If you are like most adults, you probably know you must see a general practitioner every year. However, your routine health and wellness visits must also include a visit to a dermatologist. As with other organs in your body, your skin is susceptible to different types of problems including cancer.
A dermatologist can give a variety of medical dermatology and cosmetic services to help you look and feel great from the inside out. They will make sure you have healthy skin no matter your age.
What a Dermatologist Does
A lot of people only see a dermatologist when they have a certain cause for concern. However, this doctor can help prevent and treat conditions that affect the skin, nails, hair, and oral cavity. Many people see them to get skin cancer screenings and treatments. However, there are other common conditions that a derma can help you with. These include the following:
- Acne. If you have been using over-the-counter products as a treatment for your acne and you still did not get the solution you need, a dermatologist can discuss prescription medications with you.
- Scar removal. Your dermatologist can treat scars because of some skin conditions and stretch marks. They can address cosmetic concerns that stem from them.
- Rosacea. This condition may start to blush or flush easily. When rosacea progresses, it can result in bumps and a persistent redness that will spread over your nose, cheek, and forehead. Your derma can prescribe effective medications for this skin condition.
- Eczema. The doctor can prescribe a medication to effectively treat eczema.
- Wart removal. If you have a commonly occurring type of wart, including genital and foot warts, a derma can remove it.
- Skincare education. Your skin doctor will spend time with you to educate you on how to best take care of your skin and the steps you should take to prevent skin cancer and other serious skin conditions.
How Often Should You See a Dermatologist?
A full-body exam must be performed every year even if you are healthy and never had skin cancer before. Your dermatologist may recommend you to visit for an examination more frequently, depending on the result of your exam.
It is necessary to see a dermatologist if you have a history of skin cancer, with close relatives who have this condition, have a mole or strange growth, or have very fair skin. Your doctor can develop a personalized plan to address your health issues.
They may require you to get frequent check-ups, refer you to another doctor, or recommend that you get specialized treatment, especially if you have some risk factors.
Annual skin screening examinations are encouraged to detect skin cancer in its early stage. If you have a history of this type of cancer or have ongoing precancerous lesions that need treatment, you should see a dermatologist every six months. If you have been recently diagnosed with melanoma, your doctor needs to monitor you every three months.
When to See a Derma Immediately
Often, regular check-ups with your dermatologist are enough to maintain your health and treat any skin conditions you may be having. But, sometimes, you must see them right away if you have serious health concerns that must be addressed.
This must be done when you notice changing dark discolorations on the skin or you notice a persistent rash, itch, or chronic skin condition that does not heal. An infected nail should not also be ignored because it can result in more serious complications.
Sometimes, your skin can give clues to internal medical conditions. For instance, diabetes, thyroid, disease, and lupus can present significant changes to the skin that a dermatologist can recognize and treat.
Protect Your Health Between Visits
Visiting a dermatologist is a smart decision; however, you must follow up by caring for your skin, hair, and nails between every visit. You can prevent the development of chronic skin conditions if you take the necessary steps to keep it healthy in the first place.
One of these steps includes avoiding too much exposure to sunlight because UV light exposure can increase your risk of skin cancer. Also, avoid tanning beds since they can emit artificial UV radiation that is associated with skin cancer development, particularly in women who are younger than 45.
It is important to examine yourself at least once every month. By getting regular checks, you can stay familiar with your skin, letting you notice any changes right away. Look for new moles, skin discoloration, and lumps.
There is no right age to see a dermatologist; however, a lot of adolescents begin these visits to get treatments for their acne. A dermatologist also treats cold sores, athlete’s foot, psoriasis, rashes, hair loss, and other common issues. Once you start seeing a derma, they will tell you how often you must come back for an examination.