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A person can potentially develop a range of skin conditions over the course of their lifetime. A dermatologist will typically be the best specialist to provide the necessary these conditions. However, if you’ve never seen a dermatologist before, you might not be entirely familiar with what conditions they treat; this makes it difficult to know whether it’s time for you to schedule an appointment with a private dermatologist.
This guide will clarify the issue, helping you better understand when it’s time to see a dermatologist, and what they can do to address your conditions and needs.
Again, there are many different skin conditions a person might develop in life. That means there are many different reasons to see a dermatologist. Although some may seem more urgent than others, in general, if you do think a dermatologist can help with your condition, it’s important to schedule an appointment with one sooner rather than later.
Even seemingly minor issues can develop into more severe problems if they aren’t addressed right away. You need an expert to review your condition and determine the appropriate treatment option.
A dermatologist can often treat relatively chronic issues affecting your skin. For example, if you’re struggling with acne, they’ll provide you with treatment options designed to clear up your complexion. This is an instance in which you would likely coordinate with a dermatologist over an extended period of time.
Because clearing up acne isn’t always as simple as applying a single treatment, you may need to work together over the course of several appointments to achieve ideal results. That said, seeking treatment from a dermatologist is typically a much more effective way to treat acne than simply relying on over-the-counter consumer products.
Do you have any scar tissue you’d like to get rid of? A dermatologist can also help in this capacity. Various treatments can often effectively eliminate or at the very least significantly reduce the appearance of this tissue. As with the example above, this is an instance in which a dermatologist provides what is essentially a cosmetic treatment.
However, these are by no means the only kinds of treatments dermatologists provide. They can also address very real health issues.
Some of these issues may only seem to be mild inconveniences at first. That doesn’t mean they don’t require attention. For example, perhaps you’ve developed eczema. Typically, this doesn’t just make your skin red. It can also make it itchy.
While you might think this is merely uncomfortable, but not a genuine health problem, you should in fact contact a dermatologist soon if you have this condition. That’s because untreated eczema can eventually lead to skin infections. Signs of a skin infection include pus, scabs with a yellowish colour, and red streaks. Contact a private dermatologist right away if you notice these symptoms.
Of course, even if your skin isn’t infected, living with eczema isn’t pleasant. You should still see a dermatologist to learn about your options. They can provide a treatment that substantially reduces your discomfort.
Keep in mind that eczema is not the only condition of this type that a dermatologist may treat. They can also treat a range of skin rashes in general. If you have a noticeable skin rash, particularly if it hasn’t gone away after a long period of time, make an appointment with a dermatologist. You don’t want the rash spreading, and you certainly want to confirm there’s no major underlying condition causing it to develop.
Dermatologists also provide treatment for various types of skin damage. For example, perhaps you spent too much time out in the sun without protecting your skin. The resulting damage may be greater than a typical sunburn. You would want to see a dermatologist in this situation to learn about treatment options.
It’s also important to see a dermatologist if you’ve damaged your skin in other ways, such as by burning it or spilling a dangerous chemical on it. A dermatologist will usually be able to help improve your condition.
All this said, it’s important to understand that dermatologists can also help you avoid major health problems that could otherwise be life-threatening. The next section of this guide explains how.
Most people have moles somewhere on their skin. Often, these are merely benign. However, there are instances when moles indicate you’re at greater risk of developing a type of skin cancer.
This is a major reason dermatologists advise all patients to pay close attention to the moles on their body. There are often signs you can spot indicating a mole needs to be examined by a professional.
These signs include changing size, changing colour, changing thickness, and changing shape. Keep in mind that sometimes these changes are relatively subtle. Although there are times when changes are dramatic and noticeable, even minor changes can be a sign of a problem. It’s important to see a dermatologist to schedule a mole screening if you notice any such developments.
A mole may also be a sign of a greater problem if it develops after you’re over 20 years of age. Moles which develop this late in life should be examined by a dermatologist to confirm they’re benign. Additionally, if a mole starts to feel tender, bleeds, becomes itchy, causes pain, or ‘oozes’, you need to schedule a private mole check sooner rather than later.
During a mole screening, the dermatologist will first perform a general visual check of all your moles. This lets them know if there are any that appear to be signs of a more significant health issue.
If they decide there probably isn’t anything to worry about, they may simply ask that you monitor the shape, size, colour, and general condition of certain moles over the course of the next few weeks/months. During this time, you may schedule several appointments with the dermatologist, giving them opportunities to ensure your moles don’t represent a problem.
However, there are times when a dermatologist believes it is important to perform additional tests. They’ll typically recommend performing a biopsy of your mole to determine if it’s cancerous.
This involves removing a small portion of the mole to send it to a lab for further testing. Usually, the dermatologist will provide you with a numbing agent before removing the portion of the mole they need. This ensures you likely won’t feel any pain. All you should feel some minor tugging.
Your dermatologist will then schedule a future appointment for you to discuss the results of the test. They may reveal there is nothing to worry about. However, if the tests do come back indicating the presence/risk of cancer, your dermatologist will then recommend a mole removal procedure. Heed their advice and take action quickly if this happens. The sooner you get the proper treatment, the better the odds of a positive outcome.
Don’t let these points give you the wrong impression. Seeing a dermatologist isn’t necessarily something you should only do when you notice signs of a problem. In some cases, it’s in fact smart to schedule regular appointments with the dermatologist at your private clinic. This is particularly true if you’ve been told you’re at greater-than-average risk for developing skin cancer or similar conditions.
Seeing a dermatologist for regular screenings is key to ensuring any such conditions are identified early if they do develop. Again, early diagnosis often leads to more effective treatment. Additionally, it’s worth noting that seeing a dermatologist regularly gives you consistent opportunities to ask an expert what you can do to more effectively protect your skin throughout life. Many people don’t understand how taking certain essential steps (such as protecting their skin from the sun and moisturising properly) can improve their skin’s health in major ways.
These are all good reasons to see a dermatologist if you believe you need skin treatment for any condition that has developed, or may develop in the future.
If you’re looking for a private clinic in the Newry or Mid-Ulster areas that offers dermatology services, schedule an appointment with Duality Health. Our physicians are dedicated to providing you with quality care you can rely on.
Along with our dermatology services, we offer a range of additional services and treatments, making it easy to address many of your health needs with a single clinic. That can save you a lot of time and money in the long run. To get started, book an appointment online today.