Skin issues happen. Some of us have skin issues that arise from time to time, while others have chronic issues that may seem unsolvable, no matter what products and techniques we use to try and alleviate the issue.
Not all skin issues warrant a visit to the dermatologist. Almost all health care providers offer some sort of skin care assistance. For example, a primary-care doctor (such as your family doctor) can help you with some basic issues that you may be having, such as pimples, rashes, and eczema. Any skin issues that arise that are new and sudden should first be looked at by a family physician or a clinic doctor if you don’t have a family doctor. A dermatologist may be called upon only if the issue is not resolvable through the methods that the doctor has already used, or if you are having a persistent problem.
Some of the common issues that dermatologists help patients with are:
- Atopic dermatitis
- Skin diseases (such as porphyria, pemphigus and cutaneous lupis)
- Skin cancers (a surgeon may also be brought in to help treat any skin cancers)
So how can you find a dermatologist that’s right for you? A good way to start is with your very own doctor. If you have visited your doctor first with this skin problem and none of their treatments seem to be effective, there’s a good chance that they will refer you to a dermatologist who they know and trust. If not, you can always request to be referred to a dermatologist they that they recommend.
You can go a step further and take an even more proactive approach by searching for dermatologists in your area. Thanks to the internet, searching for a dermatologist has become easier than ever. Type in your location along with the word “dermatologist” and you will find a list of different dermatologists in your area. Better yet, once you find some you think you’d like, look them up online and see if any patients have written reviews on the doctor. This will give you a good idea of whether or not a specific dermatologist is worth seeing.
Not a fan of the internet? Then the medical board in your state or province should be able to help recommend a dermatologist to you. The State or provincial board will know whether or not any complaints have been lodged against a particular practitioner.
Now we’ve saved the best for last. The best way to find a dermatologist you will be happy with is to ask friends and family members about who they have seen in the past. Take notes on who they liked, who they didn’t like, and why. The best dermatologists in your area are the ones that are going to be a well-known name, so take advantage of that and try to book an appointment with them as soon as possible.
In many cases, a dermatologist isn’t warranted. Several skin issues can be resolved with a bit of patience ad a visit to the doctor. Remember, no skin issue will resolve itself overnight. Give it a good 2-3 weeks with treatment before you determine a visit to the dermatologist is necessary.