Your skin is your body’s largest organ. It covers and protects your internal organs, muscles and bones from outside invaders, and it helps maintain and regulate body temperature and water balance. It’s also a window to your overall health, and when something is awry with your body, it often shows up in the form of a skin condition. That’s why it’s important to give it extra care and attention every day. While many skin problems can be safely treated from the comfort of your home, others require care from a specialist, otherwise known as a dermatologist.
What do Dermatologists Do?
A dermatologist is a trained medical doctor who specializes in the health of your skin, hair and nails. These doctors can treat a wide range of skin problems and conditions, including acne, eczema, scarring, moles, warts, psoriasis and skin cancer.
Some dermatologists specialize in cosmetic dermatology, a branch of dermatology that deals with correcting and improving skin flaws, such as sun damage, skin discoloration, wrinkles, sagging skin and scarring. Cosmetic dermatologists work with patients to improve their skin’s appearance, restoring it to a natural, more youthful state by utilizing a variety of cosmetic procedures, such as fillers, wrinkle relaxers, laser treatments and facial peels.
When to See a Dermatologist
Whenever you have a question or concern regarding the health of your skin, nails or hair, it’s important to schedule a visit to your dermatologist. Unusual symptoms, such as a strange bump, excessive hair growth or hair loss, or brittle nails are all good reasons to visit your dermatologist.
In addition, if you have risk factors that increase your likelihood for developing skin cancer, then visiting a dermatologist regularly for checkups is the key to early detection and treatment. Melanoma is the most common type of skin cancer, but if caught early enough it is nearly always curable.
Other people choose to visit a dermatologist for cosmetic reasons, such as unwanted spider veins, fine lines or sunspots. A trained cosmetic dermatologist will work with you to create a customized skin care regimen based on your individual needs and goals for treatment.
Whether you’re worried about an abnormal mole, waging a war against breakouts or looking to erase fine lines, it may be time to visit a dermatologist. By partnering with a dermatologist, you can help keep your skin healthy for a lifetime. The specialists can also help educate you about your skin type and teach you how to best implement a daily skin care routine for optimal skin health.