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Dermatology for iMed Billing

Dermatology is a specialized field of medicine in the United States that focuses on diagnosing, treating, and preventing disorders affecting the skin, hair, and nails. Dermatologists, the medical professionals who practice dermatology, not only address a wide range of conditions affecting these areas but also play a crucial role in educating the public about their skin health and preventive measures. They provide care for both children and adults, emphasizing the importance of early sign and detection and prevention.

The American Academy of Dermatology (AAD) defines dermatology comprehensively, emphasizing its broad scope. Dermatology involves the study, research, and diagnosis of both normal and pathological conditions of the skin, fat, hair, nails, and mucous membranes. This includes managing disorders, diseases, cancers, cosmetic, and aging conditions through various investigative and therapeutic methods. Dermatological treatments can involve dermatosis-pathology, medications (both topical and systemic), dermatologic surgery, cosmetic surgery, immunotherapy, phototherapy, laser therapy, radiotherapy, and photodynamic therapy. This comprehensive and detailed approach ensures that all aspects of dermatological health are addressed.

The field of dermatology in the U.S. is diverse, with  several subspecialties

Skin diseases are prevalent in the United States, with studies showing that skin disorders are among the most frequent reasons for individuals to seek medical advice. One in three Americans is estimated to suffer from a skin disease at any given time. This high prevalence impacts people across all age groups, from infants to the elderly.

Detailed Components

Medical Dermatology

This area deals with a wide range of skin conditions, skin color, including dermatitis, psoriasis, urticaria, connective tissue diseases, skin infections, pigmentation disorders, skin conditions related to internal diseases, and acne and rosacea. It includes the treatment of both adults and children (pediatric dermatology)

Surgical Dermatology

Focuses on the removal of skin lesions such as melanoma, nonmelanoma skin cancer (NMSC), and other noncancerous lesions through methods like curettage and cautery, cryotherapy, excisional surgery, and photodynamic therapy. Mohs micrographic surgery, a precise surgical technique for removing skin cancer, is also a significant part of this field.

Cosmetic Dermatology

This specialty focuses on enhancing the appearance of the skin(skin color), hair, and nails. It is important to note that while cosmetic dermatology is a part of dermatology, not all dermatologists practice cosmetic dermatology. Treatments in this area include laser procedures, scar removal, hair implants, injectable fillers, and botulinum toxin (Botox) injections.

Some of the most common skin disorders that dermatologists treat  in the U.S. include

  • Skin Cancer

    Various types, including melanoma and nonmelanoma skin cancers

  • Warts

    Caused by viral infections.

  • Skin Infections

    These can be fungal, viral (like herpes simplex), or bacterial.

  • Dermatitis

    Conditions such as atopic dermatitis (eczema), which affects many children.

  • Psoriasis

    A chronic autoimmune condition

  • Acne

    A prevalent issue, particularly among adolescents.

  • Hand Dermatitis

    Often results from contact with detergents and household chemicals.

  • Alopecia

    An autoimmune disorder leading to hair loss

Various dermatological examinations and procedures are utilized to diagnose and treat  these conditions in the U.S


A dermato-scope, a handheld device, helps in the identification and diagnosis of skin lesions through magnification and illumination

Microbiology Samples

Swabs from skin lesions are used for viral and bacterial cultures.

Skin Scraping

A method to collect skin cells for fungal examination by scraping the skin with a scalpel.

Skin Biopsy

Removal of a skin sample for histopathological examination, which can be performed as a shave, punch, or excision biopsy

Intralesional Steroid Injection

Used to treat conditions like hypertrophic or keloid scars, acne cysts, vitiligo, and alopecia.


Utilizes narrowband ultraviolet (UV) radiation to treat conditions such as eczema, psoriasis, vitiligo, and pruritus

In conclusion, dermatology is a multifaceted and essential field within medicine in the United States, addressing a broad spectrum of conditions that significantly impact individuals' health and quality of life. Dermatologists employ a variety of advanced techniques and treatments to manage and improve skin health

What is a Dermatologist?

A dermatologist is a medical doctor specialized in the diagnostics, treatment, and prevention of skin, hair, and nail disorders. Dermatologists undergo extensive training, including four years of medical school, a one-year internship, a three-year residency in dermatology, and often further specialization through fellowships. This optimized training equips them with the knowledge and skills to treat a verity of conditions, from common ailments like acne and eczema to serious diseases like melanoma.

Terminology in Dermatologist?

Dermatology terminology includes a vast array of terms used to describe skin conditions, treatments, and anatomical features. Key terms include

  • Lesion

    Any abnormal change in the skin

  • Erythema

    Redness or Harnish of the skin caused by increased blood flow.

  • Pruritus


  • Macule

    A flat, distinct, discolored area of skin.

  • Papule

    A small, raised, solid pimple or swelling.

Dermatological Investigations and Tests

Dermatological investigations and tests are essential for diagnosing various skin conditions. Common procedures include

Detailed Components

Skin Biopsy

Removing a small or tiny sample of skin for histopathological examination, which can be done via shave, punch, or excisional biopsy

Patch Testing

Identifying allergens causing contact dermatitis by applying patches with different substances on the skin

Microbiology Samples

Swabbing skin lesions for bacterial, viral, or fungal cultures.

The Role of Surgery in Dermatology

Surgery plays a crucial role in dermatology, particularly for treating skin cancers and other significant lesions. Dermatologic surgical procedures include:

 Excisional Surgery: Removing skin lesions with a margin of healthy tissue.

 Mohs Micrographic Surgery: An authentic technique for removing skin from upper layer cancer while preserving as much healthy tissue as possible.

 Cryotherapy: Using extreme cold or icing to destroy abnormal tissue.

 Laser Surgery: Utilizing laser technology to treat various skin conditions, including scars and vascular lesions.


Dermatopathology is a subspecialty focusing on the study of skin diseases at a microscopic level. Dermatopathologists analyze skin biopsy samples to provide precise diagnoses, aiding in the treatment of complex skin disorders

Ethnic Dermatology

Ethnic dermatology addresses the unique skin care needs and conditions prevalent among different ethnic groups. This includes understanding variations in skin structure, function, and the presentation of diseases to provide culturally competent care

Forensic Dermatology

Forensic dermatology involves the application of dermatological knowledge in legal contexts. Dermatologists may assist in identifying victims, determining causes of skin injuries, and providing expert testimony in court cases


Teledermatology uses telecommunication technologies to provide dermatological services remotely. This approach increases access to care, particularly in underserved areas, and can involve live video consultations or store-and-forward methods where images and patient information are sent for later review by a dermatologist.

CPT Codes in Dermatology

Skin Cancer Foundation

These resources offer comprehensive information on skin conditions, treatments, and preventative care, helping patients make informed decisions about their skin health.

Dermatology CPT (Current Procedural Terminology) codes are specific codes used by dermatologists and healthcare providers to report medical, surgical, and diagnostic procedures related to skin, hair, and nail conditions. These codes are essential for accurate billing and reimbursement for services provided. Here's an overview of some common dermatology CPT codes:

Evaluation and Management (E/M) Codes

Office or other outpatient visit for the E&M of a patient, varying by complexity and level of service provided

These codes cover a wide range of surgical procedures performed by dermatologists, including

Shave, excision, destruction, and biopsy procedures (e.g., 11100, 11300, 17110)

Simple and intermediate repair of wounds (e.g., 12001, 13132).

Precise surgical technique for removing skin cancer (e.g., 17311).

Dermatopathology Codes

Pathology examination of tissue, including skin specimens (e.g., 88305 for tissue examination, 88321 for consultation).

Special stains and ancillary studies performed on tissue specimens

Phototherapy and photochemotherapy services for the treatment of various skin conditions, skin color, including psoriasis, vitiligo, and eczema (e.g., 96910 for UV light therapy).

Destruction of benign lesions such as warts, skin tags, and molluscum contagiosum (e.g., 17110).

Incision and drainage of abscesses or cysts

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