With your busy schedule, visiting the dermatologist may be last on your list of priorities and yearly medical appointments. Not only can a dermatologist diagnose skin cancer, but they can also help identify skin problems that you may think are harmless. Here are a few conditions that may be cause to call your dermatologist instead of self-diagnosing on Google:
- You spot a mole that is changing shape or size. Whether your mole has been there since birth or it just appeared, it is important to get a skin exam each year. It’s especially important if you’ve noticed that your moles have changed in size, shape or color. Also, if they are itchy, bleeding, painful, scabbing or have turned into non-healing sores, it’s extremely important to see the dermatologist. Skin cancer can develop in people of any skin color. So, even if you don’t have fair skin, you should still go see a dermatologist.
- You have a pimple that you need to get rid of fast. Not only are these painful, but they also seem to pop up at the worst time. Often, this type of acne is caused by hormonal fluctuations, stress or bacteria that’s hard to control. A simple visit to your dermatologist will help reduce the pain and inflammation. It will also speed up the healing process.
- You have acne that just won’t go away. Although many over the counter treatments and home remedies can be successful, there may be some times when it just isn’t working. A dermatologist can give you a more tailored and effective treatment regimen. There are also certain skin conditions that resemble acne, but aren’t actually acne. So, you could be treating the skin issue incorrectly. A dermatologist will help with scarring from acne and any persistent acne that won’t go away.
- Your skin is dry, itchy and irritated. This is usually more than a seasonal side effect and could be eczema. If something is itchy for more than a week, it’s time to see a dermatologist. Your dermatologist will help suggest things that can help relieve the itch and offer other options to help after examining your skin.
- You have rough scaly patches on your body. Most often, the root of this problem is psoriasis. Psoriasis is caused by an autoimmune disorder where the immune system sends signals to tell skin cells to grow too quickly, causing them to pile up on the skin’s surface, causing red, thick scales. Your dermatologist will recommend specific treatments depending on your individual needs.
- You’re losing a lot of hair or notice a bald spot. This could be caused from a few things and your dermatologist will assess what’s going on and will discuss various treatment options for your specific condition.
- You have patches of skin that are either lighter or darker than everywhere else on your body. Often skin spots are cosmetic concerns but there are other serious conditions that can result in dark and light spots on your skin. Your dermatologist should assess them to determine if there is cause for concern.
- Your skin is persistently red and flushed. Often red spots that look like acne are the result of rosacea. If you’re experiencing this, see your dermatologist who can recommend treatment specific to your situation.
Even if you don’t have any of these problems or conditions, but you’ve been out in the sun at least once in your life, you should schedule a yearly screening for skin cancer. Early detection is extremely important and potentially life-saving.