3 Reasons to See a Dermatologist

Some skin conditions only cause minor symptoms and don’t have an impact on your quality of life, while others are more severe. Although many of us put off going to a dermatologist unless there’s an emergency—and plenty of appointments have been put on hold since the coronavirus pandemic began—it’s important to get the care you need for your health and prevent problems from becoming worse. Still wondering if it’s worth it to go to a dermatologist? The mid-20s and onward is the perfect age range to start seeing a skin-focused provider regularly each year. Here are the three top reasons to visit your nearest dermatologist if you haven’t already. Not only can we diagnose and treat skin conditions like acne for Tucson and Oro Valley-area patients, but we can also help you manage skin diseases and provide other ways to enhance the appearance of your skin.

Skin Cancer

Skin cancer is the most common type of cancer globally and can become deadly when it spreads. It’s also highly preventable, as well as curable when diagnosed in its earliest stages. Annual skin check-ups by a dermatologist are a critical component of this effort, especially for people who are high risk for skin cancer, such as patients who have numerous or abnormal moles, red or blond hair, light eyes, and fair skin that sunburns easily, who spend a lot of time in the sun, or who live in a sunny or high-altitude area.

Damaged, Aging, or Lackluster Skin

Dermatologists see many patients who are self-conscious about skin that has an irregular tone and texture, or even more severe signs of sun damage and wrinkles. If these are some of your concerns, you can finally get the treatments you need to repair your skin, such as injectables, microneedling, chemical peels, and laser skin resurfacing. A dermatologist can also advise you on the lifestyle changes you need to make to improve your skin health and appearance.

Something’s Bothering You

Many patients are unsure why they’re experiencing rashes, irritation, flaky or scaly areas, hair loss, or other symptoms. Dermatologists diagnose and treat conditions that occur anywhere on the skin, as well as nails and hair. Some of these symptoms can indicate more serious underlying health problems, so trusting your health to a specialist can be key.

If you need to see a dermatologist for a skin condition, the Tucson and Oro Valley-based providers at Ironwood Dermatology are available to answer any of your questions and guide you on what you need for healthier, clearer skin. Call us at 520.618.1630, or submit a contact form to request a consultation.

Stay Aware of Skin Cancer All Year Long

With Skin Cancer Awareness Month having ended months ago, the Ironwood Dermatology team wanted to be sure that this important topic doesn’t get lost amid early fall plans—especially since there’s no start or end date for skin cancer. Arizona residents are used to sunny days, so it stands to reason that they also should be used to properly applying sunscreen, but “should be” and “are” can be miles apart.

There’s no shame in admitting you need a refresher on proper sunscreen use.

Use Enough: The American Academy of Dermatology recommends using an ounce of sunscreen to cover all exposed skin. That’s a shot glass full. Obviously some people are larger and some are smaller, so the amount should be adjusted accordingly. Just know that many people use less sunscreen than is required to be effective.

Start Early: This tip has two meanings. First, you’re never too young to start wearing an age-appropriate sunscreen. One risk factor for skin cancer later in life is frequent sunburns—especially those that blister—in childhood. Develop good skincare habits young, and encourage those around you to do the same. Second, sunscreen requires a little time on the skin before it’s effective at protecting against UV rays, so apply a layer roughly 20 to 30 minutes before going outdoors.

Double Up: One layer for your day is almost certainly not enough, especially if you’re outdoors and active. Apply a new layer of sunscreen every two hours, but be prepared to slather it on sooner if your first application is washed off by the ocean or pool, or if you sweat a lot.

Don’t Skip It: Ultraviolet rays can get to you even if you aren’t exposed under a clear blue sky. Vehicular travel (riding in a car, truck, or van) is a significant source of cumulative sun exposure, and even overcast days don’t protect you from damage. Make it a rule: If you’re going outside, wear sunscreen.

Get it Everywhere: If your skin can see the sun, the sun can damage your skin. It’s easy to remember your nose and arms—or your bare back, if you’re at the beach—but don’t forget the tops of your feet, the tops of your ears, and your scalp, especially if you’ve got thin (or no) hair.

If you’re experiencing the results of a lifetime of poor sunscreen habits, don’t kick yourself. The team at Ironwood Dermatology offers skin cancer screenings, as well as treatments for a range of sun-caused medical and cosmetic problems. Find out more by calling 520.618.1630 or visit www.ironwooddermatology.org.