For whatever the reason many people try to avoid going to the doctor, no matter the specialty. We get it, it’s not at the top of your list of things you want to do, but there are some cases in which it is necessary to visit the doctor. According to the American Academy of Dermatology (AAD), “Dermatologists diagnose and treat more than 3,000 different diseases”.
So when exactly should you be seeing the dermatologist? We’ve included some circumstances of when it would be in your best interest to seek the professional help of a dermatologist.
- Skin Cancer Screenings – While it is recommended that you personally do a monthly health check of your skin, it is important to first have a physician do a full body exam so you know what is already there and you can learn what to look for. Skin cancer is the most common form of cancer in the United States. According to the American Academy of Dermatology (AAD), “Basal cell and squamous cell carcinomas, the two most common forms of skin cancer are highly curable if detected early and treated properly.” So it is important to be proactive about checking.
- Is your skin looking: Itchy, flaky, dry, or red? – If at any point your skin begins to look abnormal, seek professional help especially if it does not clear up within a few days. Most times if your skin appears to be flaking, red, itchy, etc. it could be a warning symptoms for conditions like: eczema, psoriasis, rosacea and more.
- Stubborn Acne – If you occasionally get a pimple here or there, that clears up in a couple of days then this section isn’t for you. This is for the people that are suffering from deep cystic acne, or have breakouts that just don’t seem to go away. Many times stubborn acne can be painful, it is in your best interest to see a professional. Your drugstore acne spot treatment might not be enough.
- Sun-Related Concerns – This includes sun sensitivity and brown patches known as melasma. Sun sensitivity, also known as sun allergy is triggered by exposure to sunlight. Generally after exposure to the sun a person will experience an itchy red rash on the exposed skin. Over time lengthy exposure to the sun can lead to brown spots (melasma). It typically appears on areas of the skin most exposed to the sun, including the forearms, face and neck.
- Removal of scars – Many people choose to go to the dermatologist after scarring has occurred from acne, cuts, scrapes, etc. Treatments like laser resurfacing, peels and more are available.
- Have you been partaking in any outdoor activities or trips? The patch of red skin or the itching you’re experiencing is probably not something to overlook. It may be poison ivy, other plant related-rashes, or a reaction to bug bites. Contact a dermatologist if you notice a change in your skin after prolonged periods of time outdoors.
- Severe hair loss (Alopecia) – It is quite normal for people to lose hair. However if you have bald patches and your hair seems to be thinning rapidly, see your dermatologist – there are many reasons for hair loss, and a multitude of treatments available too.
- Children – It is especially important to be aware of the changes your child’s skin undergoes. If your child is experiencing any of the following you should seek consult from a pediatric dermatologist: eczema, port wine stains, psoriasis, skin infections, vitiligo and warts.
- Nail Issues (Hands and Feet) – If you notice any fungal infections, discoloration, ingrown nails, warts, etc. you can see a dermatologist! Many people associate dermatology with treating skin, but dermatologists treat everything from acne to skin cancer to nail infections.
- Excessive sweating – There are several methods dermatologists can use to treat excessive sweating, medically referred to as hyperhidrosis. Excessive sweating can become a hindrance in life, stopping people from doing certain activities, or wearing select types of clothing. If antiperspirants (even clinical strength ones) aren’t working for you anymore speak to your dermatologist about treatment options.
- Overall up-keep – If you generally have good skin and want to maintain your healthy look you may want to consider visiting your dermatologist or aesthetician every couple of months for skin peels. Peels are a good way to reverse the effects of outside elements as well as signs of aging. According to the AAD, peels are used to treat the following
- Acne (some types).
- Age spots.
- Discoloration (blotchy complexion, uneven skin tone).
- Dull complexion.
- Fine lines (especially under the eyes and around the mouth).
- Rough-feeling skin.
- Sun-damage skin.
- Cosmetics– Do you find yourself unhappy with particular features on your body. Many board-certified dermatologists are able to do cosmetic procedures like fat reduction, facial fillers, skin resurfacing, cellulite reduction, etc. If you are considering a cosmetic treatment your first step should be setting up a consultation to ensure all your questions and concerns are addressed.
You know your body the best, if something looks or feels different do not hesitate to seek professional help. Chances are your self-diagnosis is not the right diagnosis. If you have concerns about anything listed here, or something that isn’t contact any of our offices. click here for office location and contact information.