What is a Dermatologist?
How much do you know about your own skin? Decide which of these statements are true or false?
- Eating greasy food causes acne.
- Tanning beds are a safe way to get a tan.
- Blackheads are pores clogged with dirt.
- Tattoos can be easily removed.
- If you ignore a skin condition, it will go away
- Birthmarks cannot be removed.
All of these statements are false. They are some of the many myths about skin care, conditions, and treatments. We hope to answer your questions and raise your awareness about this important but often neglected, part of your body, your skin.
Take Care of Your Skin: It’s Forever
Did you know your skin is an organ? Think about your other organs: heart, lungs, liver, brain. They are all inside your body safely protected. But skin is on the outside, exposed to the elements. This vulnerability makes it very important that you do all you can to take care of your skin.
First of all, although skin’s primary purpose is to protect your body from the elements, you want your skin to look good. A visit to a dermatologist, a physician specializing in the medical, surgical, and cosmetic care of skin, hair, and nails, can help you determine how to best care for your skin. Just like you would see physicians about cardiology (heart issues), pulmonology (lung issues), rheumatology (joint issues), so you seek out physicians that specialize in dermatology (skin issues).
A dermatologist is trained to treat rashes, skin cancer, psoriasis, acne, warts, athlete’s foot, acne scarring, and any other skin, hair, or nail conditions. When you visit a dermatologist, he or she will talk to you about your skin, hair, or nail concerns. You will be asked to provide your medical history. The doctor will perform an exam, do any necessary tests, and give you a diagnosis and treatment options.
Most skin, hair, and nail problems are treatable, so as soon as you notice a problem, visit a dermatologist. It’s even a good idea to schedule a visit without a problem because a dermatologist can help you improve your skin and can look for things you may not notice. For example, your parents may get regular skin checks for signs of sun damage, wrinkles, or skin cancer. A dermatologist is trained to recognize these conditions early, and early treatment for skin cancer is critically important.