are medical professionals who specialize in diagnosing and treating skin problems. While there are a few differences between cosmetic and medical dermatology services, most notably the fact that cosmetic dermatologists focus on appearance and medical dermatologists are primarily concerned with medically necessary procedures, most dermatologists' offices are able to provide a wide range of services. Read on to find out about just a few of the most common reasons patients ask for a referral to a skin doctor.
Acne is the most common skin problem among patients in the United States. While mild cases of acne can be treated using over-the-counter remedies, more serious or chronic cases should always be evaluated by a dermatologist. Not only will scheduling an appointment with a dermatologist give patients suffering from acne access to more effective treatments, but it will also allow them to rule out other conditions that resemble acne but must be treated using different methods.
Moles and Sun Spots
It's important for patients who have moles or sunspots to get a full skin examination performed at least once each year. These exams are intended to encourage early diagnosis of skin cancer and sun damage, so they should not be avoided. Patients who notice changes in the shape, color, or size of their moles or sunspots or have begun suffering from bleeding, itching, and pain in the area, should schedule an appointment with their dermatologist immediately instead of waiting for their yearly exams.
Rashes and Itchy Skin
Persistent itching should absolutely be taken as a sign that it's time to head to the dermatologist. While rosacea treatment
that cause rashes and persistent itching are not particularly dangerous, they are easily treatable, so there's no reason to continue suffering. Plus, skin cancer does sometimes cause unexplained itchiness, so it's always a good idea to rule out this more serious issue early.
Lighter or Darker Patches
Skin spots are usually more of a cosmetic concern than a medical one, but there are several serious medical conditions that can cause dark or light spots on the skin. These include connective tissue diseases and lymphoma, a type of cancer. Most patients find that their light or dark patches are the result of more innocuous issues like post-inflammatory skin-color changes and melasma, but it's always a good idea to play it safe when it comes to skin cancer.
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