Five Things You Should See Your Dermatologist For

We tend to associate visits to the doctor’s office as something that’s not very routine. A lot of people only go see their doctor when they think an issue they’re experiencing is “severe”. While a pragmatic approach like this can be good, it’s also important to get some issues checked out to see if it’s just something minor and nothing to be concerned about, or if it’s something that should be taken seriously. There’s also a good chance that some minor issues you may be having can be treated. Here are five things that you should see your dermatologist for:

1. Dandruff – Usually, small flakes on your scalp can be controlled using over-the-counter shampoos like Head and Shoulders. However, if you are getting thicker, scaly and itchy patches around your scalp, then you should go visit your dermatologist, especially if you are concerned that your dandruff may be interfering with your work and social life. He or she can recommend a specialized shampoo or treatment to help manage dandruff. You and your dermatologist can work together to seek out the source of your severe drandruff – it could be stress, changes in the weather or hormonal imbalances.

2. Brittle Nails
– Sometimes you feel like your nails feel too brittle and break off easily, which can be considered as normal. When your nails start lifting off your nail bed, or if it becomes thickened, then it may be due to a skin disease called Onycholysis (read more here), a fungal infection, nail psoriasis or perhaps you injured your nails. Your dermatologist can examine your nails carefully and determine the cause of your issue, and then give you the best treatment option.

3. Loss of Eyelashes – Sleeping in eye makeup or using too much makeup on your eyes can result in eyelash loss. Sometimes the cause can be a bit different, like a bacterial infection, or imbalances with your hormones or an autoimmune disorder. If you notice that your eyelashes are thinning at an alarming rate, then you should check with your dermatologist to see if it’s just your beauty routine that you have to change, or if you require treatment for an underlying condition.

4. Cold Sores – A cold sore once or twice a year is normal, but having cold sore breakouts around your lips, mouth or gums on a regular basis is not. These are small painful blisters, sometimes known as fever blisters or oral herpes, that show up on or around your mouth area. Usually they would go away on their own, but persistence of cold sores or more frequent appearances might mean something else, and it’s best to consult with your dermatologist to find out.

5. Skin Lesions – Skin spots, freckles, moles are for the most part, benign. Keeping an eye on them regularly is highly recommended to check for any sudden changes in appearance. If you have a persistent lesion that does not heal especially on areas on your body that you know is exposed to the sun, then it may be skin cancer. If it changes in appearance abruptly or is larger than a pencil eraser in size, you should go see your dermatologist as soon as possible. A biopsy may be required to examine in under a microscope and see what it really is, and from there if it is determined that the lesion is pre-cancerous or cancerous, your dermatologist can have it excised to prevent any further damage.

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