What is a Dermatopathologist and how does it benefit me?

A dermatopathologist is a highly trained physician who specializes in diagnosing disorders of the skin under a microscope.  They are a dermatologist or pathologist with extra board certification in evaluating skin, hair and nail diseases. In simpler terms, the dermatopathologist is a “Private Eye” using microscopic observations and information from your dermatologist to explain your skin issues. 

 derm image

Cases may include melanoma, other skin cancers, infections, and rashes.  When it’s not possible to make a diagnosis simply by looking at your skin, a skin biopsy may be necessary.  Here at Pennsylvania Dermatology Partners, we have a state of the art dermatopathology laboratory staffed by our board-certified Dermatopathologist, Dr. Orr Barak.


Whenever a biopsy is taken, the specimen is sent to our on-site dermatopathology laboratory and processed by our histotechnicians.  Dr. Barak then interprets the slides that have been prepared.  Dr. Barak is a board-certified dermatologist and provides the full spectrum of dermatologic care including medical and surgical dermatology services.  As opposed to dermatologists that send biopsies to outside corporate labs, Dr. Barak is able to provide personalized care. 

As a physician within PDP, he has access to the patient’s electronic chart including photos of the rash/growth, which give him invaluable clues to making the correct diagnosis.  Given Dr. Barak’s close relationship with the other dermatologists at PDP, your biopsy gets treated as if it were his own personal patient. You can read more about his background here

A look into responsibilities of Dermatologists vs. Dermatopathologists

Besides both involving the improvement of a patient’s health, they both do require strong analytical and interpersonal skills.

A Dermatologist performs physical examinations to identify and treat various skin issues or conditions.

A Dermatopathologist is trained in the study of skin pathology – which is the analysis and description of the various components of skin disorders.

A Dermatologist assists patients with chronic conditions like psoriasis by developing treatment plans that can include ointments or antibiotics.   They can also help by performing biopsies and educating patients on skincare and self-examinations.

Need an appointment to address your skin concerns?  Call (610) 288-2908 or schedule online.


Dr. Orr Barak, M.D.
July 10, 2018