You may think of a dermatologist – a doctor specialising in all aspects of skin health – as someone you’d visit for emergencies only. An unexplained rash, lesion or extreme case of acne, for example. Or perhaps you associate them more with aesthetics and would view regular visits as a luxury.
The truth is a dermatologist offers a wide range of services and can play an important role in all aspects of skin health and beauty. And everyone, regardless of age and skin condition, would benefit from regular appointments to keep their complexion looking and feeling its best. Here are 7 reasons to keep your dermatologist on speed dial:
1. Skin cancer screenings
We’d all head straight to our GP for an urgent dermatology referral if we found a misshapen mole or worrying new mark. But far better to pre-empt emergencies by having regular skin screenings. Whether you’re a sun worshipper or not, it pays to keep on top of sun damage, pigmentation and pre-cancerous skin changes – something your dermatologist’s expert eye and equipment can do with ease. They’ll check, for example, for early signs like actinic keratosis, which can develop into squamous cell carcinomas. Malignant melanoma is the sixth most common cancer in the UK, rates are rising, and early detection is key to effective treatment. Non-melanoma skin cancer is the most common type of cancer by far and, while it has a high cure rate, it’s still important to identify and treat swiftly.
2. To diagnose and treat skin conditions
Is it acne, just a breakout, or perhaps rosacea? Is your skin just dry or is there an underlying skin disease like eczema or dermatitis you need to address? Whatever your skin condition, there’s no need to suffer in silence – or spend valuable time and money trying out unsuitable products – when a dermatologist could assess, diagnose and find an effective solution.
3. For acne and breakouts at any age
No one likes to be spotty and frequent breakouts, oily skin and enlarged pores can be a nuisance at any age. Indeed, adult acne is a common concern, often made worse by factors like poor diet, pollution and hormonal changes around pregnancy, oral contraceptive use or menopause. GPs have limited resources when it comes to treating acne. A dermatologist, however, can prescribe highly effective oral and topical drugs as well as treatments using acid peels, light treatments, lasers, fractional resurfacing and more.
4. To brighten and smooth your complexion
You may not have serious concerns, like skin disease or wrinkles, but a dermatologist can still help boost a complexion that appears dull, lacklustre or uneven in colour and texture. Sun damage can show at any age, but your consultant can prescribe products and treatments including vitamin C, retinols, peptides, peels, mesotherapy and lasers, to brighten, smooth and make your skin its most radiant.
5. To help fight lines, wrinkles and pigmentation
From around the 30s onwards, skin starts to show signs of ageing and sun damage. Regular consultations in the dermatology clinic will help you to slow and offset those signs, and evolve your skincare as the years pass. From injectables to lasers, PRP and microneedling to photo rejuvenation and laser resurfacing, there are a wealth of ways to keep you looking youthful and fresh, and minimise the appearance of lines, wrinkles and laxity.
6. Because the French do ...
And they know a thing or two about looking good at they age. Culturally, it is considered pretty normal to seek the advice of a dermatologist in France.The French take their skin care advice very seriously - and they're not afraid to spend hard cash on looking good. They spend over £1.9 billion every year on anti-ageing product, double the UK spend. So steal one of our Gallic cousin's trick and prioritise your face.
7. For skincare and product advice from a pro
From the supermarket to the pharmacy, beauty emporiums to medi-clinics, there’s a staggering array of skincare products out there to choose from, plus a constant stream of technological innovations. It’s easy to feel confused and spend a fortune trying to find the best skincare regime for you. Regular visits to a dermatologist will help you to build a rapport, save hours of research, and transform your skin with personalised product and treatment suggestions. Put simply, it’s the best beauty hack there is.