Do you know that the skin is the essential organ that secures our body? It is the organ that binds your body and acts as an exterior shield. Apart from protecting you from foreign particles, the skin beautifies your body and signals any disease or disturbance. The rise in various skin disorders, cosmetic procedures, and other treatments might increase the need for skin doctor known as dermatologists.
Being conscious of the skin condition and texture is something widespread among the masses of today. Whether it be acne, freckles, rashes, dark spots, or any other kind of skin-related problem, each one of us would surely consult a specialist to fix it.
Here we explore the essential role of a skin doctor in treating various skin problems. In this article, we also look at what a dermatologist can treat and the medical procedures they perform.
Who is a Skin Doctor?
Do you know that your skin is the largest and heaviest organ in your body? It does several functions at the same time. It shields you from the elements, including cold, heat, germs, and harmful substances.
Therefore, it is important to note that changes in the color or feel of your skin may indicate a medical concern. Therefore it is also a good predictor of your overall health. Hence it is critical to look after your skin and be mindful of its general condition.
You should also know that a skincare specialist or dermatologist is a skin doctor who has the expertise in caring for your skin, hair, and nails. They specialize in diagnosing and treating all kinds of skin, hair, and nail problems. They can also address your aesthetic issues, such as scars and hair loss.
A dermatologist is a type of doctor who diagnoses and treats conditions that affect your skin, including hair, skin, and nails. They also treat diseases and disorders that affect the mucous membranes. They also treat mucus membranes that affect the tissue that lines your mouth, nose, and eyelids.
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention or CDC estimate that there are nearly 44 million visits to dermatologists every year. The primary reasons include:
- skin lesions
- skin rashes
- discoloration or pigmentation
Apart from these medical and cosmetic issues, your skin doctor can help recognize the signs and symptoms of serious underlying health issues. For instance, a condition like diabetes might cause symptoms that impact your skin’s appearance. A doctor may be the first healthcare provider who can recognize the signs.
Skin Doctor Area of Work
You can divide a dermatologist’s work typically into three areas. These include:
Your skin doctor can diagnose and treat conditions that affect your skin. It includes diseases like rosacea, plaque psoriasis, and acne.
They can also identify symptoms on your skin that could be signs of other health conditions. For instance, itchy, dry skin could sometimes indicate problems with your kidneys.
Many dermatologists do minor surgery, like removing warts and moles or doing skin biopsies. Other skin doctors often specialize in more extensive surgery. These procedures might include removing benign cysts or skin cancer.
Your skin doctor can treat skin issues that affect your appearance and look. It may include dark spots, hair loss, or wrinkles. They are trained to administer cosmetic treatments, too. It includes chemical peels, fillers, and laser hair removal.
As you must be aware, the root word for dermatology is derm or dermis. It comes from the Greek word derma, meaning skin or hide. Dermatology is generally a particular area of medicine focusing on conditions that affect your skin. Additionally, in addition to your skin, dermatology also includes conditions that may affect your nails, hair, and the delicate lining of your eyelids, mouth, and nose.
Being your body’s largest organ, the skin contains nerve endings, hair follicles, sweat glands, pores, blood vessels, and many other structures. Therefore, caring for them is important to your overall health.
What Does a Skin Doctor Do?
The job of your skin doctor ranges from several tasks, right from taking case histories to preparing treatment plans.
The following are some of the duties that a skin doctor carries out.
- Skin doctors will meet with patients and record their case histories. They will also examine them and analyze their core problems.
- Once the skin doctor assesses the primary disorder, they will diagnose and prepare a suitable treatment plan. The treatment could be a one-time prescription or medications for a while.
- In some instances, your skin doctors may also address and analyze concerns related to cosmetics like birthmarks, wrinkles, scars, acne, pigmentation, etc. Depending on your requirement and consent, they can treat them using Botox, skin grafting, laser treatments, etc.
Your skin doctor often performs specialized diagnostic procedures related to skin conditions. They use treatments including:
- Injected medicines or externally applied.
- Ultraviolet light therapy.
- A range of dermatologic surgical procedures, like skin biopsies and mole removal.
- Cosmetic procedures, such as laser treatments, chemical peels, and sclerotherapy.
What Types of Conditions Do Ski Doctors Treat?
Your skin doctor can treat hundreds of conditions that affect your skin.
Here are a few of the most common conditions they treat include:
- Acne. Based on your acne and acne scars, your skin doctor can treat this condition with topical treatments. They may also use lasers, medication, other light therapies, or chemical peels.
- Skin cancer. Skin cancer might occur anywhere on your body. Your skin doctor can remove cancer cells and monitor you to ensure it does not return.
- Dermatitis. Dermatitis often encompasses several types of skin conditions that cause irritation and inflammation. This might include eczema, cradle cap, and allergic reactions.
- Infections. Bacteria, viruses, fungi, and parasites can all find their way into your skin. Thus causing a variety of skin infections. Your skin doctor can help diagnose the cause of infections and prescribe treatment.
- Hair loss. This condition might be caused by hereditary baldness. Conditions like illness, stress, and hormonal changes may impact hair loss. Your skin doctor can determine the underlying cause and suggest treatments to remove the problem.
- Nail problems. Discoloration, spots, and nail separation are common nail issues that dermatologists treat.
What Types of Procedures Do They Perform?
Your skin doctor will perform a wide variety of procedures. It may include minor skin tag removal and more involved ones, such as skin cancer surgery.
Some of these procedures that your skin doctor regularly do may include:
- Biopsies. They can perform different biopsy procedures, typically diagnosing or ruling out skin cancer or other severe conditions.
- Laser therapy. Your doctor might use laser therapy to remove moles, warts, sun spots, tattoos, acne scars, wrinkles, blemishes, and unwanted hair (laser hair removal). Laser therapy is viral these days as it requires very minimal downtime.
- Surgical excision. Your skin doctor might perform surgical excision to remove growths like skin tags, moles, and lesions. Your doctor will use local anesthesia.
- Cryotherapy. Cryotherapy is a unique treatment involving controlled exposure to freezing temperatures. They may use it to treat skin conditions like skin tags, warts, and some tumors.
- Sclerotherapy. Sclerotherapy is a procedure that can help treat varicose and spider veins. It often involves injecting chemicals into the damaged veins, thus helping to diminish the appearance of these types of veins.
- Chemical peels. Chemical peels often remove damaged skin. Peels can help rejuvenate and regenerate new skin, thus reducing signs of aging.
- Mohs surgery. This type of skin cancer surgery often removes thin layers of tissue around a tumor. Your doctor will examine the skin for signs of other cancer cells between each removal. When no more cancer cells are found, they stop removing those tissues.
- Cosmetic injections. Your skin doctor can help diminish the appearance of wrinkles and sagging skin by injecting fillers and Botox during an office visit.
- Dermabrasion. This exfoliating technique can effectively reduce the appearance of age spots, fine lines, acne scars, and precancerous skin patches.
- Tumescent liposuction. Removes unwanted fat from targeted areas.
When to See Your Skin Doctor
If you are concerned about your skin condition and do not already have a dermatologist or skin doctor, you can visit doctors in your area. In case you are unsure of whether you need a yearly skin check, consult your general doctor.
If any skin, hair, or nail symptoms are not responding to home treatment, it might be time to seek professional attention. If your concerns are cosmetic, you can seek a specialized cosmetic skin doctor.
Skin doctors are also medical doctors who specialize in skin, hair, and nails. They can also handle cosmetic disorders, like scars and hair loss. Your skin doctor will first examine you, order lab tests, and then make a diagnosis. They will treat your condition with medication or a procedure based on the diagnosis. Be sure to ask any questions that might come to mind. Your skin doctor would help you diagnose your condition, treat or manage it in the best way possible and support you.
You can also read this interesting article on treating cracked heels here.