When to See a Dermatologist

Not every aging skin concern requires a dermatologist’s expertise. General practitioners successfully treat many common skin problems from dry skin to rashes. You should see a dermatologist if you:

  • Notice that the condition does not go away
    Ask for a referral to a dermatologist if treatment is ineffective, a sore does not heal, or a spot on your skin is changing in any way — growing, bleeding, or changing in shape or color.

  • Need a skin cancer screening
    The risk of developing skin cancer, the most common cancer in the United States, increases with every decade of life. Dermatologists are medical doctors who regularly diagnose and treat skin cancer. These doctors make many of the advances in treatment for skin cancer and keep up on the medical breakthroughs in this area.

    If you have not had a skin cancer screening in the past year, you may want to take advantage of the American Academy of Dermatology’s program that offers free skin cancer screenings nationwide:

    Free Skin Cancer Screenings
    Most free screenings occur during the spring.

  • Want to diminish signs of aging
    A dermatologist’s medical education includes training to treat cosmetic concerns as well. Using the latest advances, dermatologists successfully treat hair loss, wrinkles, lax skin, age spots, spider veins, and more. Procedures used to treat these concerns are called cosmetic procedures. All cosmetic procedures, including microdermabrasion and chemical peels, should be performed by a board-certified physician or under the doctor’s direct supervision. This greatly reduces the risk of complications.

More Information
What is a dermatologist?

What does board-certified mean?

Questions to Ask Before a Cosmetic Procedure

All content solely developed by the American Academy of Dermatology

Dermatologists are medical doctors who have extensive training, experience, and passion for keeping skin, hair, and nails healthy and healthy looking throughout a person's lifetime.





© American Academy of Dermatology, 2010  All rights reserved.
Page last updated 3/20/08

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