A dermatologist holds up a magnifying glass and points to a mole on the back of a patient

5 Signs It's Time to Visit the Dermatologist

Dermatologists are skincare professionals that help to diagnose and treat all kinds of skin, hair, and nail diseases. Your skin is your largest organ, and diseases of the skin not only affect your protective layer, but your appearance as well. Whether you’re concerned with the way your skin looks or about a particularly bothersome part of your skin, you should consider going to a dermatologist to get it checked out. Sometimes people don’t know which problems to get checked out, so here a few times when it’s necessary. 

  1. Acne is Taking Over Your Face, Back, or Arms

    Most adolescents will get acne in some form when they are going through puberty, but each individual can experience it differently. There’s a difference between a few breakouts and black heads and persistent nodular acne. If you consistently experience large red spots of acne and white heads, you should visit a dermatologist. They can prescribe various forms of antibiotics and topical creams. In some cases, they may prescribe more intense drugs like Accutane, a form vitamin A that produces drastic improvements, but with some severe potential side effects.
  2. Weird Moles or Skin Abnormalities

    Anytime you are concerned about a specific portion of your skin, you should see a dermatologist, as it could be cancerous. New coloration on moles or any area of skin that is growing or changing color should be checked out. Typically, any skin normality like this can be removed and sent to a lab to check for cancer cells. You should complete regular skin checks to look for potential skin cancer areas and see your dermatologist for a mole check annually.
  3. Itchiness or Rashes That Don’t Go Away

    Sometimes itchiness and rashes just happen, but anytime you have persistent irritations, it’s a good idea to see a dermatologist. These irritations may be due to allergies to medicines, or they may be symptoms of certain skin diseases like eczema or dermatitis.
  4. Scars or Stretch Marks You Don’t Want or Like

    There are a number of over-the-counter drugs that claim to treat scars and stretch marks, but if you want true, medical results, it’s best to see a dermatologist. Dermatologists can prescribe you medicines that are more effective than over-the-counter drugs. In some cases, they can even perform skin injections like steroids or Botox.
  5. Your Skin Isn’t Healing

    There are a number of skin-related diseases that affect the skin’s appearance. Any time you have scratches and gashes that aren’t healing, you should see a doctor immediately. Other common diseases like psoriasis, seborrhea and dandruff, and diabetes-related skin problems are all issues that should move you to see a dermatologist. Dermatologists can help you understand the severity of skin problems, and can prescribe medicines to make you more comfortable or to make the appearance look better.  
Last Updated: July 06, 2016