If you have a skin condition such as eczema, psoriasis, acne, dermatitis, suspicious mole that could be skin cancer or an unidentified rash, your local family physician may refer you to a local dermatologist. A local dermatologist a physician who has trained in treating skin, nail and hair conditions. Skin conditions can be common in people of all ages, and often accompany another medical condition. For example, people with psoriatic arthritis have both arthritis and psoriasis and may work with both a local rheumatologist and a local dermatologist. People with lupus may experience a lupus rash and work with both a local rheumatologist and dermatologist.
A patient with PCOS may suffer from women’s hair loss and work with both a local family physician or gynecologist and a dermatologist. Other skin irritations and conditions can be caused by environmental factors, such as dermatitis from perfume or detergent. Some local dermatologists also perform cosmetic procedures such as dermal fillers and Botox for anti-aging; laser resurfacing for treating sun-damaged skin; and chemical peels for acne scars. If you’d like more information about seeing a local dermatologist, it’s ideal to start by talking to your local family physician.
If your family physician may refer you to a dermatologist to make the diagnosis of atopic dermatitis. The diagnosis will be based on your history of chronic itch, scaling and the characteristic pattern of involvement in different areas of the body. The pattern of atopic dermatitis changes depending on your age. In children, the condition often appears on the head and neck; in adults, it generally appears in the folds of the body (called the antecubital fossa) or the area just by the crook of the elbows, or back of the knees. It can also involve the hands.
Rosacea: Triggered by certain foods, alcohol, stress, sunlight or an intestinal bacteria, rosacea is a chronic skin disease that causes raised red bumps, facial flushing, skin sensitivity and dryness.
• Squamous cell carcinoma: This skin cancer often occurs in areas exposed to the sun, causing red and scaly patches of skin that grow into red bumps
• Vitiligo: Autoimmune destruction of the cells that give skin its colour causes loss of pigment in the skin
• Warts: A contagious virus called human papillomavirus (HPV) causes warts, which may appear in groups or alone