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When Do You Really Need A Dermatologist?

Everyone wants beautiful, healthy skin, but whatís the best way to decide whether your doctor can handle your skin issue, or you need to seek the advice of a dermatologist? Here are a few things that should send you running to schedule a professional evaluation.

Every year, thousands of people visit their dermatologist to prevent skin ailments or be treated for them, while hundreds more look to a host of other care providers to manage their skinís health. With the rising cost of medical care, it is important to avoid unnecessary doctor visits, but there are some issues that are best treated or managed by a doctor who specializes in the care and treatment of skin.

If you suffer from one of the more common skin conditions such as acne, rosacea, or moderate to severe psoriasis, you may benefit more from a dermatologistís care than other types of doctors. Since dermatologists deal with these and other conditions on a daily basis, they are best qualified to diagnose the cause of the condition, determine its severity, and suggest the best course of treatment, which can be as simple as prescribing a face wash, or as dramatic as administering radiation therapy or even performing a minor surgical procedure. It is suggested that you visit your dermatologist annually, just as you would your eye doctor or dentist, to have a full body examination done. Based upon the results of the examination, along with your familyís medical history, he may recommend additional visits to treat a problem before it becomes more serious, or begin a regimen to prevent an ailment from developing.

Another issue that should be left to a skin care specialist is skin cancer, the most common, and easily treatable---and preventable-- of all cancers. There are several risk factors for developing skin cancer, including a family history of the condition, previous extensive x-ray treatments, the sudden appearance or change of a mole, or being a member of certain ethnic groups. If you have any of these factors, it is important that you see a dermatologist right away to have yourself examined. If caught early, nearly all forms of skin cancer, including the lethal melanomas, can be successfully cured. If you donít have skin cancer, you may wish to set up a schedule of routine visits, to better monitor your skin and any significant changes that develop over time.

Finally, if you have a skin condition that has been going on for a considerable amount of time, or one that appears to be clearing up, only to recur later on more severely, you may need to seek the treatment of a dermatologist. Other situations that may require an appointment with a specialist include situations where you have paid a visit to your primary care provider and have seen little or no improvement to your condition after following his course of treatment, and the sudden onset of a severe condition, such as drastic hair loss or a severe outbreak of hives without obvious cause. It is also imperative to seek professional help if you have performed a routine check on yourself, and notice an unusual rash or mole that you canít explain. Immediate care is particularly important if the area is painful, bleeds, or appears to be spreading. Depending upon the results of the initial visit and the results of any tests she ordersArticle Submission, the doctor will prescribe a schedule for follow-up visits and additional treatments.

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An Arlington VA dermatologist has the knowledge and experience to help keep your skin at its best. For more information about this specialist, visit:

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