Admit it, like most people, doctors scare you. Every time you feel something is out of the ordinary, you try to Google your way out going to the doctor’s office. Like most people, you probably try to treat yourself with over-the-counter medications and natural treatments. Perhaps you simply wait and hope that it will go away. Yes, this includes dermatologists, too.
How many times have you handled your acne issues or problems on the scalp on your own? Most of the time and just like many people, you trust the World Wide Web to provide you with health information and product recommendations on how to address a certain problem. Customer feedback doesn’t lie, or at least that’s what you may think.
However, there are instances when you need to schedule a trip to the dermatologist, instead of taking matters into your own hands. Save yourself against a self-but-wrong medical diagnosis. Unless you are a doctor, here are 11 non-negotiable signs you really need to see a dermatologist right away:
1. Hair And Scalp Issues
Did you know that there are many scalp issues that you should discuss with a doctor? A dermatologist can help you deal with problems up there. The question is when to see them.
The first thing that comes into your mind when you notice hair falling out is the shampoo you are using. Switching shampoos could do the trick; however, if you notice excessive hair loss, then a trip to the dermatologist might give your hair a fighting chance.
Aside from this, an itchy and dry scalp deserves a dermatologist’s attention. Together with excessive hair loss, this condition is linked to stress, bad eating habits and thyroid problems. This could also signal skin diseases that require a thorough examination.
Alopecia or baldness, although dependent on genes,is also a condition that is worth a visit. If you are suffering from trichotillomania, skin picking or other body-focused behaviors, then going to a dermatologist could help. You’ll never know if you are suffering from any of these conditions, unless you schedule that appointment.
2. Rashes That Take Time To Go Away
Most people, including you, tend to ignore rashes. Admit it. You tell yourself it’s going to go away anytime, so why worry. Although it is not a matter of life and death, the longer the rash stays on your body, the harder it is for the doctor to diagnose.
Rashes can be a sign of eczema or other types of dermatitis. A rash could also mean an allergic reaction to something you touched or ate.
This usually comes with itching, inflammation or skin irritation. Dermatologists need to see the rash the day it comes up, so they can properly diagnose the cause. Otherwise, it will look like the same rash they’ve seen from hundreds of people and they might not be able to recommend the best solution for the rash.
3. Cystic Acne
As you enter the teenage world, you will notice those tiny bumps or red dots scattered all over your face. Before you panic, your mom will assure you that it will go away.
Unfortunately, some acne has decided to stay. Worse than that, they often decide to be in their cystic form, which is something you don’t want to live with forever.
In that case, a trip to the dermatologist will help you make them go away. There may be extraction methods you could do at home or natural techniques to solve cystic acne. However, there is higher risk of scarring and infection, which could worsen the condition.
Booking that appointment will make you aware of the best options and proper treatment to stubborn acne. At the same time, the prescribed treatment could prevent acne from coming back and ruining your face forever with scars.
4. Yellow Or Brittle Nails
Check your nails. How do they look? If you don’t see anything white, yellow or green in color, then you are safe. Otherwise, make that trip to the dermatologist to get the proper treatment for infections.
Yes, 50 percent of yellow or brittle nails are due to fungal infections found in dust, air and soil. The green color on your nails could also be the result of bacteria that infects your nail beds, called pseudomonas. If you see red or black nails, it may result from a collection of blood due to trauma.
On the lighter side, brittle nails mean you lack protein and moisture. Whatever the cause may be, it is best to check with a dermatologist for the proper diagnosis and an effective treatment plan.
5. Yearly Skin Exams Save Lives
Did you know that one in five Americans have skin cancer? That’s not all. Skin cancer doesn’t discriminate, which means you can have regardless of your age, skin color, race and status in life. Therefore, it is advisable that you have a skin exam to see if you are at risk.
How will you get a skin exam? By visiting a dermatologist. If you are wondering when, then 30 is an ideal age for a yearly skin check. However, if you live in a sunny climate or constantly expose yourself under the sun, or have fair skin, then start earlier than 30.
Aside from checking your skin for moles and identifying if you are at risk of anything skin-related, your dermatologist will also give you some helpful advice on how to keep your skin beautiful, young and healthy.
Go ahead. It’s worth the trip.
6. Skin Disorders That Don’t Heal
Do you have a cut that won’t heal? What about a rash that doesn’t go away? It may look harmless at first, but skin conditions that won’t heal,even after treating it with creams or drugs signify that there is a serious issue going on somewhere.
In this case, paying your dermatologist a visit will help solve your problems. They will need to check to see what’s going on in order to provide you with the right treatment. This is important especially if you are suffering from recurring conditions, such as eczema or rosacea. A regular trip to the doctor will help keep your skin condition more manageable for you, too.
7. Abnormal Discoloration
Let’s say acne decided to pay you a long visit. After a few days, your face starts to clear out and you noticed spots starting to appear on your skin.
Yes, they are harmless and will fade eventually. However, it may take some time before the spots disappear completely.
Hence, this is worth the trip to a dermatologist. Your dermatologist can offer treatments on how to get rid of unwanted spots easily. They will also offer advice on how to prevent spots from coming back and invading your face again and again.
8. Ugly Scars
Aside from spots or discoloration, acne, especially the cystic type, is notorious for one thing: scars. Aside from acne, scars can be a result of trauma, injury, surgery, burns, or deep wounds and cuts.
Over-the-counter creams can reduce the appearance of scars. However, if your scars are thick, raised or too deep, then you might want to give your dermatologist a call.
There are different treatments available to get rid of scars. If creams don’t work, they could recommend treatments, such as laser or surgery, depending on your needs. Give your dermatologist a call to discuss possible options to remove scars. Don’t have one yet? Ask your doctor for a referral to a local skin specialist.
9. A Growing Mole Or Freckle
By definition, moles or freckles should not be alarming. However, if you see changes in the shape, size, color or texture, then it means you need to see a dermatologist to have it checked. A growing mole or freckle that has become itchy needs medical attention, too.
This condition connotes skin diseases that require further medical attention. Hence, a dermatologist will order more tests to check if there is something you should be concerned about. They will create a treatment plan for you. Early detection is the key for surviving skin cancer.
10. Excessive Sweating
Perspiring or sweating is fine. It means your body is able to remove the toxins inside your body. However, there are cases where you sweat too much, and it’s not because you are under the sun. Worse than that, sweating could lead to body odor problems.
In that case, seeking your dermatologist’s help is recommended. Also known as hyperhidrosis, excessive sweating connotes thyroid issues, infections and even diabetes. Whatever the cause may be, a visit to a dermatologist could help you identify the problem.
11. Extremely Dry Skin
Here’s a simple task for you. Draw a line on your arm or leg using your finger. Was there a white line on the area? If yes, then it means you have dry skin that lacks moisture. The good news is applying lotion or moisturizer within three minutes after bathing could solve the problem.
However, there are instances wherein dry skin is extreme, applying lotion will never be enough. Hence, it is best to go to a dermatologist to have it checked. Extreme dry skin can be due to hormonal imbalances or thyroid problems.
This could also signal serious skin conditions, such as eczema or psoriasis. A trip to the dermatologist will help you identify the real cause and find the appropriate treatment to address such a condition.
A dermatologist is willing to answer your concerns about your skin. They will also offer the best treatment appropriate to your condition and make sure it won’t come back. However, they are not trained to examine skincare products in general. Therefore, don’t make an appointment simply to ask them whether to use product A or product B.
Make the trip worth it for you both by visiting your dermatologist for yearly skin checks or issues that come up that cause you to worry. You can stay healthy by being proactive when it comes to your skin.