Thursday, March 22, 2012

Dermatology: Facts and Benefits

What Is Dermatology?

Dermatology is a branch of the medical field that focuses on the health and wellness of the skin, hair and nails. The skin is the largest and most exposed organ of the body. It sometimes requires medical knowledge and assistance to remain free of disease or infection, cosmetic abnormalities and the harsh effects of aging and sun damage.
The science of dermatology includes both genders and all age ranges. It's just as common for a mother to obtain treatment for a severe diaper rash on her child as it is for an elderly person to seek cancer screening for a skin spot.
Dermatology, as a whole, looks at the cause and cure for any problem skin, hair and nail related. Internal system problems often make their presence known initially by causing some type of flare up on the skin, whether it be a rash or discoloration. The field has made tremendous strides in accurately diagnosing illnesses and problems much sooner than ever before.
Any changes from normal should be noted and looked at by someone that is trained in the study of dermatology. The right treatment and curative measures, given early enough, can reverse some conditions and even save lives.

What Is a Dermatologist?

A dermatologist is a medical doctor that has specialized in the diagnosis and treatment of problems and irregularities of the skin, hair and nails. They have undergone all of the same medical training that a general medical doctor has, but they spend an additional four or five years learning everything there is to know about their chosen specialty.
As with any other medical doctor, they stay fresh in their field by reading current medical journals and attending important ground-breaking conferences when possible. It's always better to take conditions and problems that fall under this science to the professionals that have the best knowledge base to diagnose and treat them.

What Conditions Do Dermatologists Treat?

Some of the more common skin conditions dealt with by a dermatologist are:
  • Rashes and rosacea
  • Warts
  • Moles
  • Skin tags
  • Adult and teenage acne
  • Psoriasis
  • Eczema
  • Skin cancer
  • Age spots
  • Sunburns
Some of the most common hair and nail problems:
  • Baldness
  • Scalp psoriasis
  • Seborrheic dermatitis or dandruff
  • Ingrown finger or toe nails
  • Fungal and bacterial infections
  • Nail discoloration
  • Split, cracked or peeling nails
These are only a sampling of the hundreds and hundreds of problems and conditions presented to dermatologists every year.

How Can a Dermatologist Help?

Scheduling an appointment to see a dermatologist is important once it's determined that a problem would be best diagnosed and treated under this specialty. They are very proactive in providing early diagnosis and treatment for skin cancer. Earlier treatment saves lives.
Cosmetic removal of skin tags, warts and moles can be done during an office visit. They also provide biopsies for moles that are discolored or show other signs of abnormality.
Acne is a condition dreaded by all teenagers. This problem can follow an individual well into adulthood. The longer a persistent condition goes untreated, the worse the emotional and physical scarring will be.
A dermatologist will take the time to discuss problems and help educate the patient in proper protection against poor diet, aging and sun damage. Their knowledge of reading symptoms can stop an illness in its tracks.