Dermatology Nurse Job Information

Dermatology nurses are registered nurses, in many cases nurse practitioners, working as specialists in the field of skin care and treatment of disease. Skin conditions are a major part of health care, involving many serious diseases, including potentially lethal diseases like melanoma.

The work environment

Dermatology nurses operate in a clinical environment, and in some cases in private practice situations. Dermatology is one of the largest areas of private practice for specialists in medicine, and many dermatologists conduct large private practices with partners and associates.

Dermatology includes a very wide range of skin conditions:

  • Ulcers
  • Infections
  • Dermatitis
  • Melanoma
  • Cosmetic issues
  • Acne
  • Eczema
  • Moles
  • Rosacea
  • Wounds and healing issues like scars
  • Pore issues
  • Sebaceous (sweat gland related) issues
  • Rashes and allergies
  • Warts
  • Vascular related skin conditions
  • Pediatric skin issues

The dermatology nurse is able to provide services to patients in many areas of care. Services include:

  • Patient education
  • Examination
  • Prescribing ongoing medication
  • Diagnostic screenings

Note: The services do not necessarily include actual dermatological procedures, unless authorized under the terms of US state law for provision of services by registered nurses.

Dermatology nurses may commonly perform these procedures where permissible:

  • Microdermabrasion
  • Biopsies
  • Excisions
  • Chemical peels
  • Dermal fillers
  • Mesotherapy (injection of chemicals to reduce or stimulate tissues) in the mesodermal area under the epidermis.

This very diverse area of medicine involves nurses dealing with people who may be in serious distress from their conditions. Some forms of skin disease are life threatening, and require prompt, efficient treatment. Dermatology nurses are the frontline workers in this field as so many others, and their work is critical in ensuring effective care is provided.

Many forms of infection are also very dangerous. Some common skin ailments like eczema can turn septic, resulting in severe infection. Progressive skin diseases may relate to tissue loss and forms of necrosis. Some poisonous insect bites can also cause serious skin damage of this type. Dermatology nurses have to be extremely alert to the possible risks of these conditions.

Skills and issues

Like most nursing roles, dermatology nurses must be good communicators. In this particular field, dealing with both critical and ongoing medical management issues requires nurses to deal with a lot of complex information regarding patient conditions. In many cases nurses must also assist people under stress with advice and support.

The dermatology nurse is required to have high levels of proficiency in the many different tasks involved in treatment of dermatological conditions. Each condition has different needs, and accurate evaluation of conditions is essential.

Wages: $45,000 to $91,000 depending on qualifications, location, and type of employment.

Hours: Clinic hours or hospital shifts.

The career environment

Advanced practice nurses in specialist areas like dermatology have several career options. They may progress directly through the employment market in promotional roles. In dermatology there is wide scope for job mobility, and experienced nurses may achieve career advancement to senior positions through this career path. 

An alternative option is to continue their academic studies and move into research fields. For nurses with strong interests in particular aspects of the science or medical research fields, this area leads to doctorate level qualifications and advanced medicine. Dermatology, like other branches of medicine, is developing rapidly through research and new technology and biological science advancements.