What Are the Different Types of Dermatology Products?

C. Mitchell

In most uses, the phrase “dermatology products” relates to a wide range of lotions, creams, and prescription medications used to treat skin conditions and diseases. There are many different types of dermatology products of this sort, most of which are available over the counter. Depending on the context, the word “products” can also be construed much more broadly to include the range of accessories and tools used by dermatologists to examine and diagnose skin problems.

Deodorant can be classified as a dermatology product.
Deodorant can be classified as a dermatology product.

Dermatology is the branch of medicine that deals with the skin, scalp, hair, and nails. Doctors trained in this specialty only entertain patients with certain skin ailments. Not all skin irritations need on-going treatment. Many can be cured or alleviated by making certain environmental or lifestyle changes. For those that do require medical care, dermatologists usually have a range of products from which to choose.

There are many kinds of creams, lotions, and other skin products that dermatologists may recommend.
There are many kinds of creams, lotions, and other skin products that dermatologists may recommend.

Perhaps the most common dermatology product is lotion. Nearly all lotions can be loosely classed as dermatology products to the extent that they are designed to be used to soothe the skin. The vast majority of lotions are available over the counter, either from drugstores’ skin care sections or from specialty retailers, many in the beauty sector. Some market themselves as “approved by dermatologists,” or “dermatologist recommended,” but these designations are usually informational only. They do not usually qualify a product to treat a specific dermatological condition.

Dermatology is the medical field that focuses on skin health.
Dermatology is the medical field that focuses on skin health.

Many dry scalp or dandruff-eliminating shampoos are also dermatology products, insofar as they aim to treat a scalp condition. The same can be said for most cuticle creams, nail restoring gels, anti-fungal foot creams, extra-strength deodorants, and vitamin-rich, scar-reducing lotions, among many others. Basically any product designed to be used topically on the body can be called a dermatology product.

Medicated shampoos containing salicylic acid can usually treat dandruff.
Medicated shampoos containing salicylic acid can usually treat dandruff.

The most specialized dermatology products are recommended by a dermatologist for a specific patient in order to treat a certain evaluated condition. Dermatologists often recommend creams, lotions, or shampoos based on their knowledge of the patient’s condition. Products that are only available by prescription are also common.

Shampoo is considered a scalp dermatology product.
Shampoo is considered a scalp dermatology product.

A prescription dermatology product is any sort of medication available only on the order of a licensed doctor. Many of these are lotions and creams that have been paired with topical medications like salicylic acid, zinc pyrithione, and capsaicin in higher-than-normal concentrations. The goal is to deliver treatment directly to an affected area in an easy-to-absorb format.

Oral compounds may also be prescribed in dermatology, particularly for conditions like acne. These sorts of medications aim to alter the body’s internal chemistry in order to clear up the skin from within. This often involves neutralizing buildups of acid or other toxins, while promoting open pores or better functioning of the sweat glands.

In a broader sense, dermatology products can properly include any sort of device or tool essential to the dermatology trade. This includes, but is not limited to, exam tools like blackhead extractors, skin scalpels, and rubber probes. These products include anything that makes the dermatologist’s in-office job easier.

Dermatology products may be designed to help people with acne issues.
Dermatology products may be designed to help people with acne issues.

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