Dermatology focuses on more than just skin

Updated on July 3, 2020

Many people, when they hear the word dermatologist, will instantly think of a medical professional that specializes in the skin, but they also study and treat other parts of the body such as your hair and nails. The skin is the largest organ in your body and is one that is constantly exposed to the elements. It is the part of your body that acts as a natural shield during accidents. The health and condition of your skin provides an indication of your general health. 

Dermatology is a medical specialty that has surgical and medical aspects, and deals with all aspects of conditions with the skin. A dermatologist will be able to identify and offer treatment to thousands of different conditions, ranging from acne to skin cancer.

Skin conditions

There are numerous skin conditions that people can suffer from, with some being extremely common all over the world.  One of the most common is acne, which is most common in teenagers who are going through puberty. Acne can also affect a small percentage of adults. There are many causes of acne and the severity of the condition varies from person to person.

Another common skin condition is dermatitis, which is a very common form of eczema. This is caused when the skin becomes inflamed and can lead to the sufferer having a rash that can be very itchy. Hives are a similar condition to eczema and are something that you can get after eating a food, which causes you an allergic reaction. Insect bites can also be the cause for this condition, which swells the skin slightly and makes it very itchy.

Another very common condition is sunburn, which many people will suffer from during the summer months. Sunburn can be very painful especially in certain places on the body. If you are going to be exposed to the sun for a prolonged period of time regardless of whether you are on the beach or simply outside working, make sure that you use a high factor sunscreen. 

Nail Conditions

As well as your skin, a dermatologist is able to help with conditions with your nails, both on your hands and feet. Nail conditions are common, especially among adults, and though in most cases they are not very painful, if not treated properly they can lead to a bad infection, which could result in a much more serious issue.

If you suffer from swelling and a redness around your finger nail, you most likely have an infection. The medical name for this condition is Paronychia, and is fairly common and can be treated with antibiotics and a lotion that you apply to the infected area.

Another type of nail infection is when your nails begin to raise, which can lead to parts around the edges starting to crack. This condition is called Onycholysis and though usually caused by an infection, may also be the result of a bad manicure or the use of a sharp object to clear your fingernails. Again, this is a condition that is easy to treat, so if you do notice any parts of your nails lifting up, it’s a good idea to check in with your dermatologist, or head over to a website such as where you can find lots of helpful information.

Hair Conditions

Your scalp and hair are frequently exposed to the elements, along with your skin, and conditions with the scalp are fairly common, and sometimes very irritating. 

Suffering from a dry and itchy scalp can cause you discomfort in your everyday life, and is something that you should discuss with your dermatologist, if it’s a condition that you have been suffering from for a long time. Sometimes a simple thing such as a change in shampoo can treat the problem, but in other cases you might need a prescribed lotion or drugs.

The gradual thinning and eventual loss of hair is very common, especially in men. Some people will never experience the thinning or hair or baldness, but the majority of men will. Male-patter baldness is a very common condition that will occur gradually over time. 

If you have noticed that you have experienced sudden hair loss, this is something that may be the result of a variety of causes such as hormonal changes, medication, or even treatments that you might have had done. 

Whatever type of dermatological condition you may be suffering from, it is important that you get professional advice, either by popping into your local specialist, or having an online consultation with a professional. Most conditions can be treated quickly and easily, though others might be more advanced and require urgent medical treatment.

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