What Age Should I Start Regularly Seeing a Dermatologist?
Seeing a dermatologist may not always be at the top of your list, but it is important to have an annual visit because they look at things your general practitioner may not look at or notice. What age should you start visiting a dermatologist though? The dermatologists at the Dermatology & Mohs Surgery Institute share their recommendations on when to start seeing them.
What to Know About Visiting a Dermatologist
What Does a Dermatologist Do?
While a general practitioner looks at your overall health, a dermatologist focuses in on your skin and can provide medical, cosmetic, and surgical dermatology needs. They take a close look at any changes that may be occurring such as acne, hair loss, moles, or warts. They also help to provide any surgical needs such as excisions or Mohs Micrographic Surgery. The dermatologist can also help with cosmetic needs and wants such as dermaplaning, chemical peels, laser therapies, and more.
When Should I See a Dermatologist?
A dermatologist should be seen annually and, in some cases, every few months. Many begin seeing a dermatologist around the age of 12. This is around the age you begin to experience acne and possibly warts. A dermatologist can give you treatment options for acne and can help with wart treatments or wart removal. If you aren’t experiencing either of these, then you can wait until your early 20s to begin annual visits.
Why to See a Dermatologist Annually
Annual visits in your 20s are important for skin screenings and to help fight breakouts. The dermatologist will examine your body for unusual moles that could be related to skin cancer and sun damage. At this age, you have likely seen the sun a few times and are more susceptible to getting skin cancer. The dermatologist will look for moles that have changed in symmetry, diameter, color, or new moles altogether. If they find something concerning, they will test it for skin cancer. If it comes back as skin cancer, they can provide various treatment options depending on the type of skin cancer.
For those who may not have experienced acne in their teenage years but are finding themselves battling it in their 20s, the dermatologist can help. They can provide chemical peels or microdermabrasion to help clear up acne, scarring, or lesions that may have been left behind. Chemical peels use a strong chemical solution with salicylic acid applied directly to the skin. After 15 to 30 minutes, it is neutralized and cleaned off. The skin will appear red for about one week, but it will result in smooth, youthful skin and acne clearing up.
Microdermabrasion is also performed by a dermatologist and is used to help erase wrinkles, fine lines, and acne. It is a painless, noninvasive procedure and takes up to 30 minutes. The dermatologist uses a wand with crystals that exfoliate the skin, revealing brighter, younger skin underneath. After treatment, you may notice some redness and a sensitivity to sunlight for up to one week. Treatments should be continued monthly for the best results.
If you are unsure if you should be seeing a dermatologist yet and are in Bloomington, Illinois or the surrounding areas, complete this form. A dermatologist from the Dermatology & Mohs Surgery Institute will be in touch to help you schedule your appointment.