March 8, 2018

Dermatologist vs Esthetician: Differences & Similarities

Trying to achieve your skin care goals?

A face mask here and there and a healthy diet may not always be enough to keep your skin thriving. Sometimes you need an expert opinion from skin care professionals to reach real results. So where do you go? Should you seek a dermatologist or an esthetician?

Many may confuse the two, but dermatologists and estheticians differ slightly from one another and provide varying services. The two share a similarity: Both deal with skin care. However, dermatologists treat the skin on a medical level and are qualified to address medical conditions that affect the skin. Estheticians treat skin on a surface level, tackling the skin’s appearance with cosmetic treatments. Let’s take a further look at the differences between dermatologists vs estheticians, and most importantly, when you should see them.

What is an Esthetician?

If you do not visit the beauty salon often, you may be unfamiliar with what an esthetician is. Estheticians specialize in cosmetic treatments of the skin. It is common for customers to refer to estheticians as skin care therapists in the field. These beauty professionals focus more on the appearance of the skin and are not medical doctors.

Estheticians must complete a postsecondary training program and be licensed in order to perform cosmetic skin treatments such as body treatments, facials, chemical peels, waxing, makeup, and more.

What Types of Services Do Estheticians Provide?

Each skin type is unique and deserves a regimen tailored to it. But upon looking for the perfect remedy, you may feel overwhelmed by the hundreds of skin care products promising healthier skin. So, what is an esthetician and what are the various types of services they offer?

Estheticians are experts in determining skin type and skin care routine recommendations. If you’re comparing the differences between a dermatologist vs esthetician, an esthetician specializes in the examination of the skin. This type of beauty specialist is trained to recommend products and makeup to treat blemishes and other issues. But that’s not all; Estheticians also perform a plethora of skin care treatments that produce satisfying results.

Acne Treatments

For mild acne, estheticians recommend over-the-counter skin care products and also perform habitual exfoliating procedures to combat blackheads and clear up breakouts.


While it is possible to visit a dermatologist to receive treatments for acne and rashes, an average person does not require medications and advanced treatments. On the other hand, a dermatologist may recommend an individual to an esthetician to a skin exfoliation treatment such as a facial. A facial involves deep cleansing, facial steam, exfoliating treatments, masks, moisturizer or serum.

Makeup Application

For that special occasion, whether it’s prom or your wedding day, Estheticians also offer makeup applications and supply their own makeup kit so you don’t have to.

Hair Removal

Estheticians can get rid of unwanted hair through laser hair removal, tweezing, waxing, and threading. From brow shaping to chest waxing, and even Bikini waxes, many estheticians specialize in hair removal.

Skin Mapping

Miiskin’s Skin Mapping uses app-based light technology to identify moles and other marks on the skin. This helps estheticians locate changes in the skin that might be of concern.

Body Wraps, Masks, and Scrubs

An esthetician is a skin care technician that applies entire body treatments that are incredibly relaxing and exfoliating, such as clay body masks that soften the body and sugar scrubs that brighten the skin.

Skin Peels

Superficial chemical peels are a popular skin care goto with wonderful anti-aging benefits. Estheticians use alpha-hydroxy, in the form of lactic, glycolic, or salicylic acid to exfoliate the skin and leave a healthy glow.

Lash Extensions

Estheticians can apply eyelash extensions that enhance the length, curl, and fullness of your natural eyelashes. Choose among a variety of lash extensions: mink, silk, synthetic, human, or horsehair.


Estheticians gently graze over the skin with a superfine crystal (or a diamond-tipped wand) to remove dead cells, making skin softer, healthier, and brighter.

Esthetician Career Opportunities

Estheticians can pursue a diverse range of exciting career paths depending upon the level of certification acquired. From brand ambassador to spa esthetician to working alongside plastic surgeons and dermatologists—Esthiology is a rewarding profession. Here are skin care occupations estheticians acquire.

  • Spa and Salon Esthetician
  • Brand Representative
  • Makeup Artist
  • Skin Care Retailer
  • Beauty Educator
  • Medical/Paramedical Estheticians
  • Salon or Spa Manager
  • Facial Specialist
  • Spa Technician
  • Hair Removal Specialist
  • Wax Specialist

What is a Dermatologist?

A dermatologist is a medical and surgical expert that specializes in treating skin, hair, nails, and mucous membrane disorders and diseases. These skin care professionals typically work in medical offices and medical spas.

Dermatologists must complete four years of undergrad, four years of medical school, several years of residency at a medical facility, and even additional education or training in a specialized field.

Dermatologist Procedures Provided

Individuals with skin disorders or diseases from skin cancer to skin infections will need to see a dermatologist to receive a diagnosis and treatment for their condition. As skin care doctors, dermatologists perform many tasks: conducting patient examinations, diagnosing patients, operating on patients, developing treatment plans, and more. Let’s take a look at procedures that dermatologists perform.

Laser Surgery

An individual can choose to see a dermatologist to receive laser surgery to treat skin and cosmetic issues such as unwanted tattoos, tumors, warts, moles, scars, wrinkles, and birthmarks.


If you’re looking to reduce scars, wrinkles, or facial fullness, you will be required to see a dermatologist to receive the necessary infections or fillers.

Hair Removal or Restoration

A similarity between dermatologists vs estheticians includes the usage of lasers to remove hair from the body Additionally, they execute methods to address hair loss, including transplantation.

Chemical Peels

In order to treat sun-damaged skin, certain types of acne, and age spots, you need to see a dermatologist to receive a chemical peel. This procedure will consist of removing damaged skin to reveal healthy skin beneath that is regenerated.

Vein Procedure

Dermatologists perform vein treatments that involve injecting a special solution in the vein to reduce its appearance. Also known as “spider veins” superficial leg veins are small, dilated surface veins.

When Should You Contact a Dermatologist?

Are you wondering when you should see your dermatologist? For a thorough skin examination, we recommend visiting your dermatologist at least once a year. If you’re experiencing severe skin issues between your yearly visit, contact a dermatologist right away. Here are a few reasons to see a dermatologist:

  • Skin Diseases
  • Skin Cancer
  • Lesions
  • Moles
  • Eczema
  • Birthmarks
  • Growing Rash
  • Severe Acne
  • Skin Psoriasis
  • Botox
  • Hair Removal

Our Esthetician Program

At Pivot Point Academy, we offer an exceptional three-phrased, 750-clock hour esthetician program, which includes the MUD Exclusive 84-Hour Beauty Essentials Course and Level I Make-up Certification.

Our in-depth skin care training fuses both traditional and contemporary techniques to obtain a deeper knowledge of skin and health. In our skin care school, you will learn about microbiology, physiology, as well as the nerves, muscles, bones, and other facets of the face significant to skin care education.

In addition to providing students an innovative esthetician program, Pivot Point Academy also offers other beauty courses in areas such as cosmetology, make up, and barbering. If you’re looking to obtain a cosmetology instructor license, we also offer a training program that is designed to give you the skills necessary to become a teacher in the beauty industry. If you have questions about our beauty programs, give us a call by phone at (847) 262-9729. The staff at Pivot Point Academy is dedicated to helping you find your passion.

Sign Up For an Esthetics Program or Call (847) 895-5900 for more Information