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When Should I See a Dermatologist?

Healthcare can be a tricky world to navigate. With so many doctors and so many specialties, how do you know who to see?

Dermatology is the branch of medicine that involves skin, nails, hair and its diseases (and for all of the language buffs out there, derma is Greek for skin). Likewise, the formal definition of a dermatologist is a doctor who specializes in skin, hair, and nails. After completing his or her bachelor’s degree, a dermatologist will have gone to medical school, completed an internship, and then completed a dermatology residency program of at least three years. It takes a very well-qualified individual to become an expert in skin, nails, and hair.

The reasons for seeing a dermatologist are obvious: A dermatologist can treat diseases including skin cancer, eczema, acne, psoriasis, and more. But in addition to treating diseases and infections, a dermatologist can also improve a patient’s appearance by helping to diminish wrinkles and age spots, treating hair loss, and performing laser surgery to remove warts and even tattoos!

Despite knowing the wide variety of services available, sometimes it can be difficult to decide when you should see a dermatologist. We recommend scheduling an appointment to see a dermatologist if you’re experiencing any of the following:

  1. You may want to see a dermatologist if you’re experiencing stubborn acne that does not improve on its own with over-the-counter treatments. A dermatologist can work with you to determine what products or prescriptions are best for you and your skin.
  2. A freckle or mole that has changed in appearance. Changes in the size, shape, or color of a mole could be an early indication of melanoma. Any skin abnormality that is changing in appearance should be examined by a dermatologist.
  3. Regular skin cancer screenings. A dermatologist can help you determine how often you have a routing skin cancer screening. If you’ve ever been to a tanning salon or have been sunburned, it’s important to make sure your skin doesn’t have any abnormalities.
  4. Chronically irritated skin that’s itchy or flaky. A dermatologist can help determine if your irritated skin is from a condition like eczema or if it’s from an allergic reaction.

Dr. Guenthner is board certified as a Fellow of the American Academy of Dermatology and is also a member of the Indiana Academy of Dermatology. If you’re experiencing any of the above conditions or symptoms (or if you’re interested in improving the appearance of your hair, skin, or nails) call our one of our offices in Central Indiana to schedule an appointment. Our friendly staff can’t wait to work with you!

Disclaim: This blog pro­vides gen­eral infor­ma­tion and dis­cus­sion about medical, cosmetic, mohs, and surgical dermatology. The words and other con­tent pro­vided in this blog, and in any linked mate­ri­als, are not intended and should not be con­strued as med­ical advice. If the reader or any other per­son has a med­ical con­cern, he or she should con­sult with an appropriately-licensed dermatologist or other health care worker.