The Student News Site of Tarrant County College

The Collegian

The Student News Site of Tarrant County College

The Collegian

The Student News Site of Tarrant County College

The Collegian

Viewpoint – Dermatologist visits need to be prioritized

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By Kathryn Kelman/editor-in-chief

While people typically visit dentists and general physicians regularly, visits to the dermatologist are rare.

People often wait to make an appointment until they’re struggling with things like acne, eczema, psoriasis or unexplainable rashes. But with the threat of skin cancer, people should step into a dermatologist’s office sooner and more often.

The surgeon general issued a call to action regarding the threat of skin cancer in 2014 because every year 63,000 new cases of melanoma, the deadliest form of skin cancer, pop up, which results in about 9,000 deaths annually.

The most commonly diagnosed cancer in the U.S. is skin cancer. Five million people are treated for it every year.

Skin is the body’s largest organ, and while things like acne spots and scars are fairly normal, inconsistent moles or freckles and unexplainable rashes definitely are not.

Yearly visits to the dermatologist for checkups are important as they could not only solve surface issues, but also save your life.

In addition to regular checkups, people should also conduct self-checks regularly for irregular spots, marks and moles on themselves between checkups. You shouldn’t wait for a yearly visit if you notice anything unusual that doesn’t go away after a few days, like random itching, a painful sunburn, unexplained redness and brown spots. Anything strange that lingers is a good reason to seek out a professional to have it checked out.

While dermatologists are best known for taking care of skin, they can also help with hair and nail issues, in addition to performing cosmetic procedures to improve appearance of one’s skin and provide advice to help one care for their skin at home.

To find a dermatologist in the area, people can visit the American Academy of Dermatology’s website. Recommendations from friends and family are also valuable, but always double-check to make sure the person referred is legitimate, i.e. certified by the American Board of Dermatology. This can also be done through the same website.

And last but not least, always use sunscreen.

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