The human body is complicated and for each complicated part, there’s a doctor who specializes in it. A dermatologist is a doctor who specializes in conditions that affect your skin, hair, and nails. They also diagnose and treat conditions that affect mucous membranes, or the delicate tissue that lines your eyelids, nose, and mouth.
Although dermatological conditions may seem like cosmetic issues, they can be medically-concerning and even serve as indications of serious underlying health conditions. Let’s take a look at exactly what dermatologists treat and how you can find an expert dermatologist near you.
What Do Dermatologists Do?
When treating conditions of the skin, hair, and nails, a dermatologist’s work is typically either medical, surgical, or cosmetic. Their medical work includes diagnosing and treating conditions such as acne, rosacea, and plaque psoriasis. They’ll also look closely at symptoms that show on your skin to see if they’re signs of underlying health conditions. Diabetes, for example, will often cause your skin to appear a certain way and a dermatologist can help identify that.
Expert dermatologists will also perform minor surgeries. These can include removing warts or moles and doing skin biopsies. Some dermatologists will specialize in more extensive surgery, like removing benign cysts or skin cancer.
A large part of a dermatologist’s job is treating skin issues that are cosmetic, or affect your appearance. Even though you could live healthily with a certain condition, you shouldn’t have to if it affects your confidence and self-esteem. Dermatologists can treat issues such as dark spots, wrinkles, and hair loss. They’re often trained to treat conditions as well with treatments such as chemical peels, fillers, and laser hair removal.
What Are the Most Common Conditions Dermatologists Treat?
This article has mentioned a few of the conditions that dermatologists treat, but it can be helpful to know the most common issues they see in their offices. Many people will experience skin, nail, or hair issues and think that there’s nothing a doctor can do because they seem like conditions people deal with every day. By knowing the most common conditions dermatologists treat, you can feel confident making an appointment with an expert dermatologist.
A few of the most common conditions dermatologists treat are:
- Dermatitis: Dermatitis covers a few types of skin conditions, all of which cause irritation and inflammation. Most often, dermatitis includes eczema, allergic reactions, and cradle cap.
- Acne: If you have severe acne, a dermatologist can help you. Depending on the severity of your acne, your dermatologist may treat it with medication, topical treatments, lasers, chemical peels, or by removing large cysts.
- Infections: As your body’s largest and most exposed organ, your skin is prone to infection. Bacteria, viruses, fungi, and parasites can make their way into your skin, causing a range of skin infections. Your dermatologist will be able to diagnose the exact cause of your infection and prescribe treatment.
- Skin cancer: As experts in skin, dermatologists see a lot of skin cancer cases. Skin cancer can occur on any part of your body, which can make it difficult to spot without the help of an expert dermatologist. Once diagnosed, a dermatologist can remove the cancer cells and keep an eye on you to make sure it doesn’t return.
- Hair loss: Many people experience hair loss because of hereditary baldness. Others experience it because of stress, illness, and hormonal changes. Whatever the reason, a dermatologist can pinpoint the underlying cause of your hair loss and help treat it if possible.
When Should You See a Dermatologist?
You know that you should see a doctor once a year and visit the dentist every six months, but how do you know if you should see a dermatologist? Unless you have an obvious skin condition that is affecting your health and quality of life, it may seem unnecessary to add a dermatologist into your rotation of medical professionals.
However, one major indication that you should visit a dermatologist is if you’re at risk of developing skin cancer. If you have a family history of skin cancer or skin that could be prone to cancer, you should get a yearly skin check-up from a dermatologist. These appointments allow them to check your skin for warning signs of cancer. If you’re uncertain whether you should book these yearly appointments, you can ask your primary care physician for their recommendation.
Your doctor may refer you to a specific dermatologist or you can look for expert dermatologists in your area. Remember to check urgent care centers for available appointments with dermatologists. While urgent care clinics are known for treating people who need immediate medical help, they may also have primary care doctors, dermatologists, and other types of medical professionals. With 90% of all urgent care centers providing wait times of 30 minutes or less for patients to see healthcare providers, turning to urgent care for your dermatological needs can mean that you get quicker medical help than if you had to wait for an appointment at a private dermatology practice.
If you want a dermatologist to check you for skin cancer or to treat a hair, skin, or nail condition that you have, visit Care Station Medical Group. Our team of medical professionals is here to help you with whatever health issues you’re experiencing.