As with most things related to your health, there’s a lot of care for your skin that can be done at home. From developing healthy eating habits and getting away from fatty and oily foods to investing in a good skincare routine, there’s a lot you can do for your skin to improve its condition. However, there are times when a little TLC simply isn’t going to be enough. Dermatologists are experts in matters relating to the health of the skin and, sometimes, it’s worth calling them in. Here are a few indications of when you should get in touch with them.

You’ve noticed a sudden change to a mole or patch of skin

Sometimes, changes to your skin can be gradual, a reflection of changes in your environment or body that are worth a closer look at. However, if you ever notice a patch of skin or a mole on your skin has suddenly changed in its size, color, shape, or how it feels, then you should get in touch as soon as possible. It’s not necessarily going to be the worst-case scenario, but it is with noting that these sudden changes are consistent with the appearance of skin cancer. Visit your dermatologist so you can diagnose it as soon as possible and get the best chance of a positive outcome, or get the diagnosis that it’s safe, allowing you to rest easy.

Acne isn’t going away

The vast majority of us are going to deal with a breakout of pimples or acne at some point, and they can be especially prevalent during times of hormonal change, such as in puberty or in pregnancy. However, if you’re dealing with stubborn acne and over-the-counter prescriptions aren’t dealing with it, then you might want to talk to a dermatologist about it. There are several different treatments for acne, but the one that will be the most effective for you might be dependent on the particulars of your breakouts or other aspects of your lifestyle.

There’s inflammation and redness

If you’re experiencing symptoms like inflammation (swelling in patches of the skin) redness and itchiness, then there’s a good chance that it may be a condition such as eczema or rosacea. Aside from being particularly frustrating and causing some body image issues in the people that experience them, these issues can worsen over time, leading to things like oozing and crusting, as well as thickened skin in the long run. These symptoms may be less noticeable at certain periods, then flare up at different times, often in response to changes in the weather such as heat and dryness. A dermatologist can help you get a better idea of which issue, exactly, might be affecting you, and what you can do about it.

Dry and scaly skin

Another couple of symptoms that can be very common for persistent and annoying skin conditions, you should also talk to your dermatologist if you’re experiencing dryness in your skin and, furthermore, if your skin gets flaky and scaly, and falls away when you scratch it. Aside from being an embarrassing issue to deal with, this is a very common issue with both eczema and psoriasis. Treating eczema versus psoriasis can use different kinds of skincare treatments and medication, which is why trying to self-diagnose skin issues can be counter-productive. Your dermatologist is going to be able to tell the difference between the conditions with more certainty, ensuring you don’t waste time and money using the wrong treatments on your skin.

Issues with your nails, as well

Dermatologists may specialize in the skin, but that doesn’t mean that they don’t have other qualifications, as well. Dermatologists also provide treatments for your nails. In particular, our nails can be very prone to host yeast infections, as well as bacteria, viruses, and fungi. As well as treating skin infections, dermatologists can help us treat nail infections. Fungal nail infections tend to be the most common among these. Some of the symptoms worth a closer look can include issues like a discolored nail, a feeling that the nail is brittle, crumbly, or has rough and jagged edges if it’s feeling particularly thick, and if it’s separated from the nail bed or distorted in shape.

If you’re shedding hair

Your hair may also lie within the realm of things that your dermatologist can help you treat. We all lose some hair each day, so if you’re losing strands here and there, that might not be too much to worry about. However, if you’re starting to shed a much more noticeable quantity of hair, if your hair is starting to thin, or if any bald patches are appearing, it’s worth taking a look at. There are several various causes of hair loss, and some of them can be relatively easy to treat. Your dermatologist can take a look, help you find the root causes, and recommend the right medications or in-office treatments that can help you protect your hair and ensure that it continues to grow healthily in the future.

Scanning for skin cancer

As we have already mentioned, any particularly sudden or noticeable changes in patches of skin or moles could be a sign of skin cancer that is well worth checking out. However, even if you don’t have any notable changes that you want to take a look at, skin cancer is one of the types that you should be getting screened for on a semi-regular basis, anyway. Most dermatologists and oncologists (who specialize in the treatment of cancer) would recommend that you get screened for skin cancer once a year. Even if it’s not visible to your, a dermatologist may be able to catch it early, which can make it much easier to treat.

Treating the skin can be a tricky issue, especially since there are several conditions that can act similarly, but require different treatments. If you’re ever at a loss for which step to take next to improve your skin condition, you should be turning to a dermatologist, not the internet.