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What are some of the nastiest or most disturbing things you have to do as a dermatologist?

I am in the 10th grade and still deciding whether to go into the medical field and wanted to know some of the more gruesome things before I officially decide.

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Keyston’s Answer

Well, I might not be a dermatologist, but I can share a story from my experience. I remember my wife's business once had a contract with a medical facility, and they had a dermatology department. There was this one time when the dermatologist had to deal with a severe case of a skin condition that was really difficult to look at. It reminded me that in the medical field, you might encounter things that can be tough to handle, but it's all part of helping people feel better. Just remember, there's a lot of good that comes from it too.
Thank you comment icon Interesting. Thank you for answering! Ebony
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Michelle’s Answer

Hello, Ebony !

You bring up an important point. But more than a written description, the visuals would help you decide if you can tolerate some of the things that may be considered nasty and disturbing. This is a valid thing to consider. When I was a social service case manager, my clients never hesitated to show me their skin ailments. That was okay by me, but certainly not the most pleasant thing.

Although I am not a doctor or a medical professional, I think that it may be a good idea to describe some of the things one can imagine a dermatologist must have a tolerance to seeing and being around.

Naturally, one thing would be blood and that goes without saying. One of the worst is gangrene. It is literally dead skin. Weeping edema would be another very unpleasant disorder. Although I do not know the name of this disorder, there is something that I have seen on a couple of people and it is most disturbing - very long strings of skin that hang from the face. Sometimes large port wine stains on a persons' face is also something sad. Any blisters that are draining. I don't want to get too gross with this, but you can do an image search for skin diseases and you will come up with various images.

Another thing that is probably very disturbing to deal with would be post weight loss skin removal (and it is extremely painful after surgery for the patient). The last thing I will mention is any parasites that come out from skin infections. Sorry that this was disturbing.

I also want to mention that one thing that nurses and doctors learn and remember is that they never react when they see any of these things. You will need to get to the level where you just talk to the patient without seeming bothered. Don't let this turn you off, however. There is a real humanitarian virtue in being a doctor and people need you. You're bound to see anything and everything as a doctor, so don't make the visuals be a deal breaker unless you absolutely know for sure.

I do hope that this has helped and my advice to do photo searches may also be of some help. Best wishes to you !
Thank you comment icon Thank you for taking the time to help. Ebony
Thank you comment icon You are very welcome, Ebony ! Michelle M.
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