Dermatologists are medical experts who treat diseases affecting the skin, hair, and nails. They also offer cosmetic services for people who want to improve the look of their body.
Choosing the right dermatologist for you will take time and effort. However, you can follow a few tips to help make your search easier.
Skin Resurfacing Treatments
Dermatologists perform many skin resurfacing procedures that can improve the appearance of scars, sun damage, and other imperfections. Some of the most popular include laser resurfacing, chemical peels, and microneedling.
During laser skin resurfacing, a laser beam will vaporize the top layer of your skin while heating the underlying layer and stimulating the production of new skin cells. The result is smoother, more even-looking skin.
When choosing a dermatologist like Montrose Dermatology to perform your skin resurfacing treatment, ask friends and family members for recommendations. Then, read their personal and professional websites to learn more about their education, experience, and credentials. In addition, a physician should have a waitlist on their website, so you can check back frequently to see if an earlier appointment becomes available. This will help ensure your skin gets the care it needs quickly.
Acne occurs when hair follicles become clogged with oil (sebum), dead skin cells, and bacteria. The resulting blemishes may be mild, such as whiteheads or blackheads, or severe, with pus-filled lesions (bumps or pimples) and nodules or cysts. Untreated acne can lead to permanent scars and psychological distress.
Suppose you have a mild case of acne. In that case, your primary care doctor can treat it with topical medications, including retinoids to help the skin slough off dead cells and unclog pores, benzoyl peroxide to kill bacteria and reduce inflammation, or antibiotics to stop the growth of bacteria that cause an infection. However, a dermatologist can prescribe stronger medications if you have deep nodules, cysts, or other blemishes that don’t respond to over-the-counter treatment. This may include oral antibiotics that kill bacteria and reduce inflammation or birth control pills to stop the release of testosterone that causes sebum production.
Skin Cancer Treatments
Dermatologists offer surgical and nonsurgical treatments to treat skin cancers. Usually, your doctor will recommend treatment based on the type and size of your cancer and whether or not it has spread.
Surgery is the primary treatment for most nonmelanoma skin cancers (basal and squamous cell carcinoma). Your doctor will remove the tumor and a small margin of healthy tissue for basal and squamous cell carcinoma. They may also use electrodesiccation and curettage (ED&C) for superficial nonmelanoma skin cancers. This technique removes the growth with a tool that scrapes and discards the cancer cells, leaving only normal tissue behind.
Your doctor may perform Mohs surgery if you have melanoma or another more advanced nonmelanoma. Mohs surgeons are specially trained to carefully remove layers of skin while preserving as much healthy tissue as possible.
Some dermatologists use lasers to treat skin-related issues, such as fine lines, wrinkles, enlarged pores, or uneven pigmentation. Others use them to remove precancerous or cancerous growths.
Depending on the type of laser, the procedure may be performed under local or general anesthesia. Generally, it’s an outpatient procedure. During the treatment, the doctor directs a short, concentrated beam of light at irregular skin and uses the electricity from photons to vaporize it layer by layer.
Carbon dioxide (CO2) is a standard laser used since the 1980s to reduce fine lines and wrinkles. Another popular option is pulsed dye lasers, which target redness and enlarged blood vessels. Some dermatologists also offer intense pulsed light treatments, which heat and destroy the redness-causing blood vessels.
Skin Care Products
When selecting a dermatologist, online reviews are helpful but don’t discount referrals from your primary care physician or family members. Finding a practitioner with whom you feel comfortable sharing openly and honestly about your skin-related concerns is also essential.
Bring any previous skin tests or tissue samples you may have, which can help the dermatologist diagnose your condition faster and more accurately. Also, remove nail polish or other cosmetics before your appointment so the dermatologist can examine your bare skin and nails.
At Walgreens, we carry a variety of high-quality, dermatologist-recommended skincare products. Whether you need products to address dark circles, hyperpigmentation, fine lines, wrinkles, or oily skin, our selection includes dermatologist-recommended brands like Colorescience. Try them today and achieve healthier, more beautiful skin.
Meg is an author at Cinnamon Hollow. She writes on a variety of topics sharing tips and ideas for daily life.