What is Dermatopathology?
Dermatopathology is a subspecialty of dermatology that studies skin disease at a microscopic level. It encompasses both the diagnosis of individual patients through the examination of skin biopsies, and the study of the causes, or pathogenesis of skin diseases at the cellular level. Dermatopathologists work in close association with dermatologists. In fact, many doctors train in both specialties.
Who is a Dermatopathologist?
Dermatopathologists are physicians who after completing their training in either dermatology or pathology pursued additional training in accredited programs for the interpretation of skin biopsies. These physicians integrate the clinical information with microscopic observations of the biopsy from the patient to provide diagnostic information to the treating physician.
Why is Dermatopathology an important service to have in a practice?
Dermatopathology is a consultative service to the referring dermatologist and not simply a laboratory test. The accurate microscopic interpretation of the biopsy is important in the selection of appropriate therapies. All cases are examined by a Board-Certified dermatopathologist.
One of the greatest challenges of dermatopathology is the high number of different skin diseases. There are an estimated 1500 different rashes and skin tumors, including variants. Therefore, dermatology and dermatopathology are among the most complex specialties of Medicine.