Admit it. You only think of making an appointment with a dermatologist when there’s a problem—a new mole or a rash that won’t go away. But a visit to a derm should be on your annual to-do list right along with seeing your ob-gyn. Dermatologists are your first line of defense in treating everything from adult acne and hair loss to hyper-pigmentation and ingrown hairs. And they can be lifesavers, screening for early signs of skin cancer. But before you make an appointment, do your research, ask questions and get referrals. We sure did. For years we’ve been seeking out the advice of the best doctors in the field. Below are the derms we’ve given our ESSENCE stamp of approval. CALIFORNIA Wendy E. Roberts, M.D. Where: Rancho Mirage; 760-346-4262 Web: Dr. Spotlight: Roberts is acclaimed for her skillful use of fillers such as Juvéderm. Clients turn to her for her expertise in treating female alopecia and facial hyperpigmentation. Lori M. Hobbs, M.D. Where: Beverly Hills; 310-904-6346 Web: Dr.Spotlight: Hobbs boasts 20 years of experience using lasers on skin of color. Cosmetics giant Mary Kay has also tapped the sought-after doc as a medical adviser to the brand. Pearl Grimes, M.D. Where: Los Angeles; 323-467-4389 Web: Dr. Spotlight: Grimes is known worldwide for her expertise in treating vitiligo, hair loss and scalp disorders. She is the founder of the Vitiligo & Pigmentation Institute and the Ancatel Hair Institute. FLORIDA Heather Woolery-Lloyd, M.D. Where: Miami; 305-532-5552 Web: Dr. Spotlight: Woolery-Lloyd is dedicated to finding solutions for pigmentation disorders such as uneven skin tone, melasma and age spots. She has even developed two skin care lines to address them: Specific Beauty (sold on HSN) and Dermatologist Strength Collection (sold on specific GEORGIA Windell Davis Boutté, M.D. Where: Lilburn; 678-344-2450 Web: Dr. Spotlight: Boutté has perfected the use of fillers and the vampire face-lift, which uses a patient’s own stem cells to restore facial volume. He’s also a pro with laser-assisted liposuction. ILLINOIS Brooke Jackson, M.D. Where: Chicago; 312-236-9950 Web: Dr. Spotlight: Jackson lectures nationally on the use of lasers and cosmetic procedures on ethnic skin and served as the national treasurer of the dermatology section of the National Medical Association. MARYLAND Cheryl Burgess, M.D. Where: Annapolis; 410-224-1195 Web: Dr. Spotlight: As the derm behind the Black Opal skin care line, Burgess has expertise in fading discoloration and overall acne care. She is also known for having a deft hand and light touch with the wrinkle-reducer Botox. Lisa Ginn, M.D. Where: Chevy Chase; 301-656-5444 Web: Dr. Spotlight: With 12 years in the field, Ginn has become known for her innovative treatments, including microhydration and microdermabrasion followed by topical solutions that kill bacteria and minimize dark spots. She is an ultherapy master. The nonsurgical treatment tightens and smooths the skin. MICHIGAN Marcy Street, M.D. Where: Okemos; 517-993-5900 Web: Dr. Spotlight: Street is the first African-American female doctor in the country to be fellowship-trained in Mohs surgery, a treatment for skin cancer. Her office is one of only a few in Michigan to offer MelaFind, an FDA-approved device used to detect melanoma in the earliest, most curable stages. MINNESOTA Charles E. Crutchfield, M.D. Where: Eagan; 651-209-3600 Web: Dr. Spotlight: Crutchfield scores high marks for specializing in ethnic skin care, acne, psoriasis, pediatric dermatology, eczema, vitiligo and keloids. NEW YORK Andrew Alexis, M.D. Where: NYC; 212-523-6003 Web: Dr. Spotlight: As the director of the Skin of Color Center at St. Lukes-Roosevelt Hospital Center in New York City, Alexis is on the front lines of treating acne and uneven skin tone and performing laser hair removal on African-American skin. Alexis also serves as chair of the American Academy of Dermatology Diversity Task Force. Rosemarie Ingleton, M.D. Where: NYC; 212-673-7100 Web: Dr. Spotlight: She is a leader in achieving and maintaining glowing skin. Brands such as Eucerin have turned to her to assist in research and development. Fran Cook-Bolden, M.D. Where: NYC; 212-223-6599 Web: Dr. Spotlight: As coauthor of Beautiful Skin of Color: A Comprehensive Guide to Asian, Olive and Dark Skin, Cook-Bolden is revered as an authority on bringing out the best in Black skin through cosmetic and laser surgery. Her practice has expanded to include the Acne and Pigment Treatment Center as well as the Ethnic Skin Specialty Group, which focuses solely on skin of color. PENNSYLVANIA Vaughan Graves, M.D. Where: Philadelphia; 215-238-1622 Web: Dr. Spotlight: Graves, also a practicing internist, takes an integrative approach to countering the effects that aging has on our skin. He is well-known for his success in the treatment of challenging hair loss issues. Debra Tanner Abell, M.D. Where: Wexford; 724-935-9133 Web: Dr.Spotlight: Abell specializes in the diagnosis and treatment of skin cancer as well as chronic skin conditions such as acne, eczema and psoriasis. TEXAS Seymour Weaver, M.D. Where: Katy; 281-395-7770 Web: Dr. Spotlight: Recognized for his expertise in halting hair loss and treating scalp disorders, Weaver is also known for his yearlong keloid removal and follow-up program. VIRGINIA Valerie Harvey, M.D. Where: Norfolk; 757-446-5629 Web: Dr. Spotlight: Harvey specializes in treating eczema and detecting and treating melanoma, and is also codirector of the Hampton University Skin of Color Research Institute,. WASHINGTON, DC Yolanda Holmes, M.D, Where: Washington, D.C.; 202-737-6800 Web: Dr. Spotlight: Holmes’s signature procedure is complexion blending, a combination of microderm-abrasion and lasers that smooths texture and evens out skin tone. TOPICS: