Skincare is not just about looks; it’s about health. Skin is the body’s largest organ, and it protects us from harmful infections and other elements. Your overall health can be affected if you have a skin problem that isn’t being treated properly.

There have been a lot of recent talks about finding the right skin care professional, and we’re here to help. While there are similarities between dermatologists and cosmetologists, they’re not the same—far from it! When it comes to your skin health and the treatments you can get at either of these professionals’ offices, some huge differences could mean the difference between a healthy complexion or one plagued with acne. So let’s dive in: what sets each apart?


Dermatology is a medical specialty that is focused on diagnosing and treating skin, hair, and nails. Dermatologists are doctors who specialize in treating diseases of the skin and related tissues (such as hair). They often focus on medical therapies rather than cosmetic procedures that don’t address underlying causes; this means they can help you prevent dermatological issues from becoming more serious problems down the road.

Dermatologists have medical degrees.

While dermatologists and cosmetologists may both use the word “doctor” in their title, it’s important to note that one is a medical doctor and the other is not. Dermatologists are medical doctors who have completed all of their schooling—medical school as well as a residency or fellowship after medical school—to become board-certified in dermatology (and/or pathology). Cosmetologists do not undergo this rigorous training process, though they receive some training on using products safely and effectively.

Dermatologists have completed residency training.

One of the significant differences between a dermatologist and a cosmetologist is that the former is a medical doctor, and the latter has completed training in cosmetic procedures, such as Botox injections. A dermatologist has completed residency training and can prescribe medication to treat their patients’ skin conditions.

On the other hand, cosmetologists have undergone extensive education in cosmetic procedures but do not have access to prescribing medications or diagnosing skin conditions.


Cosmetology is a field of study focused on providing beauty services such as hair styling, manicures and pedicures, makeup application, and waxing. 

But while most cosmetologists focus on beauty treatments such as facials or massages; however, others also offer medical services such as injections for anti-wrinkle products into areas like under eye circles or around lips to improve their appearance. This can be done by any licensed practitioner who has taken additional training in this area through educational courses offered by their state board(s). A cosmetologist may also administer at-home topical creams designed for use with prescription drugs if prescribed by their doctor—but not all states require them to do so under these circumstances!

Cosmetologists are not medical professionals.

While cosmetologists are trained to give facials, they’re not medical professionals. This means they may be able to diagnose a skin condition and recommend products to treat it, but they aren’t allowed to prescribe medication or perform medical procedures.

Likewise, while cosmetologists may have their nail care certification and training, it doesn’t mean they are trained in foot health or infection treatment. So if you have an ingrown toenail or athlete’s foot, you’ll need to seek out a doctor specializing in these areas for help.

Cosmetologists have not completed residency training.

A cosmetologist is not a medical professional. This means they do not have residency training and are not qualified to diagnose or treat skin conditions. They may be skilled at applying makeup and hair products, but that does not mean they know how to care for your skin or prescribe the right medications.


The most significant difference between dermatology and cosmetology lies in their scope of practice. Dermatologists are medical professionals who are trained to diagnose and treat skin conditions. Cosmetologists are trained to provide a variety of beauty services and products. While both professions aim to make people look and feel their best, each profession’s training and scope of practice are different.

Learn more about the differences between dermatologists and cosmetologists, as well as where to find a medical professional to treat your skin condition, as you check out SeriousMD. It is a telemedicine platform that enables patients to find a doctor and book a consultation with convenience and security.