When Should I See a Dermatologist?

November 21, 2016

If you’re wondering whether or not your skin care concern is something a doctor should evaluate, use the following criteria to determine if an appointment with a board-certified dermatologist is necessary:

  • Stubborn acne that lingers even with over-the-counter products
    Gentle, regular cleansing and benzyl peroxide such as Clearasil can usually take care of acne. However, if two or three months of this routine are not doing the trick, then seeing a dermatologist is a must. There are several effective prescription options that can step in and tackle the problem. Your dermatologist will know what those are.
  • Skin discoloration that is dark, changing, won’t heal or bleeds could be skin cancer
    If you see a mole or other unusual or abnormal discoloration on your skin start changing, growing or darkening, then it is crucial to see a dermatologist to find out what is taking place because it could be skin cancer. You are at increased risk of skin cancer if you have fair skin and have a history of tanning or burning.
  • Itching and rashes that won’t go away
    Eczema and other types of dermatitis are accompanied by uncomfortable inflammation, itching and irritation or flaking skin that won’t go away. Be sure you aren’t allergic to or having a reaction to the products you use, and make sure you use fragrance- and dye-free products, which is really important for all skin types. A dermatologist can prescribe medications that can help.

“Changes in your skin can reflect your overall health and can affect your well-being.”
Dr. Russell Peckham, DO, FAAD,
U.S. Dermatogoly Partners Cedar Park

  • Skin disorders that won’t heal
    Psoriasis, chronic seborrhea and dandruff, severe, diabetes-related cracked calluses that don’t heal and become infected, wounds that don’t heal and rosacea that gets worse are all issues that should be seen by a dermatologist.
  • Scar treatment
    If a scar is raised, thick or too deep, skin care products probably won’t help much. That’s when a dermatologist can step in and offer procedures to help with scars.
  • Brown skin (melasma)
    If over-the-counter skin lighteners fail to even out your skin tone, visit a dermatologist. They have more potent prescription options and access to lasers that treat spots with almost no pain or discomfort.
  • Stretch marks and cellulite
    Dermatologists have laser treatments that can bring about some improvement.
  • Red marks from acne or blemishes
    Generally, red marks left over from a blemish resolve on their own, and gentle skin care products containing antioxidants and salicylic acid can absolutely speed the process. If these products don’t resolve the issue, a dermatologist has options.

Basically, if you have a skin concern, a dermatologist can provide diagnosis, prevention, surgery, and cosmetic procedures. A board-certified dermatologist will give you options for treatment, surgery (if needed) and cosmetic procedures.

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