As a dermatologist, I can tell you that almost everyone I have run across has had a skin issue. Some less serious such as a poison ivy rash that has resolved or an allergy to a cream that was transient. Some are more serious like melanoma, a very dangerous type of skin cancer that can travel across the body and in some cases cause death. Some disorders can have a range of severity such as psoriasis. It can be a few patches but it can also cover most of the skin surface. Psoriasis, like other skin disorders, can affect other parts of the patient, such as their heart. It can put the patient at increased risk of heart attack and stroke when compared to the general population. It can affect joints too and cause arthritis and joint destruction. There are over 300 diseases that dermatologists are trained to treat. They are experts at recognizing these skin disease patterns, diagnosing them accurately. Dermatologists usually tend to be very busy and are in high demand so I would recommend having an established dermatologist in the event you have:
Also if you are at a higher risk of skin cancer due to your profession or pastime (farming, golfing, sailing, etc) or your accumulated skin damage then it would be a great idea to establish regular skin checks with your dermatologist. That way you are proactive and catching the problem, if one appears, very early. You can catch a pre-cancer before it becomes cancer. When caught early, skin cancers are very treatable and require less aggressive treatments. So while you may not need a dermatologist now, chances are you may need one in the future.
As the saying goes, “an ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure.” (That's Benjamin Franklin for all you history buffs!)
Photo credit: Coline Haslé
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