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A dermatology nurse is specially trained to provide care to patients requiring medical treatments for skin disorders. These registered nurses specialize in dermatology and perform duties such as obtaining medical information from patients, monitoring patient status, and administering some treatments. The dermatology nurse will provide assistance to the dermatologist, a physician who specializes in treating conditions of the skin, scalp and nails. This specialty nurse will typically hold a bachelor's degree or an associate degree.
In addition to providing medical care for patients who are being treated for various skin disorders, the dermatology nurse will educate and inform patients. She will teach patients how to recognize symptoms of serious disease, such as skin cancer. She can also teach patients how to avoid skin cancer and protect themselves from the dangerous effects of sun exposure. She'll also provide detailed instructions for post-operative care. Her responsibilities also include keeping records and charts of a patient's progress and status.
In many cases, a dermatology nurse will care for patients who are being treated for skin conditions such as eczema and psoriasis. These skin disorders may cause red patches of inflamed skin that require medication to treat, which the dermatology nurse may administer under a physician's supervision. The nurse may also care for patients with rosacea, a chronic disorder causing redness on areas of the face and neck. Many patients with severe acne require treatment from a dermatologist and special care from the assisting dermatology nurse.
Working alongside dermatologists, many dermatology nurses choose employment in private practices. It's not uncommon, however, for a dermatology nurse to work in a clinic that offers special treatment for skin conditions. Dermatology nurses also work in hospitals alongside skin specialists.
Dermatology nursing may also involve holistic practice. Dermatologists and nurses involved in holistic or alternative medicine focus on treating the underlying cause of skin problems, using a natural approach. This may involve herbal treatments and stress management, rather than chemicals or drugs.
A cosmetic dermatology nurse, also referred to as an aesthetician, specializes in the care and treatment of patients undergoing cosmetic procedures and surgery. This may include chemical skin peels, or more invasive procedures such as a face lift or other plastic surgery. The nurse may assist the dermatologist during surgery, or offer post-operative care to patients who have undergone cosmetic surgery.