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Her take on exciting trends and advancements in dermatology

Q and A with Top Dermatologist

Name/Title: Wilma F. Bergfeld, MD, FAAD Senior Dermatologist & Emeritus Director Dermatopathology Director, Dermatopathology Fellowship Departments Of Dermatology and Pathology  

Cleveland Clinic 9500 Euclid Ave, A61 Cleveland, Ohio 44195

Is there a procedure and/or therapy you're really excited about?

There are a few I'm excited about. The newer, long-lasting fillers, new laser resurfacing, and the Kythera submental fat reduction procedures are all very cutting edge and innovative for the industry. Additionally, there are a number of new targeted therapies for psoriasis and biologics for blistering diseases and Alopecia Areata (Jak Inhibitors 1/2, 1/3). There are also new low light lasers for hair growth, as well as a bevy of new research in hair growth topicals and oral medications that I'm very excited about.

What's the number one patient misconception (misunderstanding)?

Ah, good question! Many patients believe dermatologists are cosmetologists, but we're much more than that, of course. We're medical doctors with extensive training in skin, hair, nail and mucous membrane disorders. Some patients think plastic surgeons are better than dermatologists when it comes to skin rejuvenation, fillers, fat reduction, etc., but the truth is that dermatologists invented these techniques and are extensively trained to perform these procedures. There are also patients who believe it's not possible to improve their natural skin, hair, etc., but in today's day and age there are many approaches and options to maintain more youthful skin, hair, and nails.

What do you believe is the biggest challenge faced by dermatologists today?

It's becoming increasingly difficult to meet the demand for dermatologists these days due to a small workforce and not enough trained dermatologists.

What do you believe is the most exciting area of dermatology research today?

There are so many! New advances in medical dermatology such as the diagnosing of and targeted treatments for skin disorders are really expanding our options as doctors. There are also new psoriasis therapies, as well as new research in hair disorders, growth and retardation targeted therapies, and improvements in hair and skin health overall. It's an exciting time in dermatology!

What is your best piece of advice for current residents?

Take advantage of the knowledge of your peers, mentors, literature and availability of mentorship programs which will expand your knowledge and ability. Also, be open to continuing to learn and advance your knowledge of dermatological disease and new techniques for skin care - the industry is always evolving, and it's imperative to keep up with the latest and greatest.

What do you see as the biggest up-and-coming trend in Dermatology?

We are seeing more and more training of and practice of non-Dermatologist caregivers to meet the public demand, and this is a trend I think will continue.