Our skin is the largest organ of our body, making skincare a multi-billion
dollar industry. Shelves are stocked full of products for the treatment and
papering of our skin. Creams and oils claiming to turn back the clock and
remove wrinkles, ointments for warts, Eczema, or other conditions, and more
lotions than you can imagine flood department stores.
Just by browsing the shelves at any drugstore it is clear that we love our skin and
it is needy! Most of the itches, rashes, spots, and sores that arise can be treated
with over-the-counter medicines or products. But ever so often we come across
a mole or a spot that we are not sure about. Not everyone is sure when they
should or should not visit their dermatologist, so here are a few guidelines.
Acne: Most mild acne breakouts can be treated with products that contain
benzoyl peroxide or salicyclic acid and are available without prescription. When
you use these products with a regular skin-care routine they are usually effective.
If two to three months go by, however, and you are still experiencing acne
problems, then a dermatologist visit is necessary. There are prescription options
out there that will help and doctors who will work with you.
Moles and spots: When you notice any discoloration or a mole changing or
growing, you should immediately have that looked at by a dermatologist. These
can be indicators of skin cancer. People with fairer skin or a history of tanning or
burning are at an increased risk for skin cancer. You should be examined
regularly for skin cancer and take daily precautions to protect your skin with a
sunscreen rated SPF 25 or higher.
Itching and rashes: Eczema and other types of dermatitis are accompanied by
uncomfortable itching, inflammation, flaking skin and are often painful. The first
recommendation is to make sure you are not having a reaction to any products
that you are using and to use fragrance and dye free products. Also over the
counter cortisone creams may help you. If you switch products and are still
irritated you should make an appointment with a dermatologist. There are
medications that can be prescribed to help with this problem.
Skin disorders: Psoriasis, chronic dandruff, diabetes-related cracks and calluses,
wounds that will not heal and rosacea are all conditions that should be examined
and treated by a dermatologist. Skin-care products can help maintain the overall
health of your skin but sometimes only prescription based oral or topical drugs
are necessary to help aid with these annoying and unattractive skin conditions.
Scars: Over-the-counter products can be quite effective in reducing and resolving
the appearance of most scars, but if a scar is raised, thick, or too deep, skin-care
products will almost certainly fall short. A dermatologist can offer procedures to
build up depressed scars or resect raised scars. This works typically well with
Melasma: Melasma is brown skin discoloration that can most likely be treated
with skin-lightening agents or sunscreens containing titanium dioxide and or zinc
oxide as the active ingredient. Dermatologists do offer stronger options and laser
treatments that can remove these spots with little or no discomfort or pain.
Stretch marks: Most cosmetics companies that promise a reduction in stretch
marks and cellulite are probably making outrageous claims. Dermatologists offer
laser treatments that can and will bring about some improvement. The important
thing is to keep your expectations realistic so that any improvements will be more
Red marks from acne or blemishes: When over-the-counter products do not help
with the resolution of these marks, dermatologists can use laser or light-emitting
treatments that can improve them and/or remove them altogether.
Leave a Reply