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Selecting a dermatologist

One approach is to ask your primary care physician whom he or she might recommend; another is to obtain referrals from friends or co- workers. In addition, you might contact the American Academy of Dermatology, a professional association who can provide information on skin doctors in your area.

In making your selection, you'll want to consider the doctor's experience and educational background. Being board- certified is one possible indicator of quality, as it signifies that the doctor has received three years of training at a hospital and passed a rigorous board exam.

If you're concerned about a particular problem, such as acne or rosacea (rose-AY-shuh), you might look for a dermatologist with special training in that condition. Aside from the doctor's qualifications, you should also assess personal factors like whether he or she seems genuinely interested in your concerns, listens well, and takes time to answer your questions thoroughly. The office itself needn't be fancy, but it should appear neat, professional, and well-organized. The staff should also be pleasant and efficient.