OFO No: 226907





What is a Dermatologist?

A Dermatologist has studied medicine and has specialised in the field of Dermatology (the study of the skin and skin diseases, including the scalp, hair and nails). 

Some of the disorders that they treat include skin cancer, warts, fungal infections (e.g. athlete’s foot), acne, dandruff, moles, sun damage, aging, discolourations, eczema, dermatitis and psoriasis 

Dermatologists also carry out skin surgeries for either clinical reasons (eg removal of unsightly or cancerous growths) or for cosmetic reasons (e.g. removal of a mole).

What does a Dermatologist do?

  • consults with patients and conducts examination of the skin
  • prescribes appropriate medical treatment/procedures
  • consults with other specialists
  • performs biopsies to diagnose exact cause of problem
  • performis surgical procedures: removal of benign or malignant growths
  • keeps up to date with new developments: both in drugs and techniques
  • performs cosmetic procedures: laser treatments, microdermabrasion, chemical peels, and Botox injections
  • teaches and/or does research

Are you . . . ?

  • interested in medicine and the well-being of others?
  • fascinated with the skin and its problems?
  • highly intelligent?
  • empathic and sensitive to others?
  • responsible?
  • a problem-solver?
  • a person with good hand-eye co-ordination?
  • able to do fine and detailed work?
  • willing to keep yourself up-to-date with new drugs and techniques?
  • organised and methodical?

How do I become a Dermatologist?



  • Work as a qualified doctor for 2 years


Complete 4 year Master in Medicine (Dermatology)

  • Stellenbosch University
  • University of Cape Town
  • University of the Free State
  • University of KZN
  • University of Pretoria
  • University of the Witwatersrand


  • CLICK HERE to check for a training institution near you to see what they offer.
  • Make sure you understand their entry requirements for each course.
  • To avoid scams, make sure your institution is registered with the Department of Higher Education. CLICK HERE to check accredited Private Higher Education Institutions.


  • Designation: It’s awarded by the HPCSA. Only then can you use the title Dermatologist behind your name.


  • HPCSA: Health Professions Council of South Africa


OTHER CAREERS TO CONSIDER: Dentist or Biomedical Engineer

Is becoming a Dermatologist the right career choice for me?