I’ve never been to a dermatologist. I also confess that before doing research for this blog post, I pretty much associated “dermatologist” with treating skin conditions. I was blind to the huge variety of services dermatologists provide, including everything from diagnosing that weird fungus growing under your toenails to performing laser hair removal on your armpits.
Dermatologists treat hair, nails, and mucous membranes in addition to skin, and they are trained to diagnose and treat more than 3,000 different diseases, which is pretty impressive if you ask me! Maybe you’ve been to a dermatologist and maybe you haven’t—regardless, like me you might be curious about the top reasons people visit a dermatologist in the first place.
Ah, the scourge of youth (oh wait…welcome to adulthood, where, guess what? Adult acne is a thing.) Most people are able to treat acne via over the counter medications, but for those whose acne is severe, OTC treatments aren’t helping, or experience scarring, seeking the advice of a professional is extremely common.
2. Skin Cancer
We’ve all had that “wait…where did that mole come from?!” moment. Early detection and treatment of skin cancer is a big reason people visit the dermatologist. Because sometimes, that “mole” is just a raisin, and other times it’s a serious problem.
3. Skin Conditions
Many people suffer from chronic skin conditions such as eczema, psoriasis, and rosacea, and dermatologists are trained to accurately diagnose and effectively treat these conditions. The internet is rife with home remedies for skin ailments, but there are plenty of people who would rather consult a professional before slathering their body in Crisco.
4. Cosmetic Concerns
Dermatologists can perform many procedures to improve appearance, including Botox injections, laser hair removal, scar removal, and reducing the appearance of age spots, spider veins, or other unsightly blemishes. Beauty isn’t just skin deep of course, but “skin deep” is where many people like to start.
5. Expert Advice
Maybe you live life on the wild side and consult the internet for all your ailments, or maybe you haven’t joined the modern age and prefer the advice of a licensed medical professional (kidding!). People may seek the advice of a dermatologist for anything from combating hair loss to getting rid of fungal infections or dealing with contact dermatitis. Dermatologists didn’t go through all those years of training for nothing!
Whether or not you’ve been to a dermatologist or are planning a trip in the near future, there are definitely some reasons why you need to see a dermatologist, especially if your quality of life is being affected by skin concerns. No matter what your concern, don’t be embarrassed—they’ve probably seen it all, and if they haven’t than they’ve clearly never googled images for “plaque psoriasis,” much less spent 8-plus years in medical school. If that happens, find another dermatologist…there are plenty to choose from!