Q & A with The Skin Sisters: Brooke and Lauren, PA-C’s

Who Are The Skin Sisters?

Ever wish you had a sister, or best friend, who could give you inside access to the world of dermatology? Look no further, because Brooke & Lauren are The Skin Sisters. We are true sisters who have over a decade of professional dermatology experience. Both Brooke and Lauren are board-certified dermatology Physician Assistants and have expertise in all aspects of dermatology from skin cancer surgery to cosmetic procedures! Let The Skin Sisters be your source for the inside scoop on all things skin, hair, nails and products – no appointment necessary!

What type of cosmetics derm procedures can PA-C perform?
Physician Assistants working in Dermatology can provide treatment for countless cosmetic services. Some of the most common procedures we perform in our office are neurotoxin injections (like Dysport and Botox) to help soften and prevent wrinkles, fillers (like Restylane) to plump the lips and add back youthful volume to the face. We also perform laser treatments for brown spots, veins, acne scars, fine lines, and skin tightening. Chemical peels for acne, dark spots, precancerous lesions and melasma are commonplace; we see more patients coming in for these types of treatments in the fall and winter due to sun sensitivity after the peel. We also provide counseling on skin care regimens and other cosmetic products like Latisse.

How many years of training do PA go through to work in Dermatology?

The training to become a Physician Assistant requires that you first complete a four-year bachelors degree, which can be in any field; however, all schools require a certain number of prerequisite classes that ensure you have basic science background. Almost all PA schools now are 24-26 months long and consist of an academic year, where you are in the classroom learning Anatomy, Physiology, Advanced Chemistry, Pharmacology, Pathology and Pathophysiology just to name a few! The academic year also teaches you the basics of conducting a full physical exam and how to approach medical note taking. The second half of PA school consists of clinical rotations. Every licensed PA-C has completed rotations in the required core curriculum: ObGyn, Pediatrics, General Surgery, Internal Medicine, Family Medicine, Emergency Medicine and Psychiatry. Most PA programs will offer elective rotations and most students with an interest in Dermatology will have their electives in Dermatology – either in private practice or a hospital setting.

What are some skin conditions that PA’s treat in Dermatology?

We see anything and everything! PA’s working in dermatology aren’t limited to treating only certain types of skin or skin conditions. For instance, as I look as my patient roster today I will see patients for the following concerns: full body skin exams and mole checks, skin cancer surgery, treatment of precancerous spots, acne, eczema, psoriasis, hair loss, itchy rash, nail concerns and cosmetic injections with Dysport.

I can never get in with my Derm but they said the PA is available.  What is the difference between the two?

The difference between a board certified Dermatologist and a Dermatology Physician Assistant is in the training. Dermatologists have completed medical school and a residency (four years) specific to Dermatology. Many of them may additionally complete fellowships to specialize even further. PA’s and Dermatologists work together to provide the best care for patients. The two professions are meant to complement each other; for example, a patient may have a skin cancer diagnosed by their Derm PA, but requires Mohs surgery performed by a Dermatologist to remove the skin cancer.
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