What is a dermatologist?
A dermatologist is a medical doctor with special training and skills in diagnosing, treating and preventing skin diseases and skin cancers.
If your child has health or development concerns, health professionals like dermatologists are there to care for your child and help you understand your child’s condition and treatment. With the support and expertise of these professionals, you can help your child thrive.
Why your child might see a dermatologist
A dermatologist can also look at any moles on your child’s body to check for problems (moles can turn into melanoma, but this rarely happens in childhood).
Dermatologists can take off warts or other growths on your child’s skin.
To see a dermatologist, you need a referral from your GP. Your GP can help you decide about seeing a dermatologist and help you find someone who’s right for your child.
Before going to a dermatologist
Before seeing the dermatologist, it’s a good idea to find out about the following things:
- Why you’re going to the dermatologist: talk with your GP about why your child needs to see a dermatologist.
- Appointments: do you need to make the appointment or will the GP make it for you?
- Waiting lists: how long before you can get an appointment to see the dermatologist?
- Is there anything you can do while you’re waiting for the appointment – for example, can your child start some treatment or therapy?
- Costs: how much will the appointment with the dermatologist cost? It might be expensive, so check whether you can get money back from Medicare or private health insurance, or whether you can get some other kind of financial help.
- Locations: find out where you have to go to see the dermatologist – for example, a public or private hospital, or consulting rooms. You might have to travel further than you expect, depending on your child’s needs.
You can ask your GP these and any other questions before you go to the dermatologist. You could also ask the dermatologist’s clinic when you make your appointment. It’s a good idea to write down your questions, so you don’t forget.