6 Signs You Need to See a Dermatologist

Dermatologist

Many people only go to a dermatologist for problems like severe acne or suspicious moles. But there are some lesser known, equally important reasons to see a dermatologist–some of which might surprise you.

Read on to learn how often you should go to a dermatologist, and six skin conditions you should get checked out right away. 

How Often Should I See a Dermatologist?

Scheduling an annual exam with a dermatologist is a good idea to help you prevent skin cancer and maintain your overall health. 

According to  Dr. Alberto de la Fuente Garcia, board-certified dermatologist at VIDA Wellness and Beauty, “Skin has many protective functions that help keep our bodies functioning properly. It acts as a barrier between our bodies and the outside environment, protecting us from pathogens, allergens, and other harmful bacteria. It also regulates body temperature, prevents water loss from the body, and produces vitamin D when exposed to sunlight.”

So a problem with your skin could indicate a bigger problem within your body. 

6 Reasons to See a Dermatologist

A dermatologist can check you for moles, skin lesions, and other issues you may not be able to spot on your own. And if you have any of the following symptoms, it’s time to make an appointment right away.

1. Extreme blushing

It’s normal to blush when you’re anxious, embarrassed, or hot. But if you experience constant or extreme blushing, it could be a sign of an underlying health problem.

Frequent, spontaneous, or long-lasting blushing can be a symptom of an autoimmune disease, such as lupus. In this case, the blushing is actually a rash, which appears as a butterfly-like pattern on your face. Your dermatologist can diagnose this condition with an exam and a simple blood test.

Redness can also be a sign of rosacea, for which your dermatologist can prescribe antibiotic creams and other topical ointments. 

2. Dry, itchy, irritated skin

Having dry skin in the winter is normal. But if your skin’s drier than usual for a long time, or it’s itchy, irritated or red, you may have eczema or an autoimmune disorder called psoriasis. 

Long-lasting skin dryness can also be a symptom of hypothyroidism, or an underactive thyroid gland. This condition can lead to a series of other internal imbalances, which can lead to skin changes. If your skin is normally dry, watch out for other symptoms, as well, such as fatigue, hair loss, and muscle weakness.

3. A pale complexion

Even if you have a naturally fair complexion, make sure your facial coloring doesn’t change or become extra light–and watch out for fatigue, cold hands and feet, and shortness of breath. These symptoms can be a sign of anemia, caused by an iron deficiency. 

Paleness can also be indicative of other health conditions, including vitamin deficiencies, infections, or even cancer. So if you’re losing color in your face, see a dermatologist to find the cause.

4. Extreme sweating

Sweating more than usual can be a sign of a health problem called hyperhidrosis. This condition makes you sweat all the time, even when you’re not hot or exercising. 

There are many effective treatments for hyperhidrosis, ranging from pills to injections. Therapy can also be helpful, as stressful events–like a date, test, or meeting with your boss–can trigger your symptoms. Start by seeing your dermatologist for an exam.

5. Yellow, brittle nails

If your nails are yellow and brittle, you may have a fungal infection. Fungal infections are more common in toenails than fingernails, and tight-fitting shoes or trauma to the nail plates will make the discoloration worse. Treatment typically involves antifungal creams, which your dermatologist can prescribe.

Yellow, brittle nails can also be a symptom of a more serious condition, such as rheumatoid arthritis or certain types of cancer. So if you have yellow, brittle finger- or toe-nails, it’s important to see a dermatologist right away.

6. A sore that doesn’t heal

If you have a sore or wound that won’t heal, make an appointment with a dermatologist immediately. A chronic or “ulcerating wound” that lasts longer than four to eight weeks without healing could be a sign of inflammation or infection. Or it may indicate another serious condition–such as diabetes or even cancer–that prevents the body from carrying out its normal regeneration processes.

Untreated, these wounds can increase your risk of developing other infections, chronic pain, and other problems. So see a dermatologist immediately to get a diagnosis and discuss treatment options.

See a Dermatologist for These and Other Skin Conditions

Being the largest organ in the body, it makes sense that skin shows signs of a lot of internal illnesses. But it’s crucial to have an expert pick up on these sometimes subtle signs so you can get the right treatment.                                                        

See a dermatologist if you have any of the above skin issues–and for any other skin concerns, too. Dr. de la Fuente Garcia says, “A dermatologist can also provide advice for proper skincare and recommend treatments depending on your individual needs. So if you’re noticing any changes in your skin, make sure to see a dermatologist for an evaluation.”

Carrie Solomon is a freelance health writer, web copywriter, and passionate wellness enthusiast. She’s on a mission to help wellness-focused companies everywhere educate, engage, and inspire their audiences to make the world a healthier, happier place. Learn more about her at copybycarrie.com or on LinkedIn.

References:

https://www.skincancer.org/early-detection/annual-exams/#:~:text=As%20part%20of%20a%20complete,%2Dbody%2C%20professional%20skin%20exam.

https://www.vidawellnessandbeauty.com/

https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/18557595/

https://www.niams.nih.gov/health-topics/lupus

https://www.aad.org/public/everyday-care/itchy-skin/rash/rash-101#:~:text=Seek%20medical%20attention%20if%20a,The%20rash%20is%20infected.

https://www.niams.nih.gov/health-topics/rosacea

https://nationaleczema.org/eczema/causes-and-triggers-of-eczema/

https://www.thyroid.org/hypothyroidism/

https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3685880/

https://www.medicalnewstoday.com/articles/325562

https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/books/NBK459227/

https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/books/NBK557760/

https://www.niams.nih.gov/newsroom/spotlight-on-research/researchers-uncover-clues-why-some-wounds-dont-heal

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