We’re all guilty of checking WebMD for our symptoms, but that can quickly lead to trouble. Most of us botch our diagnosis, either thinking we’re doomed or dismissing the issue as less significant than it is.
Other times we brush off obvious symptoms entirely. When we hear about skin cancer, we think, “It’s never going to happen to me!” And although it’s true we shouldn’t always jump to the worst conclusion, we need to be aware enough to be suspicious of changes on our skin.
When you put off a skin problem, the condition can progress and become much harder to treat. Plus, a diagnosis can catch you off guard emotionally. It’s better to face the facts and visit your doctor as changes occur. Don’t ignore these four reasons to see a dermatologist.
1. Long-Lasting Bug Bites or Pimples
Sometimes we assume a bump on our skin is just a pimple or bug bite that hasn’t gone away. However, if the bump were either of those problems it would disappear in a relatively short period of time – not last for years. Yet, many people just ignore them, not recognizing them as a serious issue.
If a spot isn’t healing, grows, and doesn’t act as we expect, it’s time for a dermatologist visit. A pimple takes a few weeks to heal and a bug bite lasts for a week at the most. If you have a bump lasting much longer than that, understand that it may be more serious.
2. Moles That Change Over Time
Some moles change over time. But we don’t always notice those changes, especially if we’ve had the mole for years. No amount of online research can tell you if a mole is cancerous – only an experienced dermatologist can. So if you think a mole may be different than it used to be, it’s time to ask your dermatologist about it.
3. Acne That Won’t Go Away
Long-term acne may not be acne at all. If you’ve had redness and bumps for years and no medicine seems to help, you may be dealing with rosacea. Acne and rosacea look so similar they’re easily confused by the untrained eye. But, if a dermatologist diagnoses you with rosacea, they can prescribe a medicine that will make a visible difference.
4. Dry Scaly Spots on Scalp, Nose, and Ears
If you have redness around the scalp, behind/in the ears, in the eyebrows, around the nose, or even on your chest, you may have seborrheic dermatitis (or dandruff!). Too often, people try to manage or cope with this on their own, but a trip to the dermatologist would ease the discomfort in no time. This red, itchy condition is easily treatable with the right medication.
Our skin conditions are often not we think. Rather than scavenge the internet attempting to self-diagnose, know when to see your dermatologist. Changes in your skin indicate that it’s time. Then, be open to what the doctor tells you. Remember, you’re visiting a medical professional. Trust their advice so you can get appropriate skin treatment.
Is it time to ask a dermatologist about your skin problem? Contact us here to schedule an appointment!
Dr. R. Todd Plott is a board-certified dermatologist in Coppell, Keller, and Saginaw, TX. His specialization and professional interests include treating patients suffering with acne, identifying and solving complex skin conditions such as psoriasis, rosacea, atopic dermatitis, and identifying and treating all types of skin cancers. In his spare time, Dr. Plott enjoys cycling, traveling with his wife, and spending time with his children and new grandson.
Learn more about Dr. Plott.