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When to see a Dermatologist

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When to see a Dermatologist

Taking care of your skin is an essential aspect of maintaining your overall health and well-being. While many people may visit a dermatologist for cosmetic treatments, such as Botox or filler injections, there are many serious skin conditions that a dermatologist can diagnose and treat. Paying attention to your skin concerns can give you vital clues about your overall health, and by addressing any issues head-on, you can help to prevent more severe problems in the future.

Acne that has not responded to treatment – A dermatologist can evaluate your specific type of acne and prescribe more effective treatments, such as prescription-strength topical medications or oral medications like antibiotics or isotretinoin. They can also provide guidance on proper skincare routines to help you manage your acne and prevent future breakouts. Additionally, if your acne is causing scarring or hyperpigmentation, a dermatologist can also provide treatments like chemical peels, microneedling, or laser therapy to help improve the appearance of your skin.

Rashes – Rashes can have many different causes, ranging from allergic reactions to infections or underlying medical conditions. In general, a rash is any abnormal change in the skin's appearance, such as redness, itchiness, bumps, or blisters. If you have a rash, there are a few signs that suggest you should see a dermatologist:

  • The rash is spreading rapidly, or is accompanied by fever, chills, or other symptoms that suggest an infection.
  • The rash is painful, is weeping a clear or yellow fluid, or has scabs or sores.
  • The rash is persistent or recurrent, despite home treatment or over-the-counter remedies.
  • The rash appears suddenly and is accompanied by swelling, difficulty breathing, or other signs of a severe allergic reaction. A dermatologist can help diagnose the cause of your rash, and recommend the best treatment options to relieve your symptoms and prevent further complications.

Changes in the appearance of moles or other skin lesions – Some changes that may indicate a potential problem include changes in the size, shape or color of the mole or lesion, irregular or uneven borders, asymmetry, and bleeding or itching. These changes could potentially indicate the development of skin cancer or another skin condition. A dermatologist will be able to examine the mole or lesion, determine whether it is cancerous, and recommend the appropriate treatment.

Chronic or severe sun damage – Chronic or severe sun damage may manifest as sunburn, dryness, wrinkles, age spots, or even skin cancer. In some cases, the damage can be reversed with the proper treatment and prevention strategies. A dermatologist can assess the severity of the sun damage and create a personalized treatment plan that may involve medications, topical creams, or other treatments to repair and protect your skin from future damage.

Suspected skin cancer or family history of skin cancer – Skin cancer is the most common type of cancer, and it is highly treatable if caught early. A dermatologist can perform a thorough skin examination and biopsy any suspicious areas to determine if they are cancerous. They may also recommend regular skin screenings to monitor any changes and to catch any potential skin cancers early on. If you have a family history of skin cancer, you may be at a higher risk for developing the disease. It's important to schedule regular skin exams with a dermatologist and to be vigilant in checking your skin for any changes or new moles. Early detection and treatment can be lifesaving.

BHS Dermatology has locations in Butler, Clarion, Seneca, Seven Fields, and New Castle. Click here to find a BHS Dermatology provider in your area.