You may think of acne as something you can treat with over-the-counter medications and fad diets, but you should see a dermatologist for your most serious skin problems. Dermatologists can remove a mole that’s turned colorless or itch-provoking, for example, and diagnose skin cancer at its earliest, most treatable stages.
A dermatologist can also treat fungus (which causes itchy, scaly patches of skin called psoriasis), viruses, and bacteria that cause warts or herpes. Dermatologists can offer creams that relieve itch and dryness, as well as prescribe drugs to help your body fight off infections.
Rashes are a common skin condition that can range from mild to severe. If you have a rash that covers more than 10% of your body, see a dermatologist right away — especially if it’s accompanied by fever, joint or muscle pain or difficulty breathing (anaphylaxis). A skin doctor will be able to efficiently zero in on the cause and prescribe treatment.
A dermatologist will start by going over your symptoms and medical history, then conducting a thorough examination of your scalp, arms, hands and feet. They will also look for any moles or freckles that have changed shape, size or color.
A dermatologist knows that skin conditions can have a big impact on your daily life, reducing sleep, self-image or even job prospects. Dermatologists treat conditions like eczema (aka atopic dermatitis), psoriasis, hair loss, and nail disease to improve quality of life.
Often, skin conditions are symptoms of other health problems. Your dermatologist can recognize these signs, helping you get the treatment you need.