin to achieve a range of aesthetic goals. They can target aspects of facial aging, addressing concerns like wrinkles and fine lines, loss of facial volume, & uneven skin texture.

CoolSculpting® Elite

CoolSculpting is a proven technology that is safe and effective. It is proven to work extremely well and rivals surgical results with little to no downtime. Cryolipolysis, or freezing fat; gently and effectively reduces unwanted fat by up to 25% or more per session. Freeze fat & tone muscle.

Laser Hair Removal

Laser hair removal is a commonly used cosmetic procedure that utilizes concentrated beams of highly focused light to eradicate hair on various parts of the body. This method targets the hair follicles, damaging them to the extent that hair is unlikely to grow in that spot again.

Laser Resurfacing

Fractional laser resurfacing is the most effective laser treatment available for wrinkle reduction. At Dermablue, we brought the best possible technology for laser resurfacing to Asheville using the CORE CO2 fractional laser. Fractional laser resurfacing is the most effective laser treatment.

Teresa Powell
Teresa Powell
Everyone at Derma Blue was so nice and my entire experience was more than I imagined it would be. Thank you to the entire staff.
Barry Dossenko
Barry Dossenko
Wonderful attention to our needs. Great friendly service. Thank you
Carrie D
Carrie D
Everyone is the office is great. They make you feel comfortable no matter what you’re having done. Can’t wait to go back!
Stephanie Kelly
Stephanie Kelly
The staff at Derma Blue are nothing short of amazing. I always work with Jessica and she always delivers wonderful results and is very personable!
Walter Diaz
Walter Diaz
Always satisfied.

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