Among all your organs, your skin is the largest. It shields your body from the elements, regulates body temperature, and fights bacteria.
Like other organs, it's susceptible to cancer. Annual skin cancer diagnoses in the US exceed those of every other cancer combined.
When caught early, most cases of skin cancer are curable, which is why your dermatologist appointment should be among your top priorities.
Dermatologists are doctors who specialize in treating conditions affecting the skin, nails, and hair. These doctors receive three years of medical training related to skin care after completing medical school and an internship. Most dermatologists attend to a wide variety of skincare issues, but some specialize in surgery, cosmetics, and pediatrics among others.
In addition to helping detect cancer early, your dermatologist can treat other various skin health problems—psoriasis, acne, hair loss, and hives—and carry out cosmetic procedures such as wart removal and scar removal.
When to Schedule an Emergency Visit
Dermatological emergencies are rare, but it's important to know them because they are potentially fatal. Examples of such emergencies include bacterial and viral infections.
Bacterial infections such as erysipelas and cellulitis warrant an immediate trip to your dermatologist's office. Erysipelas is a Streptococcus pyogenes infection of the superficial dermis, and cellulitis is a Staphylococcus aureus infection of the deep dermis.
The herpes simplex virus causes eczema herpeticum, which often occurs on the face around the eyes. In extreme cases, the condition can lead to severe conditions (e.g., hepatitis, encephalitis, and keratoconjunctivitis) or even death.
In case of any severe symptoms on your skin, call a qualified dermatologist in the DFW area immediately.