When it comes to skin health, a dermatologist is the go-to expert. A dermatologist is a medical professional who specializes in treating skin, hair, and nail conditions.

If you are interested in becoming a dermatologist, you may wonder about the qualifications, courses, and career prospects.

In this guide, we will explore how to become a dermatologist in India, what qualifications are required, the course duration, and top medical schools for dermatologists. We will also discuss the salary of dermatologists and the career opportunities in this field


Who is a Dermatologist?

Dermatology is a branch of medicine that focuses on the skin, hair, nails, and mucous membranes. A dermatologist is a medical professional who specializes in the diagnosis and treatment of conditions related to these body parts. They are trained to treat a wide range of skin conditions, from mild skin irritations to severe skin diseases and cancers.

Dermatologists work with patients of all ages, from newborns to the elderly. They treat a variety of conditions, including acne, eczema, psoriasis, skin cancer, and warts. They also perform cosmetic procedures such as botox injections, dermal fillers, and laser treatments to improve the appearance of the skin.

In addition to their medical training, dermatologists may also have additional training in cosmetic dermatology, pediatric dermatology, or dermatopathology. This allows them to specialize in certain areas and provide more specialized care to their patients.

Overall, dermatologists play an important role in the health and well-being of their patients by diagnosing and treating a wide range of skin conditions.


What does a Dermatologist do: Roles and Responsibilities

The roles and responsibilities of a dermatologist include:

  • Diagnosis and Treatment: 

Dermatologists diagnose and treat a variety of skin, hair, and nail conditions. They use a variety of techniques to diagnose skin conditions, including visual examination, biopsy, and laboratory tests. Treatment options may include medication, surgery, or other procedures.

  • Cosmetic Procedures: 

Dermatologists perform a wide range of cosmetic procedures, such as Botox injections, chemical peels, and laser hair removal. These procedures are designed to improve the appearance of the skin, hair, and nails.

  • Skin Cancer Detection and Treatment: 

Dermatologists or Skin Specialists are also trained to detect and treat skin cancer. They perform skin cancer screenings and biopsies and develop treatment plans for patients diagnosed with skin cancer.

  • Patient Education: 

Dermatologists educate their patients on how to care for their skin, hair, and nails. They provide information on how to prevent skin conditions and how to manage existing conditions.

  • Research: 

Dermatologists conduct research to advance the field of dermatology. They study new treatments and procedures and publish their findings in medical journals.


Types of Dermatologist

Dermatology is a vast field, and there are various types of dermatologists. Here are some of the most common types:

  • General Dermatologists: 

They are the primary care physicians for skin-related issues and provide treatment for various skin conditions such as acne, psoriasis, and eczema.

  • Cosmetic Dermatologists: 

They specialize in improving the appearance of the skin and treating skin-related cosmetic issues such as wrinkles, fine lines, and age spots. They use various treatments such as Botox, fillers, and chemical peels.

  • Pediatric Dermatologists:

They specialize in treating skin conditions in infants, children, and adolescents, including conditions like birthmarks, eczema, and acne.

  • Dermatopathologists: 

They specialize in diagnosing skin diseases by examining skin tissue samples under a microscope. They work closely with other dermatologists and healthcare professionals to diagnose and treat skin conditions.

  • Mohs Surgeons: 

They specialize in performing Mohs surgery, a precise surgical technique used to remove skin cancers with minimal damage to healthy tissue.

  • Dermatological Oncologists: 

They specialize in diagnosing and treating skin cancers and other skin-related cancers


Skills Required to Become a Dermatologist or Skin Specialist

Becoming a dermatologist requires a specific set of skills to excel in the field. Some of the key skills required to become a dermatologist or skin specialist include:

  • Attention to Detail: Dermatologists need to have an eye for detail to accurately diagnose and treat various skin conditions.
  • Communication Skills: Strong communication skills are essential for dermatologists to effectively communicate with patients and other healthcare professionals.
  • Analytical Skills: Dermatologists must possess strong analytical skills to diagnose and treat complex skin conditions.
  • Patience: Treating skin conditions can be time-consuming and requires patience to ensure the best outcome for the patient.
  • Empathy: Dermatologists must be empathetic towards their patients and understand the impact that skin conditions can have on their mental health.
  • Adaptability: The field of dermatology is constantly evolving, and dermatologists need to stay up-to-date with the latest treatments and technologies.
  • Problem-Solving Skills: Dermatologists must be skilled problem solvers to effectively diagnose and treat a range of skin conditions.



To become a dermatologist in India, one needs to have completed their MBBS degree and a postgraduate degree in dermatology, venereology, and leprosy.

The postgraduate course usually takes three years to complete. Additionally, candidates must clear the NEET PG exam and obtain a license from the Medical Council of India (MCI) to practice as a dermatologist.

Some institutions may also require candidates to have completed a one-year internship after their MBBS.


How to Become a Dermatologist in India? A Step-by-Step Guide

In India, it takes a few steps to become a dermatologist, including getting a bachelor’s degree in medicine, a master’s degree in dermatology, and a residency program. Here’s a more detailed look at how to become a dermatologist in India:

Step 1: Complete your 10+2 education with science stream: To become a dermatologist in India, you must first complete your 10+2 education with science stream subjects such as Physics, Chemistry, and Biology.

Step 2: Complete a Bachelor’s Degree in Medicine: To become a dermatologist in India, you must first finish a bachelor’s degree in medicine, such as MBBS (Bachelor of Medicine and Bachelor of Surgery) or an equivalent.

Step 3: Get a Postgraduate Degree in Dermatology: After you finish your bachelor’s degree, you need to get a postgraduate degree in dermatology, such as an MD (Doctor of Medicine) or DNB (Diplomate of National Board) in Dermatology, Venereology, and Leprosy.

Step 4: Complete a Residency Program: Once you have a postgraduate degree, you will need to finish a dermatology residency program. The residency program usually lasts three years and involves working in a hospital or clinic under the supervision of more experienced dermatologists.

Step 5: Get a license: In India, you need a license from the Medical Council of India (MCI) or the State Medical Council to work as a dermatologist (SMC). To get your license, you will need to pass a licensing test.

Step 6: After you get your license, you can start working as a dermatologist and gain experience. In this field, it’s important to get experience because it will help you improve your skills and build a name for yourself in the field.

Also Read: How to become a Gynecologist

Top Medical School For Dermatologist

  • All India Institute of Medical Sciences (AIIMS), Delhi
  • Christian Medical College (CMC), Vellore
  • Maulana Azad Medical College (MAMC), Delhi
  • Armed Forces Medical College (AFMC), Pune
  • Dayanand Medical College
  • King George’s Medical University (KGMU), Lucknow
  • Seth Gordhandas Sunderdas Medical College (GSMC), Mumbai
  • Post Graduate Institute of Medical Education and Research (PGIMER), Chandigarh
  • Kasturba Medical College (KMC), Manipal
  • Jawaharlal Institute of Postgraduate Medical Education and Research (JIPMER), Puducherry
  • Sri Ramachandra Institute of Higher Education and Research (SRIHER), Chennai


Career Opportunities for Dermatologist

As a dermatologist or skin specialist, one can explore a variety of career options such as:

  • Dermatology clinics or private practice: Many dermatologists open their own clinics or join an established practice to provide medical, surgical, or cosmetic dermatological services.
  • Hospitals: Dermatologists can work in hospitals and provide patient care, teaching, and research services.
  • Academia: Dermatologists can pursue academic careers by teaching and conducting research in medical schools or universities.
  • Pharmaceutical and cosmetic companies: Dermatologists can work with these companies to develop new treatments and products, conduct clinical trials, and provide medical expertise.
  • Government agencies: Dermatologists can work in public health departments, military hospitals, or other government agencies to provide dermatological care to patients and contribute to public health initiatives.

Overall, dermatology offers a wide range of career opportunities that allow professionals to make a difference in people’s lives while pursuing their passion for skin care.


Dermatologist Salary in India & Abroad

Dermatologist Salary in India

Years of Experience Salary Range (per year)
0-5 years Rs. 300,000 – Rs. 900,000
5-10 years Rs. 700,000 – Rs. 1,500,000
10-20 years Rs. 1,200,000 – Rs. 3,000,000
20+ years Rs. 2,000,000+


Skin Doctor or Dermatologists Salary Abroad

Country Average Annual Salary
USA $120,000 – $500,000
UK £28,000 – £150,000
Canada C$50,000 – C$400,000
Australia AUD 75,000 – AUD 400,000

Source: Glassdoor

Note: The salary figures mentioned above are based on various sources and may vary depending on factors such as location, experience, and qualifications.Hand-Eye Coordination


Pros and Cons 

Here are some potential pros and cons of pursuing a career as a dermatologist:


  • Opportunity to help patients improve their skin health and overall well-being
  • Strong earning potential, particularly in private practice or in areas with high demand
  • Varied career paths within dermatology, such as specializing in pediatrics, cosmetic procedures, or dermatopathology
  • Continued learning and opportunities for research and innovation in the field



  • Extensive education and training required, including a long residency and potentially additional fellowship programs
  • High student debt from medical school and other training programs
  • Some aspects of the job, such as performing uncomfortable procedures or delivering difficult diagnoses, can be emotionally taxing
  • Depending on the location, may face competition for job opportunities or need to build a patient base in a new practice



If you’re interested in pursuing a career in the field of dermatology, knowing how to become a dermatologist is the first step towards achieving your goal.

By completing the necessary education, gaining experience, and obtaining licensure, you can become a successful dermatologist.

With a high demand for dermatologists in India and abroad, it is a promising career path to consider.

If you have any questions or comments on how to become a dermatologist, feel free to leave them below.



Is dermatology a good career?

Yes, dermatology is a good career with high demand, good income, and diverse career opportunities.


How to become a dermatologist after 12th?

To become a dermatologist after 12th, students need to complete MBBS or a medical degree, then specialize in dermatology.


How many years to become a dermatologist?

It takes around 11-12 years to become a dermatologist in India, which includes MBBS, MD in dermatology, and residency.


What is the difference between a dermatologist and skin specialist?

Dermatologists and skin specialists are the same. Dermatologists specialize in diagnosing and treating skin conditions, hair, and nail issues.


Can I become a dermatologist without NEET?

No, NEET is mandatory to become a dermatologist in India.


Is dermatology difficult to study?

Dermatology is challenging to study as it involves extensive medical knowledge and expertise in diagnosing and treating a wide range of skin conditions.


What are the disadvantages of being a dermatologist?

Disadvantages of being a dermatologist include long working hours, high stress, and potential exposure to contagious skin diseases.


Is math needed for dermatology?

Basic math skills are required for dermatology, but not in-depth mathematical knowledge.


What is the average salary for a dermatologist?

The average salary for a dermatologist in India is around 8-10 lakhs per annum, while abroad, it ranges from $200,000 to $400,000 per annum.


Is dermatology in high demand?

Yes, dermatology is in high demand due to the increasing prevalence of skin diseases and the growing need for specialized care.


What is dermatologist salary in Canada?

The average salary for a dermatologist in Canada is around CAD 150,000 to CAD 400,000 per annum.


What is dermatologist salary in California?

The average salary for a dermatologist in California ranges from $280,000 to $400,000 per annum.


How to become a pediatric dermatologist?

To become a pediatric dermatologist, one must complete MBBS or an equivalent medical degree, specialize in dermatology, and then complete a pediatric dermatology fellowship.


Share This Article, to Help an Aspirant

About the Author: Sanjay Hota

Meet Sanjay Hota, an edtech content writer with 4+ years of experience. Sanjay creates engaging content for educational institutions and edtech companies, and in his spare time, he helps students and graduates find clarity about their career prospects through his career counselling programme.