dermatologist los angeles

22 Thorough Steps to Help You Find the Very Best Dermatologist in LA

Updated on September 9, 2020, by Don Mehrabi

They say that beauty is only skin-deep, but anyone who’s ever struggled with skin problems knows that this isn’t entirely true. The skin’s health is a reflection of what goes on inside our bodies. We see this when young people suddenly have an acne breakout while going through a stressful time. The skin also absorbs all the environmental elements that can make us sick, and the busy neighborhoods of Glendale and Encino definitely have a lot of them.

In Los Angeles, dermatologists understand that life in the metro poses unique health hazards that ultimately affect the skin. This is why routine skincare is vital to our well-being and should not be treated as a trivial matter. As in any other health concern, choosing a skin expert is not something that you just leave to chance.

What Does a Dermatologist Do?

Woman receiving easy treatment.

A dermatologist treats a variety of conditions in their day to day work. They are a medical doctor focused on treating conditions of the skin, hair and nails. Dermatologists are scientifically trained to find a skin problem’s root cause and treat it. They have a deep understanding of the essential processes that maintain skin health.

Your skin is the largest, most visible part of your body, so it’s best to leave its care in expert hands. Getting treatment from the wrong kind of practitioner may leave prominent—and potentially permanent—ugly scars. To spare yourself from regret and extra costs, it’s best to get a specialist who prioritizes your needs and makes you feel confident about every treatment decision.

Woman with some pimples on her forehead, putting anti-acne cream

Before seeing a skin specialist, patients normally ask the following questions:

1. Why Am I Seeing a Dermatologist?

Patients are compelled to visit a dermatology clinic mainly for two reasons:

1. They may be personally motivated to care for their skin

Many individuals consult for acne, skin aging, recurrent allergies and other problems that persist despite various treatments. Others come simply because they put a premium on their health, and for them, glowing skin is a sign of wellness. They visit the clinic even without prior medical recommendation.

2. Their primary care doctor may have advised them

On the other hand, some are advised to see a skin doctor for more serious reasons. For example, primary care physicians may refer patients to dermatologists for hard-to-recognize skin disorders. The latter may turn out to be symptoms of a nutritional deficiency, autoimmune condition, infection or others that will need medical management.

In sunny places like LA, dermatologists deal with a number of skin cancer cases. Ultraviolet light exposure poses a health risk for vulnerable people, and they may present with irregularly shaped moles or scaly patches requiring surgery.

Once you’re certain of your reason for seeing a dermatologist, you need to ask another important question.

2. Which Skin Specialist Do I Need?

Like other physicians, dermatologists may choose to practice in different fields.

  • General dermatologists are licensed to provide medical and minimally invasive treatments for a myriad of skin conditions.
  • Dermatologic oncologists specialize in the removal of skin cancer and reconstruction of the involved area.
  • Cosmetic dermatologists are experts in enhancing the appearance of disfiguring skin defects like birthmarks, scars, prominent veins, etc.
  • Pediatric dermatologists are trained in identifying and treating children’s skin conditions.

General dermatologists can handle most cases, so they see many patients, even those without a medical referral. If your primary care doctor thinks you may need a more complicated procedure, ask which specialist you need to see.

B: Steps to Choosing the Best Dermatologist for Your Particular Needs

Female doctor examining the back of a patient with a magnifying glass

After answering the above questions, the next steps you take will be crucial. If you prefer to see an LA dermatologist, you have a lot to choose from, but not everybody will be a good fit. The guide we’re about to share should help you find the best skin doctor in the county.

3. Look for a Dermatologist Practicing in Your Area

A good point to consider first is proximity. Do you have to travel far just to visit a big-named clinic for treatment? You may find that this is not only unnecessary but also disadvantageous to you in the long run.

The American Academy of Dermatology certifies skin doctors all over the country so patients won’t have to travel far to get good care. Consulting a clinic close to your home or workplace saves you time and money, which will pile up if your treatment requires multiple visits. It also spares you from the safety risks of long journeys.

Additionally, doctors who practice nearby are more aware of local health risk factors. A high level of familiarity generally makes it easier for physicians to determine the right remedies for their patients.

At BHSkin Dermatology, we understand that distant travels are inconvenient to our patients. We have dermatology clinics in Encino and Glendale so we can serve a bigger population.

4. Check Out the Dermatologist’s Credentials

Physicians’ credentials include their diplomas, academic performance records, board certifications, professional affiliations, journal publications, etc. These documents let you know how well your doctors did during training. Medical credentials are not earned overnight, and so excellent performance records are good predictors of professional success.

For example, it helps to know what school awarded a doctor’s diploma. Graduates of reputable institutions are highly competent and trained to treat a wide variety of conditions. Doctors who have published several scientific works are considered as field experts. Membership in professional associations gives them access to updated medical information. Board certification gives you an idea of their skills. Academic recognition is proof of your doctor’s intellectual ability.

Our doctors at BHSkin Dermatology are some of the best dermatologists in Los Angeles, as they are all academically and professionally accomplished individuals. People who choose BHSkin Dermatology doctors feel assured that they are being cared for by bonafide experts.

BHSkin team of best LA dermatologists.

5. Consider the Dermatologist’s Experience

Dermatologists master different skills. Aside from their credentials, the number of years they’ve spent in their specialty is also a useful gauge for assessing their proficiency. A dermatologist can have the best credentials, but a lack of experience can bring disastrous results. Additionally, experience enhances one’s reliability in treating unique cases.

For example, children’s skin problems present differently from those of adults. They may puzzle other doctors, but pediatric dermatologists would easily recognize them and find a cure.

If you need a procedure done, the doctor’s experience should be one of your top concerns. Remember that anything that you do to the skin will leave noticeable marks. Dexterity is essential in achieving a desired cosmetic effect, and it is earned only through continuous training and experience.

If you have skin of color, you must get a dermatologist who has years of experience treating individuals with skin of color. Different skin types are genetically programmed to react to treatments in different ways. Someone relatively inexperienced might make critical errors in treating patients with skin of color.

At BHSkin Dermatology, our specialists cover every field of clinical dermatology. They have the necessary experience to solve a vast array of skin problems.

6. Ask About the Services They Provide

Examining different doctors’ credentials and experiences should give you an idea of what procedures they can perform. However, if you’re still unclear about those, you can check out their websites or call their offices and ask.

Inquire as well about who is providing the service type you need. Dermatologists with very successful practices are usually fully booked for weeks. You might want to consider an experienced PA or APRN in place of the dermatologist when that happens. Highly trained PAs and APRNs can be just as skilled as dermatologists in performing some procedures. You may get the same quality of service and an early appointment at the same time.

7. Browse Patient Reviews

Just like in other specialties, patient satisfaction is one of the crucial factors to career longevity in dermatology. Patients’ experiences with their doctors can be gleaned from their websites, Google, Yelp and other similar resources.

Dermatology is a highly competitive field, but the top experts make procedures look effortless. They also inspire confidence in their patients and give them superior skincare experience.

The best dermatologists make you feel heard right from the very first appointment. They take their time when speaking to you and make sure to ask all the relevant questions. They are very professional and not commercially driven. They will give priority to your medical concerns and will not be recommending any unnecessary treatments. They offer objective answers to your questions and satisfactorily explain a procedure’s benefits, risks and success rate.

8. Pay Particular Attention to the Process

Dermatology clinics remain in business for years because they have a lot of satisfied clients. When you look at those clients’ reviews, they will detail and compliment the most unforgettable parts of their visits. However, now and then, a bad review may result from limiting circumstances, which are usually beyond the clinic’s control and for which it may offer a remedy.

You should compare these reviews to judge their reliability for yourself. You might miss out on a potentially excellent service if you base your choice solely on a few bad reviews.

The best dermatology clinics treat you professionally. You can feel it in how their staff talks to you even while you’re still just booking your first appointment. They will send you timely reminders and inform you of cancellations if you wish to be seen early.

Top dermatology services will make you feel at home as soon as you walk in. The support staff in front will quickly process your information and treat you courteously. The doctor’s reassuring presence will make you feel at ease the moment you meet.

The best dermatologists will be attentive to your needs and value your privacy. Their healing hands are light as a feather. They finish up any required procedure painlessly and quickly. When they’re done, they make you feel positive that you made the right decision.

Our specialists at BHSkin Dermatology always aim to give superior care to all their patients. Their years of practice are a testament to their professionalism and excellent service.

9. A Colleague’s Recommendation Speaks a Thousand Words

If you’ve been advised to consult a skin doctor for bigger health concerns, ask your physician for recommendations. Our medical training system gives doctors the opportunity to meet a lot of their colleagues across the country. So yours may personally know specialists practicing inside and outside California.

The recommendation would be even more reliable if the dermatologist is practicing in the same locality as your primary care doctor. Proximity leads to greater familiarity with one’s work. For instance, a patient in the San Fernando Valley region is referred to a specific dermatologist in Encino. It means that her doctor truly trusts the dermatologist.

A colleague’s opinion is based on a lot of factors. Ultimately, however, doctors would never risk patients’ lives or their names by endorsing someone with a flawed reputation. Ask your doctor for several names and choose the one who can satisfy your needs best.

  • Would you like to see a doctor of the same gender? Some people may choose to, for religious, cultural or other personal reasons.
  • Who has the most professional demeanor? It’s okay to ask because a doctor’s habits and attitude towards colleagues extend towards patients.
  • Who did well during training? You would probably remember your doctor’s endorsement better than most of what you read from the internet.
  • You can even broaden your choices by asking for the names of good dermatology PAs and APRNs. Dermatologists in LA work with some of the best PAs and APRNs in the field.
  • Be upfront with your physician regarding your needs so he can give you the most suitable options.

10. Check to See if the Dermatologist Offers Telehealth Services

The ability to provide remote medical consultations has gained importance these days because of the Coronavirus pandemic. Additionally, telehealth services are convenient for people who find it difficult to skip work or leave home to see their doctors.

Telemedicine is a technology that is widely used in dermatology. If you think it is a convenient option for you, check with the dermatologists on your list to see if they provide it. BHSkin Dermatology offers telehealth services, which may be scheduled hassle-free.

11. Ask for After-Hours Availability

Some treatments may produce unexpected side effects. When that happens, you would want to ask your dermatologist about remedies right away. The most diligent doctors will provide patients an emergency contact number so they can be reached even after clinic hours. Check the dermatology clinics in your area to see which ones reliably provide this service.

12. Find Out if Your Insurance Covers the Dermatologist’s Services

This information is available on your insurer’s website. Alternatively, you can call the dermatology clinic to ask what insurance type they accept. You can also inquire about the coverage on each procedure, as it varies depending on the provider, your insurance plan, the procedure type, etc. Typically, medically required procedures are covered more generously.

Once you’re done with your research in all the above areas of concern, you should be ready to decide which skin doctor can serve you best.

13. How Does Cost Factor In and How Will You Pay?

Dermatologists charge differently, depending on their expertise and, if needed, a procedure’s complexity. Insurance coverage likewise varies for each clinic, skin professional and procedure. It’s okay to discuss these matters with your doctor as they will determine your treatment’s success. There is always an excellent skin specialist for every budget, and all you need to do is find them.

At BHSkin Dermatology, our skin experts are willing to work with patients to make their treatments affordable. Call us today and tell us how the top dermatologists in Los Angeles can help you.

Get superior skincare from LA’s finest dermatologists

C: Things You Should Ask After You Meet with the Dermatologist

Woman with beautiful skin

At the end of your first encounter, your dermatologist will make recommendations that will surely impact your health for a long time. Critical details to know are the following:

14. A Treatment’s Benefits and Risks

Ask for a description of how the treatment works, as well as its benefits and risks. All physicians are required to explain these to patients. These bits of information let you know what to expect from a medication or procedure. Additionally, they allow you to assess if you do need or will greatly benefit from a treatment.

15. Any Foods to Avoid or Medications to Adjust

Ask your dermatologist if you need to avoid some foods, as some can worsen allergies. If you’re taking any medication for another health condition, inquire if you need to adjust your dosing schedule. Some oral treatments may cause stomach upset or render other drugs ineffective.

16. Commercial Beauty Products that You Can Safely Use

Some individuals like to use commercial beauty products alongside their prescribed dermatologic treatments. Ask your skin specialist which ones are safe to use. Some cosmetics can react nastily with medicated products if not used cautiously.

17. Adjustments to Your Daily Routine

Some dermatologic treatments may limit your activities for a while. For example, chemical peels can make you more sun-sensitive. So you might need to make a few adjustments to go to work or see your kids to school while you’re on that kind of therapy. If you just had a botox treatment, strenuous activities within the first 24 hours may counter its effects. Ask your dermatologist if you need to make any changes to your daily routine after a treatment.

18. The Need for Repeated Visits

There are skin treatments that need to be applied repeatedly to achieve the best results. Ask your specialist how often you need to schedule your visits to complete the regimen.

The clinic staff shall provide you a written copy of these instructions. However, taking the initiative for your wellness will help you retain health-promoting information better.

 D: Things to Avoid When Seeing A Dermatologist for the First Time

Focused face; receiving dermatological treatment on the face.

Doctors approach their practices differently. However, the top dermatologists in LA maintain the highest ethical standards when treating their patients. For your safety, it’s best to avoid practitioners who advocate or do the following:

19. Commercially Driven Practice

Physicians are supposed to make only those recommendations that are necessary to preserve one’s health. If you feel that your provider has been offering treatments that may not directly solve your problem, it’s probably time to get a second opinion.

20. Privacy Issues

Collecting voluntarily given reviews of a doctor’s performance is one thing. A health professional naming you as a patient or talking about your case without your permission is another. Such an act is unethical and can be embarrassing. It is best to avoid any practitioner who cares less about your privacy.

21. Procedures Offered Despite Insufficient Experience

This is why it’s important to do your due diligence when looking for a dermatologist. Some providers may claim to be experts in performing procedures or treating atypical cases even when they’re not. Being treated by an inexperienced provider can harm you, as it commonly results in post-surgical deformities and worsening of skin problems.

22. Tasks Delegated to an Inadequately Trained Provider, while Still Asking You to Pay in Full

It is common for LA dermatologists to work with other qualified skin specialists within the same clinic. For example, at BHSkin Dermatology, this mix is welcome to ensure diversity in our practice, which ultimately benefits our numerous clients.

However, watch out for fly-by-night clinics staffed only by one or two dermatologists and their non-medically trained assistants. They may offer some treatments, delegate the tasks to unskilled providers, charge you the full price and let you take the risk for their actions. Again, you can protect yourself from such dishonest practices when you do your due diligence.

Bonus: What Should Your Patient Experience Be Like When You Choose Your Dermatologist Carefully?

What Should Your Patient Experience Be Like When You Choose Your Dermatologist Carefully?

From M. B. of Los Angeles, California:

“Love this office and staff. Friendly and efficient. The office is very clean and I felt safe visiting during COVID. I highly recommend!”

From M. R. of Redondo Beach, California:

“Both the Glendale and Encino office are an hour from my house but the long drive is worth to see Dr. Mehrabi! I have been seeing him for years for my hormonal acne. Dr. Mehrabi has great bedside manner and never makes me feel like he is in a rush.

“I had an appointment with Dr. Mehrabi yesterday for my acne and scars. He honestly told me that I should not waste my money on lasers and allow the scars to fade. For my acne he said we have to fix the root of the problem and that is exactly what I want to hear from my dermatologist. He is not like other unethical dermatologists who would take advantage of one’s insecurities and recommend unnecessary procedures.

“Thank you Dr. Mehrabi for your constant excellent service!”

From M. H. of Glendale, California:

“On my quest to get to the bottom of my allergic reaction, my urgent care dr. recommended this dermatologist office.

“Dr. Pria Patel’s bed side manner was amazing. She was SUPER patient as I asked her 78909780 questions about what could be the cause, how to diagnose & resolve.

“She was super informative and organized my next step which was to give blood and review/diagnose various environmental reasons.

“The check in process was swift. Front desk was professional.

“Looking forward to hearing from Dr. Patel when she receives the results. I take great pride in maintaining amazing skin and only trust the best. I’m confident they will help me with a resolution.”

Like any other health decision you make, choosing the right skin expert is a matter that needs careful thought. Dermatologists are just the right specialists to care for your skin as they are medically trained to treat various conditions that can damage it. There are many dermatologists in a metropolitan area like Los Angeles, but not all of them will meet your needs. We hope you find value in our guide as it was written to help you pick the skin specialist most suitable for you.

Entrust Your Skin’s Health to the Best Dermatologists in Glendale and Encino, CA

Your health needs are our top priority. If you want to ask a specialist about any stubborn and bothersome skin, hair, or nail condition, visit BHSkin Dermatology soon. However, if you wish to be examined without leaving your home or workplace, you need not worry. Our skin experts are also available for telederm consults. Book your appointment now and get the best care from the top LA dermatologists.


Author: Don Mehrabi

Don Mehrabi, MD, FAAD, is LA’s leading board-certified dermatologist who treats patients, builds the BHSkin clinics, and raises three kids. This blog builds on medical studies combined with Dr. Mehrabi's first-hand experiences from practicing in Encino-Tarzana, Glendale, and online

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