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Dermatologist: It Is About More Than Beautiful Skin

A dermatologist is more than a mere “skin doctor”. Simply put, neglecting to care for your skin can lead to death. Every inch of the body is covered by this protective outer layer of cells that is responsible for shielding the body from sun, infection, bacteria and numerous other disease causing factors.

A dermatologist is a medical doctor whose primary focus is on the health and well-being of skin. As we age, a dermatologist should become a part of our regular yearly checkup. From teenage onset acne to noticing new freckles, moles or various forms of dermatitis, the skin can be a curious map of activity and exposure throughout life.

A referral may be made to a dermatologist for various reasons or factors.

1. Acne: Whether teenage onset acne or reoccurring adult acne, causes can vary from hormones to allergies to environmental irritants and beyond. Blackheads, whiteheads and pimples are the most common complaints and quite often can be treated with topical ointments or oral medication. In more severe cases, options can include chemical peel, acne surgery, microdermabrasion and photodynamic therapy. The doctor will suggest a treatment option after an evaluation is completed.

2. Dermatitis: Psoriasis and Eczema: The most common forms of dermatitis reveal themselves through inflammation of the skin and “itchy” patches, often around the elbows and knees, but can spread across the back or stomach, as well. Poison ivy is a common form of dermatitis. Treatment can be as simple as applying a topical cream or may require ultraviolet light or oral cortisone.

3. Wart Removal: Warts can be treated with an over the counter patch or liquid solution, but in some cases, if there is pain associated with the area, an in office visit may be necessary for the wart to be “frozen” then removed by a doctor.

4. Skin Cancer: There are varying types of skin cancer: Actinic Keratoses is a pre-cancer form of the disease and is recognized as rough surfaced patches, tender skin with a sand paper like texture or small moles. Effective treatments used are liquid nitrogen, topical creams or a BLU-U Blue light. Basal Cell Carcinoma is a curable form of skin cancer, but it can leave disfiguring marks on the patient. It appears as pearly bumps, sores that do not heal after 2 weeks or as a scar or rash resembling eczema, psoriasis or ringworm that does not respond to treatment. Squamous Cell Carcinoma is a form of skin cancer that appears as a rough surface with a lump like feel to it. This cancer can affect the local lymph glands and may require a biopsy. There are various forms of treatment that will be discussed between the doctor and patient.

A dermatologist will advise patients to avoid tanning beds entirely, apply sunscreen several times a day and monitor their level of exposure to the sun. For patients who are required to spend an excessive amount of time outdoors (construction work, postal workers, life guards, etc.) sunscreen, protective clothing and monthly full body examinations are recommended.

Skin tags, moles and numerous other ailments are additional reasons for a dermatologist to become a regular part of a yearly checkup. The skin is a vital organ that preforms a necessary function: keeping the body healthyBusiness Management Articles, protected and beautiful.

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