When to See a Dermatologist: Five Things to Watch Out for to Protect Your Skin
No doubt you have heard the warnings about staying out of the sun to avoid aging your skin. While you may already know the dangers of the sun and the risk of skin cancer, this is not the only thing to blame for skin problems. There are a variety of skin issues that can be bothersome and effect quality of life.
With so many over-the-counter skin care products readily available to treat everything from dry skin to acne, self-treating is often the first step. Along with self-treating your skin, it is important to understand when to seek the medical advice and treatment of a dermatologist.
Here are five things to watch out for on your skin that should warrant a call to your dermatologist.
Persistently Red, Flushed Skin That Won't Go Away
While a pink rosy glow is associated with youth and health, constantly flushed skin can be the sign of rosacea. Rosacea is a skin condition with no exact or specific cause but people who struggle with rosacea will have bothersome diffused redness on the face, broken blood vessels, inflammation and even acne-like red bumps. When you suffer from rosacea you may find that different things can trigger your symptoms such as spicy foods, severe weather, stress or alcoholic beverages.
Thankfully, a visit to dermatologist can help you find relief from the symptoms caused by rosacea. Prescription medication and specialized medical grade skin care products can help alleviate your rosacea concerns. Your dermatologists may even recommend a light-based treatment known as Intense Pulse Light (IPL) to help minimize the redness.
With drugstore aisles full of creams and ointments for rashes and itchy skin, it is easy to think that itchy skin can easily be treated without any medical advice. The medical term for itchy skin is pruritus and the things causing your skin to itch can run into the dozens, making it hard to diagnose without a medical analysis.
Many people with excessively itchy skin suffer from eczema, a chronic skin condition that can be easily diagnosed by your dermatologists. Because every patient with eczema is a little different, your doctor can provide you with the most appropriate medical advice which might include topical creams, prescription medication or corticosteroid injections.
Eczema is not the only thing that can cause itching. Everything from toxins on your skin to irritation from the clothes you wear can cause itchiness. Common conditions include atopic dermatitis (often affects children), contact dermatitis (caused by contact to a foreign substance), bug bites, infections and reactions to medications.
Excessive itching can be disruptive to your day and prevent sleep at night. Thankfully a visit to your dermatologist will provide itch relief and help you identify and avoid things that cause and trigger your itching.
Dark Spots or Moles That Change or Keep Getting Bigger
Most of us have some type of dark spots on our skin which can include freckles, moles or birthmarks. It is important that anyone who has a dark spot that changes, sees a dermatologist to make sure that skin cancer is not the cause.
While most of the time moles and other dark spots are completely harmless, there are changes that everyone should be aware that would make seeing a dermatologist very important. It is easy to remember with the ABCDEs of skin cancer prevention. A doctor visit is essential if you have a mole that is:
A: Asymmetrical B: Irregular Border C: Color Variation D: Diameter (diameter larger than a pencil eraser) E: Evolves. Changes which could mean an itchy, bleeding mole or growth that doesn't heal well.
The good news is skin cancers can be very curable if found early. Early detection is critical so making a dermatology appointment even if you are not sure is the best thing to do. Annual dermatology appointments to screen for skin cancer are as important as your yearly physical or pap smear.
You Have Acne That Won't Go Away
Acne might sound like something that only afflicts teenagers. In truth, adult acne can still occur into your 30s, 40s and even 50s. Whether you are a teenager or an adult, dealing with acne can be emotional and affect school and work. After trying various over-the-counter treatments for your acne, there are a variety of reasons that should indicate that it is time to make an appointment with your dermatologist.
- If your acne has not gotten better after 10-12 weeks of using your over-the-counter treatment
- If your acne is getting considerably worse while using an OTC treatment
- If your acne becomes inflamed with cysts and nodules
- If you think your breakout is caused by a medication you are taking
- If your acne is causing depression or affecting your self esteem
- If you think your acne may be the result of a hormonal imbalance
Rough, Scaly Patches
Rough, scaly patches that look like thickened silvery scales is also an important reason to schedule an appointment with your dermatologist. This may be a condition known as psoriasis. This condition occurs when the body is not able to shed skin cells fast enough and they literally pile up on the skin. Because psoriasis is an autoimmune disorder, it is definitely a reason to see your dermatologist.
The scaly plaques that are common with psoriasis can make people feel extremely self-conscious. Although there is no known cure, your dermatologist will have many treatment options that help control and even alleviate the symptoms. These treatments may include light therapy, coal tar treatment and a variety of prescription and topical treatments.
GLOWBIOTICS not only specializes in anti-aging but we also offer an entire selection of topical probiotic skin care products developed for people dealing with the skin issues above and partners with the treatments recommended by your dermatologists.