When You Need to See a Skin, Hair and Nail Specialist
Blemishes and wrinkles are very common skin problems. But, there are thousands of conditions that can affect the skin. Some cause mild symptoms. Others can be serious and interfere with everyday life. Redness, itching, pain, rashes and pus are all signs you need to see a dermatologist. This doctor specializes in treating skin, hair and nails. Some treatments improve the look of your skin. Regular checkups for skin cancer can save your life. These 10 conditions merit a visit to the dermatologist.
Psoriasis stems from a problem with the immune system. This causes skin cells to form too quickly. They then pile up on the surface of the skin. These patches are called plaques. They can be thick and red and have silvery scales. They can be itchy or painful. They usually appear on the elbows, knees, legs, face and scalp. Sometimes they’re on the bottom of the feet. They can show up on the fingernails, genitals or inside the mouth, but this is less common. Dermatologists can diagnose psoriasis by looking at a skin sample under a microscope. Psoriasis is a chronic condition. Creams can help soothe the skin and help it heal. Treatment also may include oral medication to suppress the overactive immune system.
Eczema is an umbrella term for several chronic skin conditions that cause inflammation (swelling) of the skin. It can be very uncomfortable and emotionally distressing. It often causes red, swollen, dry and itchy skin. The most common type of eczema is atopic dermatitis. This usually affects babies and children. Kids may develop a rash on their cheeks and other parts of their body. The rash can leak fluid. Children may have trouble sleeping because of itchiness. Dermatologists can diagnose eczema with certain tests and a skin exam. Over-the-counter and prescription creams and other medicines can ease the condition. Proper skin care is important, too.
Most people shed up to 100 hairs every day. However, bald patches or thinning hair could be signs of a problem. Pregnancy, stress, and a long list of health issues can lead to hair loss. It also can be an inherited condition. To find the cause of hair loss, a dermatologist may do blood tests and examine a sample of tissue from the scalp under a microscope. Medications, laser treatments, and surgical procedures are among the options that could help reduce the appearance of hair loss or restore growth.
Signs of Aging
Skin changes with age. You may notice wrinkles, dryness or discolorations often called age spots. The sun’s harmful ultraviolet rays and smoking can speed up and worsen these signs of aging. Wearing sunscreen can help prevent more sun damage. Not smoking and eating a healthy diet can also protect skin. But, if you’re unhappy with your appearance, you may want to see a dermatologist. There are many treatments to help smooth wrinkles and tighten the skin. A dermatologist can also help improve the skin’s texture and color. Treatments to help give the skin a more youthful look include chemical peels, laser therapy, Botox injections, and wrinkle fillers.
Skin infections caused by yeast, fungus, viruses or bacteria need treatment from a dermatologist. Fungus can lead to nagging and itchy problems, like athlete’s foot. Viruses can cause warts and herpes. Bacterial infections of the skin, such as cellulitis, can become serious or even deadly if not treated with antibiotics. Parasites, like lice and mites, can also cause contagious, itchy skin conditions. A dermatologist can diagnose the source of the infection and determine how best to treat it.