When to see a dermatologist?
When you notice any abnormalities or concerning symptoms in any part of your skin, hair, or nails you should see a dermatologist. At times, some skin and nail problems go away without treatment or with home remedies. However, if they don’t, one should not delay consulting a dermatologist. To find an experienced dermatologist near you, visit MFine now.
Therapies used in dermatology
In order to treat a dermatologic issue, a dermatologist may use a variety of therapies to manage your condition. While most involve the use of medication or noninvasive methods, the treatment of some issues may also require a more invasive approach.
Some common therapies used to tackle dermatologic issues are listed below:
This is the most common type of therapy option used by a dermatologist. These topical agents may be in any form – powders, liquids, or in a liquid-oil combination. Considering different factors such as adverse effects, effectiveness, area of use, hydration of the skin, and patient preference, the doctor may choose what form of a topical agent is best suited to tackle a particular situation.
Some examples of topical agents that are used in dermatologic care include:
- Cleansing agents: These include soaps, shampoos, and solvents that are used to clean the skin.
- Anti-inflammatory agents: These are gels, lotions, and creams used to reduce inflammation of the skin.
- Antimicrobial agents: These are antibiotic, antifungal, and antiseptic agents that are used to prevent and treat infections.
- Astringents: These are mostly in powder form and are used to remove excess moisture from areas that are intertriginous.
- Emollients: These are in the form of lotions, bath oils, creams, and ointments and are used to restore moisture to the skin.
- Antipruritic agents: These are antihistamines and local anesthetics generally used to reduce itching of the skin.
- Keratolytic agents: These generally contain salicylic acid and urea and are used to soften the epidermal cells in order to aid exfoliation.
Topical agents are a common prescription and are generally available over the counter in medical stores. Some of these may, however, require a prescription as these may contain certain ingredients in their combination and should only be used as per the advice of a dermatologist.
Topical agents that are used as a medication for common problems are usually available in a particular form. To address the issue in question, the doctor will prescribe a topical agent in the form that will be most effective and suited to your situation.
- Powders are most commonly used for the treatment of lesions appearing in moist areas of the body, such as under the arms of the genitalia.
- Liquid solutions are most commonly used for many areas of the skin due to their convenience in usage. They are believed to, however, dry the skin to an extent.
- Foams and liquid lotions are most commonly used in hairy areas of the body as they tend to absorb well.
- Liquid-oil combination ointments are most commonly used in the treatment of lesions with scales or crusts. These are known to be more effective than creams.
- Liquid-oil combination creams are used for cooling the skin and moisturizing it.
- Liquid baths are used in cases where a large part of the skin on the body is affected.
- Liquid gels are generally used in cases where controlled release of the medication is needed.
Dressings are of two types – occlusive and non occlusive. Occlusive dressings do not allow a lot of airflow and help increase the effectiveness and absorption of topical agents applied underneath. Non-occlusive agents like gauze on the other hand let the airflow to the wound and dry the lesion. This usually speeds up the process of healing.
Dressings are commonly needed as part of dermatologic therapies in order to protect certain affected areas of the skin, improve absorption of topical agents, enhance healing, and protect the clothing of the patient.
Systemic therapies in dermatologic care are those that affect the entire body. Some examples of these are injectable medications, the use of oral antibiotics, immunomodulator drugs, etc.
Laser therapy is used to manage birthmarks, remove tattoos, reduce hair growth, and help in cosmetic rejuvenation and resurfacing. It is also used to treat skin disorders like vitiligo.
This therapy is majorly used to tackle precancerous growth and skin cancer treatment. Phototherapy is also used as a part of various dermatologic therapies.
This is a technique that makes use of extremely cold temperatures in order to destroy unwanted tissues. This is a common dermatologic therapy often used in the treatment for warts, dermatosis, and skin cancers.
This form of therapy is very rarely used but may be advised in certain advanced cases of diagnosis.
This therapy involves a patch test in order to check for contact dermatitis.
Suction blister grafting, punch grafting, and a melanocyte transplant are types of treatment that a vitiligo surgery aids.
This is often accompanied by steroids and chemotherapy
This therapy involves the injection of a dilute anesthetic that results in the area becoming firmer.
Cosmetic filler injections
Injections such as Botox and collagen are used to enhance the cosmetic appearance of the skin.
These are only some of the types of therapies that a dermatologist typically uses to treat conditions affecting the skin, hair, and nails. They may also use a combination of these therapies for better results depending on the severity and extent of the problem.
Any small or major symptom that makes you notice that something is amiss with your normal body function should be given its due attention. When you notice a problem with the skin, hair, or nails and you feel it is something more than a common bump in the road, please book a consultation with an expert dermatologist without any delay. Skin problems, at times, are also indicators of an underlying health problem and should be taken equally seriously as other health problems. To find a dermatologist in your neighborhood, visit MFine and choose from a large database of doctors as per your preference.