When is it time to consult a dermatologist?

. 4 min read

It can be a daunting task to accept that there is something going on with your skin or hair but that doesn’t mean that you should ignore it. You may be tempted to try home remedies or use over-the-counter medications (OTC’s) but doctors always advise against it. Based on your skin or hair type, home remedies can cause adverse reactions that can aggravate an already existing medical skin or hair condition.

So how do you differentiate between when it is just a bad skin or hair day vs. when its something more serious? That’s what this blog post is all about!

1. A sudden rash: allergy or skin concern?
Rashes are not an everyday occurence and mustn’t be ignored. They are easily noticeable and some of them can be quite itchy. If you spend long hours outdoors under the scorching rays of the sun, you want to make sure you make a routine appointment with a certified dermatologist to check up on the condition of your skin. Exposure to the sun can cause premature ageing, pigmentation, sunburns, tanning and can possibly lead to the development of skin cancer.

Dermatologists will do more than just prescribing you a sunscreen or aloe vera gel. These qualified doctors will take into account your skin type and medical history before prescribing medications that will aid the treatment of your current skin or hair condition.

Pro tip: A good treatment plan will not only have medical advice and medicines but lifestyle and diet advice as well.

2. Losing too many strands a day
We can be a bit casual about dandruff or even mild hair loss but it is actually a sign of an unhealthy scalp when the condition is worsening. Dandruff can have many causes - including how often you wash or brush your hair. It may also indicate inflammation due to an underlying condition (like psoriasis, or eczema), or be a symptom of hormonal changes.

Dermatologists are best equipped to manage and cure both skin and hair related issues. Rather than falling prey to popular cosmetic products claiming to cure dandruff or stop hair-loss, consult with a dermatologist.

Pro tip: Make sure you discuss your lifestyle and family medical history with your dermatologist so they can prescribe a customised treatment plan for you.

3. Overly flushed, pink cheeks
Rosacea is a condition that causes excessive reddening of the cheeks and nose. While it may look like your skin is flushed or be envied as a natural blush, you want to be wary of this skin condition. If left untreated, Rosacea can worsen causing acne, pimples or eye irritation.

Hear what Dr. Ankita has to say about Rosacea.

Pro tip: Consult with a dermatologist if you notice excessive redness on your face, leave the home remedies and topical treatments behind.

4. Persistent acne or post-acne spots
Acne is one of the leading skin concerns of young people, but adults can experience it too. We don’t mean an occasional pimple on your forehead or the blackheads on your nose. We mean persistent, sometimes painful acne which can be on your face and even your back. While acne is more common and more severe in males than in females due to androgens (male hormones), it is a medical condition that requires a prescribed treatment from a qualified dermatologist.

We have covered acne in detail in a three-part series on How to Understand Acne Better, answering the most common questions asked about acne and its causes. If you are frustrated with acne or pimples, it is advisable to consult a dermatologist and explain your unique case in detail to them so that they can prepare a custom plan for you.

Pro tip: Remember, the reasons causing acne can vary from person to person. So don’t just opt for that facemask your friend used or that cream you saw on TV.

5. Dark and light patches on your skin
Unfortunately, many Indians aren’t fond of their skin colour but we believe that ‘beauty has no skin tone!’. However, pigmentation is vastly different than a naturally darker skin tone. So how do you go about differentiating the underlying cause of your darker skin is?

Skin discolouration, also known as skin pigmentation, is a common phenomenon and most of us don’t know how to deal with it. It causes a lot of psychological distress while some may be a sign of health problems. Factors such as the sun, inflammatory skin disorders, hormonal fluctuations, genetics, are all taken into account while skin discolouration is diagnosed.

Pigmentation is caused by the changes of melanin, which is the pigment that gives human skin, hair, and eyes their colour. When you have pigmentation, your skin appears dull as the natural skin tone is uneven - whether it's because of dark spots or acne scars. Many have this idea that pigmentation just refers to dark spots, but that is simply not true. There are different types of pigmentation and not all respond to the same treatment, that's why it's crucial to diagnose them by a certified dermatologist before treating them.

Pro tip: Do not fall victim to fairness creams, they can have several harmful side effects which can damage your skin.

6. Eye bags:
Most of us struggle to maintain a balanced, healthy life and often underestimate the value of a good night’s sleep. Unfortunately, it’s not easy to cheat dark circles and piling on concealer is not going to address the root cause. So you might think, what if I sleep more or take a vacation, will that get rid of my dark circles?

Dermatologists state that dark circles can be caused by more than just stress and lack of sleep. It could be symptoms from a nutritional deficiency, a genetic influence or even constant dehydration. A dermatologist will be able to prescribe a personalised treatment for you based on your unique condition that can get rid of those dark circles for good.

Pro tip: Avoid rubbing your eyes profusely and make sure you take off any makeup before you go to bed.

It may be hard to figure out when it is time to see a dermatologist - but you’d rather be safe than sorry. A skin or hair condition could mean you may be suffering an underlying medical condition. When you approach our dermatologists for answers - they do more than just prescribe you generalised medications. After you fill up a 5-minute, online consultation form briefly describing you and your medical history, you will have the option of uploading pictures of your condition on the form. In 24 hours of payment, you will be emailed a customised treatment plan that suits your skin or hair type. You are close to a solution - consult our dermatologists today!