Published on July 24, 2022

A dermatologist looking at a patient's neck.

Dermatologists provide specialized skin care from head to toe

Dermatologists specialize in treating a wide range of skin conditions, including:

  • Acne
  • Athlete’s foot
  • Nail problems
  • Eczema and psoriasis
  • Excessive sweating
  • Hair loss
  • Lumps, bumps and spots
  • Rashes
  • Skin cancer and pre-cancerous lesions
  • Skin discoloration and pigmentation issues

Patients who have a concern about their skin can schedule a visit with their primary care provider and a referral will be made to a dermatologist, if needed. Some dermatologists also allow patients to self-schedule without a referral.

When someone visits a dermatologist for the first time, it is typically for the evaluation of a growth, a rash or an abnormal area of skin. The area may itch, burn or even cause pain.

A dermatologist can help treat these and other skin conditions with topical medications, oral medications, injections, or light or laser therapy. They will work with you to develop a personalized plan of care.

"Skin conditions can occur for anyone, at any time" said Krisztian Nemeth, MD, a dermatologist with ProHealth Medical Group. "It’s important to be on the lookout for any changes in your skin."

Spots including freckles or moles can change in size, shape, color or texture and become concerning. Areas of concern that don’t heal in four to six weeks should be examined.

Places where the skin is broken can become infected and lead to serious complications over time. These issues may result in scarring or permanent changes in skin pigment.

People at risk for skin conditions due to age, immune deficiencies or chronic health issues, including diabetes, need to visit their doctor about any skin problem as soon as possible.

Many teenagers experience acne as a result of hormonal changes. Hair follicles can become clogged and bacteria can overgrow on the skin. A dermatologist can prescribe medication and recommend hygiene practices that help reduce, contain or even cure acne outbreaks.

Women also may experience breakouts due to the hormonal changes that occur with menstruation. Pregnancy and the stages of menopause can contribute to acne and other skin problems as well.

Rosacea is a common acne-like condition that typically affects people ages 30 to 60. It can result in facial redness and acne-like pimples. If it is not treated early, it can cause broken blood vessels or thickening of the skin, especially on the nose.

Hidradenitis suppurativa is a painful, recurring condition that causes red lumps, or boils, where skin rubs together. It typically occurs in the armpits, groin and lower body, as well as under the breasts.

The boils can ooze, grow and become more painful.

"See a dermatologist for symptoms of hidradenitis suppurativa as soon as possible," said Krisztian Nemeth, MD, is a board-certified dermatologist who practices at the ProHealth Medical Group. "If left untreated, it can cause tunnels to form beneath the skin, making it worse and more challenging to treat."

Dermatologists are accustomed to treating all kinds of skin conditions, and hidradenitis suppurativa is no exception. Your provider can recommend treatment options that include lifestyle changes, topical medications, pills and minimally invasive surgical procedures.

Excessive sun exposure increases the chance of developing certain types of skin cancers. It is also a significant factor in premature aging of the skin and can worsen rosacea.

"To help prevent skin damage and skin cancer, avoid the sun from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m.," Dr. Nemeth said. "Wear sunscreen, UV-protective clothing, sunglasses and a wide-brimmed hat to reduce exposure. Your sunscreen should have at least SPF 30, and don’t forget to reapply it every one to two hours."

Schedule a visit with your primary care provider or a dermatologist if you have a question or concern about your skin. Be sure to follow up if your provider recommends additional care.