Trichology vs Dermatology

Dermatologist and Trichologists are frequently sought out to help potential patients with hair and scalp issues. However, when you’re seeking out either of these two professionals, you really should keep in mind the differences in the two methodologies.

Dermatologist looking at patient’s hair and scalp. Dermatologist exam scalp disorder.

The difference is that whilst Trichology is a discipline which focuses solely on the hair and scalp, by definition. A dermatologist is a medical doctor who is trained to evaluate and manage patients with benign and malignant disorders of the skin, hair, nails and adjacent mucous membranes.

This means that dermatologists mainly focus on the skin and all the considerable ailments that go with it, whilst, Trichologists exclusively focus on the hair and scalp. 

Trichologist vs Dermatologist

A dermatologist might listen to a patient for symptoms but may not always carry out a thorough examination of the scalp, while a trichologist will obtain a full hair history and check the scalp for lesions, pimples, signs of inflammation, damaged hair follicles and also use a microscope to further analyze the scalp’s health.

As far as treatments are concerned, dermatologists are allopathic physicians and use a limited range exclusively medical therapies that will include minoxidil, steroids, or antifungal creams.  A dermatologist will possibly perform a biopsy to attempt to diagnose the type of alopecia. Typically this does not solve a hair loss problem.

Conversely, a Trichologist has a far wider range of hair loss treatment options. Most Trichologists approach hair loss from a holistic perspective and will use a variety of treatments including nutritional supplementation, scalp therapy products, low-level laser therapy, as well as traditional medical treatments including minoxidil. Often times a Trichologist will partner with a medical doctor that will allow them to run blood tests to further understand the causes of hair loss. Most trichologists spend at least an hour with a patient on their first visit, whereas a more dermatologist spends about 5 mins with a patient during an evaluation.

Hair and Scalp Understanding

To gain a better understanding of your overall hair loss issue, a trichologist may be a better option when you are dealing with hair loss. Additionally, it is becoming more common for you to see trichologists and physicians working together in the same practice to provide a complete scope of hair loss treatment options and medical services to provide the greatest results.

Regardless of the path you choose, you do need to make sure that the practitioner you are visiting for your hair or scalp problem is a specialist in hair loss and the associated issues that may go with it.