LiveMD takes a look at the profession of dermatology and discusses when a consultation with a dermatologist can be beneficial.
What is Dermatology?
Dermatology is the study of the skin and different skin disorders and a Dermatologist is the doctor that deals with these conditions. There are numerous different diseases that affect the skin ranging in severity from very mild to life threatening. A dermatologist has been specially trained to help a patient manage the symptoms of these conditions, prevent future outbreaks, and treat existing issues.
Common Skin Conditions
Here is a listing of some of the most frequently seen skin conditions and their symptoms:
Acne: Acne occurs when the glands under the skin become infected and inflamed, causing red, raised bumps to appear on the skin. These bumps are usually filled with pus and can be painful. This condition is most common in puberty, when hormonal changes increase the skin’s oil production, but it can occur to anyone, at any age and on any part of the body.
Psoriasis: Psoriasis is an autoimmune disease which means that the body’s immune system is malfunctioning and begins to attack itself. With this condition scaly patches appear on the skin. These areas can be red and itchy and over time may build up to thick white or silvery patches called plaque. Someone affected by this disease may have a few tiny spots on the body or large areas of skin may be affected.
Dermatitis: Dermatitis is an allergic reaction that affects the skin. It is triggered when an allergen is ingested or comes into contact with the skin. Symptoms of this condition include a red, itchy, sometimes painful rash.
Warts: Warts are small, raised bumps of thickened, hardened skin. They occur when the skin comes into contact with a specific virus. Warts are not usually harmful although they can be unsightly and may cause mild itching or discomfort.
Skin Cancer: Skin cancer occurs when the cells of the skin become damaged and start to mutate. This often occurs from unprotected exposure to ultraviolet radiation from either the sun or tanning beds. The most common symptom of skin cancer is abnormal growths on the skin that are sometimes painful. Some may be flesh coloured while others may look like unsymmetrical moles or freckles.
When Should I See a Dermatologist?
A dermatologist has been specially trained to diagnose and treat a vast variety of skin conditions. It is important to see a dermatologist:
- If your skin condition is not clearing up on its own or is getting worse
- Is causing you pain or discomfort
- Has appeared suddenly
- If there is are signs of infection such as redness, swelling or pus
- If you notice unusual growths or skin discolorations
- If you have sores or lesions
If you are suffering from a skin condition, the dermatologists at LiveMD can help. A quick video chat can help diagnose your problem and find you the right solution for your dermatological issue. To speak with one of our trained professionals today visit www.mylivemd.com
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