What You Think You Know About Dermatologists May Not Be True

Dermatologists: they're the doctors who care for skin. Most people know this basic fact, but a lot of the other information that gets tossed around about dermatologists can be misleading or just plain false! Dermatology is a very helpful, innovative, and important field of medicine, so it's important to clear up a few misconceptions.

Misconception #1: Dermatologists just treat skin cancer.

It is true that a lot of dermatologists' work involves diagnosing and treating skin cancer. And many people never see a dermatologist until they have concerns about skin cancer. However, dermatologists also treat a wide array of skin conditions, from dry skin to acne. You don't even need an actual medical condition to see a dermatologist. They can help you manage everyday concerns like wrinkles, blemishes, dark spots, and dryness.

Misconception #2: Dermatologists just want to push expensive prescriptions.

Sometimes the best treatment for a skin condition will be a prescription medication. However, dermatologists tend to recommend that their patients use the mildest treatment that is effective. And often that mildest treatment is an over-the-counter option. Dermatologists have been known to recommend mild moisturizers, gentle cleansers, and sunscreen — all of which you can buy affordably at a grocery store or pharmacy. 

Misconception #3: Dermatology is just for vain people.

Perhaps you've told yourself that you don't really need treatment for your acne, wrinkles, or other problems; those treatments are just for vain people and celebrities. But there is nothing vain about wanting to feel comfortable and confident in your own skin. You deserve that! Confidence in your appearance can transform your social and professional life. Plus, it is important to have skin issues looked at not only for appearance reasons but because they can sometimes be an indicator of underlying health problems, such as nutrient deficiencies.

Misconception #4: Dermatologists only treat the face.

While most dermatological treatments do focus on the face because that tends to be where skin problems are most common, dermatologists treat skin everywhere and anywhere. In fact, you really should have a full skin exam every few years. During this exam, a dermatologist will examine every square inch of your skin for signs of cancer and other problems. And if you ever have a problem with the skin on your legs, hands, feet, or any other body part, you can and should call a dermatologist.

Now that you know a bit more about dermatologists, you should feel confident reaching out to one of these doctors whenever you need advice or care for your skin.

Contact a local dermatology clinic to learn more.