There are many priorities in life, and seeing a dermatologist might not be one of yours. If you’re prioritizing your health, though, it should be! Dermatologists can identify and treat more than 3,000 different conditions – some of which (like skin cancer) can be life-threatening.
In this blog, we’ll discuss some of the top reasons to book an appointment with a dermatologist.
First Things First: What is a Dermatologist?
A dermatologist is a medical doctor who specializes in skin health. Ultimately, dermatologists use their advanced training and knowledge to help people keep their skin healthy and avoid or treat common skin conditions like psoriasis and rosacea.
Dermatologists can identify and treat conditions involving the hair, skin, and nails and can provide everything from routine check-ups to more advanced procedures, like mole removal and biopsies.
Dermatologists treat people from infancy to adulthood and may specialize in areas like Mohs Surgery (used to treat skin cancer) or even aesthetic dermatology.
7 Reasons to See a Dermatologist
Not ready to book that first appointment? Here are seven reasons to see a dermatologist sooner rather than later:
1. You’ve got a mole that’s changing shape or size
Most people have at least a few moles on their bodies, and most of those moles are harmless. When those moles change shape or size, though, it could be the early stages of skin cancer.
Doctors estimate that about 20-30% of melanomas develop in existing moles, so you must visit a dermatologist as soon as you notice that a mole on your body is changing.
When it comes to skin cancer, early detection is critical. When melanoma is detected early, the 5-year survival rate is 99%. That drops to 68% if the disease reaches the lymph nodes and 30% if it spreads to the organs.
2. You’ve got acne that’s making you self-conscious
We tend to think of acne as a condition that affects teenagers, but what happens when it persists into our adult lives?
Hormonal fluctuations or bacteria cause most adult acne. This class of acne can be challenging to control at home.
Sometimes, the acne can even “flare up” and get much worse at very inopportune times, like the night before a big presentation or a significant event, like a wedding or celebration.
Fortunately, you don’t have to live with it forever.
Visiting a dermatologist will provide the tailored, effective treatment plan you need to decrease pain and inflammation and start reclaiming your self-esteem.
3. You have itchy patches of skin on your body
Few things are quite as unpleasant as living with chronically itchy, uncomfortable skin. What’s worse, scratching often exacerbates the condition and makes it even more difficult to manage.
Rough, scaly patches of skin are usually due to psoriasis.
Dry, itchy, and irritated patches are usually caused by eczema. In either case, seeing a dermatologist will allow you to identify the condition and receive a treatment plan.
4. Your hair is falling out
Dermatologists don’t just treat skin! They also see patients experiencing hair loss.
A skilled dermatologist can tell you whether the hair loss you’re experiencing is male- or female-pattern hair loss or if it’s something deeper, like stress-induced hair loss.
No matter what the case may be, a dermatologist will work with you to find a solution and promote full, healthy, natural-looking hair regrowth.
5. You have patches of skin that are darker or lighter than the rest of your body
In most cases, discoloration and skin spots are merely cosmetic. In rare instances, though, they could indicate a serious, underlying condition.
Seeing a dermatologist is the best way to assess their cause and determine whether further action is needed.
6. You’ve noticed signs of skin aging
Aging happens to us all, but you don’t need to accept it silently. Some dermatologists, like the team at Laser Cosmetic Center, specialize in anti-aging skincare.
These services run the gamut from anti-aging laser treatments to injectables and CoolSculpting.
Ultimately, our entire suite of services exists to give you options that help you look and feel your best.
Whether you want to address loose skin or poor skin tone or eliminate spider veins and dark spots, an anti-aging skincare team can provide effective, science-backed, non-invasive treatments.
7. You care about your health
Even if you have no concerns about how your skin looks or feels, visiting a dermatologist is a critical way to care for your health.
Just like you see the doctor once a year for an annual checkup, experts recommend seeing a dermatologist at least once a year or more frequently if you’re at high risk for skin cancer.
During these check-ups, your dermatologist will provide a full-body skin exam and help you identify ways to care for your skin more effectively at each life stage.
Dermatology Associates: Experienced Dermatologists Serving the Flathead Valley
We understand that choosing to see a dermatologist can feel like a big step and that you may be hesitant to go if you’ve never been before.
Here at Dermatology Associates, our team does everything in our power to make our clients feel relaxed and at ease, whether it’s their first appointment or fortieth. While our main office is in Kalispell, we also provide convenient satellite offices in Libby, Whitefish, and Polson.
Our services range from general dermatology offerings to laser cosmetic treatments, Mohs Surgery, skin allergy testing, and onsite histology.
If it’s been a while since you visited the dermatologist, or you’ve never been before, contact our office.
Our expert team will put you at ease while tending to your existing skincare concerns or just helping you find ways to keep your skin healthy and happy for years to come.