In the midst of a pandemic, it’s no surprise many of us are hyper-focused on our health. But while you might be concerned about washing your hands and keeping up with your exercise routine for the sake of staying well, there may be other areas you’ve been neglecting. Although the estimated cost of waste in the U.S. healthcare system ranges from $760 billion to $935 billion, that doesn’t mean you should eschew non-emergency appointments with a medical provider. And even if you’re looking to eliminate unnecessary healthcare spending, you shouldn’t dismiss the importance of what your dermatologist can do for you.

Although some people may be blessed with perfect-looking skin, most of us reach a point where visiting a dermatologist can be highly beneficial. Here are just a few signs that it may be time to make an appointment with a reputable skin doctor in your area.

You’ve Been Dealing With Acne For Years

Although 85% of the more than 50 million Americans who suffer from acne are teenagers, that doesn’t mean this skin condition is something you’ll automatically grow out of once you’re in your 20s. Many people in their 30s, 40s, and even 50s can experience chronic and severe acne. Not only can acne leave permanent scars and often be physically painful, but it can also impact your self-esteem. If you’ve tried over-the-counter treatments to no avail, seeing a dermatologist can allow you to address the root cause of your acne and finally find relief.

You Have an Unexplained Rash or Skin Irritation

Rashes and irritations often come and go and can be caused by any number of things. But if you have a persistent rash that won’t go away or a skin irritation that seems to be getting worse, it may be time to talk to an expert. A rash can be caused by an allergic reaction, for example; while more than 3 million cases of seasonal allergies happen every year in the U.S., you could be breaking out into hives or showing signs of a skin infection caused by an irritant — and that won’t always be cured by taking an antihistamine. Skin conditions like psoriasis and eczema can look like some sort of rash or simple irritation at first, as well. You might assume that a new moisturizer or detergent might be the cause. But left untreated, these conditions can wreak havoc on your life. You should also see a dermatologist if you have an itchy, dry, or irritated scalp. Even if the cause is product-related, rather than being indicative of an underlying health condition, you can at least obtain answers (and relief) by receiving help from an expert.

You’ve Noticed a New or Changing Mole

Moles, birthmarks, and skin tags aren’t inherently bad — but it’s important to keep a close watch on them throughout your life. That’s because when these skin growths change in appearance, this could point to a much larger health problem. If you have a mole that has changed in size or shape recently, this can be an early sign of melanoma (or skin cancer). You should also see your skin doctor if a mole or skin growth has suddenly become itchy or if it starts bleeding. While this is not always cause for alarm, your dermatologist may recommend that you have your mole removed or biopsied to be on the safe side.

You Have Issues With Hair Loss or Brittle Nails

You might not realize it, but the health of your hair and nails falls under the umbrella of dermatology. It’s normal to lose up to 100 hairs per day or break the occasional nail. But if you’re seeing bald patches or your hair is thinning, you could be dealing with an undiagnosed condition. Should your fingernails suddenly start to become discolored, flaky, crumbly, covered in ridges, or overly brittle, you might have a vitamin deficiency; it’s also possible that psoriasitic arthritis might play a factor. Your dermatologist can likely provide greater insight into what might be causing these problems.

You Have Concerns About Aging or Skin Health

Even if you don’t have any major skin issues, a dermatologist can preserve the health of your skin throughout your life and potentially prevent signs of aging. Whether you’re worried about texture, hydration, or wrinkles, your dermatologist can provide valuable insight into both lifestyle habits and topical treatments that can keep you looking younger for longer. Rather than try to guess which products on the market will work for your skin, you can feel confident in the knowledge provided by your skin doctor and ensure you have a healthy regimen to preserve what you have. And if you get to the point where you’d like to explore anti-aging treatments, your dermatologist can help there, too.

Ultimately, there isn’t just one clear sign you should visit your dermatologist. But if you have concerns about the look or feel of your skin, hair, or nails, it’s a good idea to make an appointment. You don’t have to live with discomfort or with self-esteem that’s inhibited. Instead, you can feel in control of the skin you’re in.


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