Dermatologists are a particular kind of doctor who specializes in skin, hair, nails and mucous membranes. They treat all kinds of abnormal conditions related to these body parts. They can provide cosmetic services and they also can diagnose and treat different types of skin cancer, inflammatory disorders and infections.
When you should visit a dermatologist?
If you suffer from a chronic skin condition, the most likely is that you already have a regular dermatologist. However, if you are currently healthy or suffer from a mild condition that you are not sure if it is worth going to a doctor for, then there are a few things you should know.
The truth is that is never too early to go to a dermatologist. You may feel perfectly fine, but most specialists agree in that everyone should go for a checkup at least once per year. This is mainly to increase the chances of early detection of skin cancer. Small children and newborns should also see dermatologist during their first years. This can help detect possible harmful or abnormal conditions and also to educate parents in what is or isn’t normal about their children’s skin. After all, the skin of small children is especially delicate.
Also, here are a few other reasons one might decide to go to a dermatologist:
If after 2 or 3 months of treatment with over-the-counter skin-care products you still suffer from cystic or persistent acne.
Constantly changing skin discolorations or wounds that never heal.
Experience skin irritation, itching or rashes that never go away.
You want to remove leftover marks of acne or other skin conditions.
One important thing to point out is that dermatologists are trained to deal with pathologies or abnormal skin conditions. They are not trained to be experts on cosmetics. So, if you have a lot of questions about creams or other beauty products, a dermatologist should not be your first option when looking for answers. Unless there is some health-related reason to do so.
How to Find the Best Dermatologist
Now that you know when to look for a dermatologist, is time to find one. For Pakistan, there are several databases with a lot of information about doctors. The Pakistan Association of Dermatologists is a comprehensive list with doctor’s experience and other information. There are other reliable services if you want to find the best dermatologist near you based on a dermatologist’s qualifications, read other patient’s reviews or compare their services and pricing.
How to choose the best dermatologist?
Well, the perfect dermatologist for you may not be the same than the one for somebody else. If you are going to find the perfect fit, then you need to keep an eye on the following things:
Good credentials: A good dermatologist should not only have an appropriate degree. He/she should also be recognized by some institution like a board or an association composed by other dermatologists. It is ideal if your doctor appears as a member of a dermatology group.
Positive online reviews by other patients is a good sign of the doctor’s skillet.
He/she should be patient with you: A good doctor should take his or her time to explain things clearly to you and not be in a rush. Leaving a doctor’s office questions and confusion about your condition is a clear sign of having a bad doctor.
Home network syndrome: If the doctor, nurses or other staff starts to aggressively recommend a particular product, then it may be possible that they don’t have your best interest in mind. Some companies pay large amounts of money to some practices to push their products to their own clients.
Samples: This is not too critical or telling but is still a nice thing. Some dermatologists like to have plenty of free samples of creams and other simple treatments for some of the most common skin conditions. If your doctor is one of those, then, lucky you, you’ll be able to try a treatment for free. Don’t be afraid of asking for free samples, dermatologists are used to it.
Availability: Doctors need personal time too, however, a good doctor will create ways to make him/herself available in case of emergencies. A doctor of lesser quality will follow the work schedule in a much more strict way.
With this information you should be able to find a high quality dermatologist near you.