Just about everyone these days understand the importance of proper skin care, but it can often be difficult to determine when common skin problems require the intervention of a professional. When problems like severe acne, psoriasis and other issues arise, many experts recommend that sufferers consult with a qualified dermatologist in their area.
Even though dermatology is one of the most popular medical specialties, many outside the medical community are not quite sure just what a dermatologist is, or when his or her advice may be needed. Understanding the role of the dermatologist is perhaps the best way for potential patients to determine when to seek professional advice for common (and not so common) skin conditions.
A dermatologist is a doctor who has been specially trained to evaluate, manage and treat those patients with a variety of problems with the skin, hair and nails. The conditions that dermatologists are asked to treat range from simple problems like pimples and acne, to more serious problems like skin cancer. A skilled dermatologist makes use of a variety of diagnostic tools in order to accurately diagnose common and uncommon skin conditions and provide the most effective treatments for affected patients.
Even though much of the work of a dermatologist is routine, these important physicians also diagnose and treat a surprising number of serious illnesses, including melanoma, skin cancer and other conditions. Dermatologists also are asked to diagnose and treat dermatitis and other inflammatory skin conditions, in addition to moles and other common blemishes.
It is important for any patient who is troubled by skin irritation, skin inflammation, blemishes or other issues to carefully consider whether he or she might benefit from a consultation with a dermatologist. While many family physicians and general practitioners are quite skilled at diagnosing disorders of the skin and hair, a dermatologist is a specialist who has been trained to quickly spot potential problems. Consulting with a dermatologist early can be an effective way to find a serious condition in its early and most treatable stages.
Some signs that you may need to consult a dermatologist include unexplained hair loss, prolonged problems with acne lesions or blemishes, sores that do not readily heal, moles that change shape or color and any unexplained new growths on the skin. These symptoms can all be indications of a serious medical problem, and they should be brought to the attention of a dermatologist without delay.