If you’re wondering whether or not your skincare concern is something a doctor should evaluate, use the following criteria to determine if an appointment with the dermatologist is warranted:
1. Cystic acne or stubborn acne that won’t go away with over-the-counter products. An anti-acne product containing benzoyl peroxide and another containing salicylic acid (both of which are available without prescription), when combined with a gentle, healing skincare routine, can keep most mild to moderate breakouts under control. However, if after 2 to 3 months of consistent use, they aren’t working for you, then seeing a dermatologist is a must.
2. Red marks left over from acne or blemishes. Generally, red marks left over from a blemish resolve on their own, and gentle skincare products containing antioxidants and salicylic acid can absolutely speed the process. For unknown reasons, red marks sometimes do not respond to these wonderful over-the-counter products. A dermatologist can step in with laser or light-emitting treatments that can make a significant improvement, potentially eliminating the mark(s) altogether!
3. Itching and rashes that won’t go away. Eczema and other types of dermatitis are accompanied by uncomfortable or even painful inflammation, uncontrollable itching and irritation, or flaking skin that won’t go away. Be sure you aren’t allergic to or having a reaction to the products you use, and make sure you use fragrance- and dye-free products, which is really important for all skin types. If you’re doing that, but the problem still doesn’t go away, then see a dermatologist. A dermatologist can prescribe medications that may finally take care of these bothersome skin dilemmas. You can try applying an over-the-counter cortisone cream to see if that does the trick, but if not, then bite the bullet and make that appointment.