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We learned from a very early age that the skin is the largest organ on our bodies. We also learned that the skin has quite a number of important functions. Some of which include protecting our inner organs from harmful sun-rays, bacteria and various infections. One of the most interesting facts about the skin is that it varies from one section on our bodies to another. If you keenly study your face, the palms of your hands, your knuckles and the area surrounding your nails, you will notice this difference.
Dermatology is the field of medicine that deals with detecting, treating and managing skin conditions as they occur. It is a very broad field that specializes in diseases such as skin cancers, eczema, acne and every other causative agent associated with skin conditions. Specialists in this field are called dermatologists.
Being the largest organ in our bodies, it is understandable that the skin is exposed to a great deal of conditions that often lead to different kinds of ailments. These ailments include minor irritations like rushes, cuts, and burns to more serious ones such as skin cancer or eczema. Some of these conditions can be treated by the use of simple ointments and may not require a prescription. Some, however, can be rather persistent and extreme.
Most of these skin conditions, unless it is a severe allergic reaction, do not appear overnight. There are often warning signs that can be detected well in advance of a distinct manifestation. Although you are not required to see a dermatologist every time you have a little lesion, it is advisable that you make an appointment whenever you see something out of order. Some of the early warning signs that you should be on the lookout for include:
Persistent acne: Acne is by far the most common of skin conditions. There are mild cases that do not require major medical attention and can be treated with simple over-the-counter medication. However, some acne cases run rampant and require special attention from a dermatologist. When you begin to realize that your acne is persistent (meaning it will not go away even after the use of OTC medication) then it is time that you saw a dermatologist. Acne that runs for two weeks or more can be categorized as persistent and warrants special attention. This might be the symptom of a much bigger and deeper underlying condition that may eventually compromise other body organs.
Unusual lesions and other attributes: Although the skin varies from one body part to another, it does have a distinctly uniform and natural look. When you begin to see little or large moles, strange growths, inexplicable breaks, paling and discoloration, then you should treat these as warning signs and find yourself a dermatologist. Additionally, if you get severe blisters, sunburns and heightened sensitivity, you need to consult with a dermatologist just so you can rule out any major underlying issues and get some relief.
A history of skin cancer: If you have a documented history of skin cancer, then it is best that you get frequent cancer screening by an experienced dermatologist. This process requires state of the art equipment and might just be the procedure that keeps you from developing full blown skin cancer. Screening ensures that you have the added advantage of taking necessary measures to prevent the disease from occurring.
Eczema: This is almost as common as acne. It is characterized by irritating itches, moles, ruptures and lesions that often contain some watery excretions. Eczema should be treated with great care and calls for the attention of a dermatologist.
Dermatologists from all over the world have literature and proper skin care advice readily available for every single one of us. There is a need for us to take better care of our skins. From the kind of foods we eat, to regular whole body skin inspections, skin care education is one of the most effective tools we have in the fight against skin conditions.