What is a Dermatologist?


A dermatologist is a medical doctor that has completed medical school and has received special training on how to manage and treat diseases associated with the skin, hair and the nails. A dermatologist can help in the treatment of skin disorders and is usually the first person that comes to mind when we have a troubling skin condition.

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What Does a Dermatologist Do?


However, many people do not know what exactly a dermatologist does. The skin is very much the first point of contact when it comes to cosmetic appearance and is the largest organ in the body, especially when considering the surface area. Although the skin might look the same from the exterior. The different parts of the body have unique features that distinguish it, and that is modeled specifically for its function. In addition to this, the skin has different problems that are peculiar to it. For example, the skin we constantly expose to the sun is prone to some diseases, while the part of the body that doesn’t get exposed to the sun also has its peculiar diseases too.

Taking care of the skin and the problems that might develop can be quite challenging, especially if after trying over the counter drugs, it still persists. This is where dermatologists come in. As earlier mentioned, they’re trained to manage and treat all skin diseases. Below are some of the signs you need, to go see your dermatologist.


                                Signs you Need to See A Dermatologist


  • Acne rosacea: Acne is one of the most predominant skin disorders. The exact cause of this disease isn’t known yet, however, there are some effective treatments that your dermatologist can administer. This is a skin disorder that affects mainly teenagers. Although, this can affect anyone of any age. In fact, almost everyone has experienced acne at one point in their life. However, for most people, this disease usually prolongs for a long time, because of the lack of proper care. This makes acne of the most common chronic skin conditions. Some of the main factors responsible for this condition include hormones and heredity. People tend to develop acne just after when they hit puberty. Regardless of how people wash their face, or shower, or avoid fatty food, they’d still develop acne. This is because of the inescapable risk factors. Acne happens when the oil of the skin blocks the hair follicles. The skin oil that blocks the pore of the skin can also lead to the development of infections, which might lead to skin redness, tenderness, and swelling of the skin. Usually, there are drugs that can be prescribed over the counter, that can be used in the treatment of acne. These medications do contain salicylic acid and benzoyl peroxide. This, when used, with a good skin care routine, can be used for the treatment of mild to moderate acne, or breakouts. However, if this disease still persists, two to three months after administering these products, then the ideal thing to do is to see your dermatologist. This is important because your dermatologist will give you the right diagnosis and treatment. In fact, diseases are better treated when they’re diagnosed early.
  • Skin cancer: A dermatologist can examine and give the right diagnosis, especially when it comes to diseases such as cancer. It’s important to always go for a yearly check-up if you belong to a high-risk group of having cancer. The earlier a cancer disease is diagnosed, the better it’s treated, and the more positive the prognosis would be. In addition, you should visit the dermatologist if you notice any alteration in the shape, color and size of any of the moles on your body. This might be a sign of developing cancer. Also, any unusual discoloration of the skin, be it dark or bright might be an indication of the development of a growth. According to studies, people with light or fair skin, are more predisposed to developing skin cancer. People who have a history of tanning, be it artificial or sun tanning also has a higher risk. It is important to go for a regular checkup with a dermatologist, especially when you have a family member that has suffered from the disease, or you have a history of tanning and previous skin diseases.
  • Psoriasis: Psoriasis is an autoimmune disease in which there are red patches on the skin with a silvery layer that looks like scales on the top. Generally, people are initially affected by psoriasis, before they have psoriatic arthritis. However, the inflammation and disease of the joint might begin before they present with skin lesions. Psoriasis is not a contagious disease. The classic characteristics of this disease are the inflammation of the extremities, particularly the fingers and toes. They usually do have a sausage-like appearance. This is often accompanied by defects in the nail, such as pitting and the separation of the nail from the nailbed. Genetics have been implicated as one of the most important factors that lead to the development of Psoriasis. Excess weight also increases the risk of having this disease. Although, there are over-the-counter drugs for the treatment of this disease, prescription drugs from dermatologist would be needed for the complete elimination of this disease. There are different treatment methods for psoriasis. Some of these methods include many topical treatments. Dermatologist often makes use of light therapy, oral medications, and different types of injections. It’s best for patients to identify the triggers of the disease, and try to avoid them. With the right treatment and management, it’s possible to significantly reduce the occurrence and severity of episodes of this disease.
  • For the treatment of scars: There are some over-the-counter drugs, that are effective in the elimination and reducing the appearance of scars. However, there are some scars that are raised well above the skin, that these medications can’t take care of. This is where a dermatologist steps in and administer treatments and medications that would resect scars.
  • Cellulite and stretch marks: This is skin disorder both men and women battle. Other there are some people who claim to have developed a treatment of this disease. This in most cases, is false. However, dermatologists do carry out procedures such as laser treatments that can significantly improve this skin conditions.

There are many more signs that you could see, and might require a visit to a dermatologist. It’s best to go for a medical checkup frequently, and whenever you notice an abnormal growth on your skin.

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Black, M. and Marshman, G. (2010). Dermatology and pemphigus vulgaris: Association or coincidence?. Australasian Journal of Dermatology, 52(2), pp.e11-e14.

Greenberg, S. (2014). Sustained autoimmune mechanisms in dermatomyositis. The Journal of Pathology, 233(3), pp.215-216.

Lam, C. and Vleugels, R. (2012). Management of cutaneous bruises. Dermatologic Therapy, 25(2), pp.112-134.

Scadden, D. and Srivastava, A. (2012). Advancing Stem Cell Biology toward Stem Cell Therapeutics. Cell Stem Cell, 10(2), pp.149-150