For your first visit, you should carry the following things:
1. A list that describes your symptoms in detail (When, What, How Long).
2. Any recent (<1 year) medical investigations such as blood reports, etc.
3. A list of current medications your doctor has prescribed.
4. Any photographs you might have taken of the condition in its initial stages.
A dermatologist is a doctor whose specialty involves treating conditions of the skin, hair & nails. At your first visit, your doctor will ask you symptoms of your condition, a detailed history and will conduct a physical examination. If necessary, he may prescribe investigative tests to find out the underlying condition. Moreover, he may also prescribe topical or systemic medication, depending on your diagnosis.
As dermatology deals with the skin, hair and nails, you need to visit the dermatologist for:
Skin: Pimples, Psoriasis, Dandruff, Cold sores, Hives, white spots, Boil, Warts, Skin outgrowth etc.
Hair & Scalp: Hair fall ,Hair loss, Dryness of hair ,Dandruff, Scalp acne, Scalp folliculitis, Scalp ringworm, Folliculitis, Alopecia aerate etc.
Nails: Pain & swelling in nails, Discoloration, changes of texture of nails.
The most common procedures for men and women are cosmetic dermatological procedures such as acne removal, hair implant, chemical peel, laser skin treatment & fat reduction.
Men – wart removal. Cyst removal, laser hair reduction, laser treatment for pigmentation
Women – Acne & acne scar , Laser hair removal , Botox , Fillers , skin pigmentation
Hair loss happens to everyone, averaging 50 – 100 hair per day. Presence of bald patches or extreme thinning suggests a need for treatment.
After you meet your dermatologist, he may suggest one of the following treatments, depending on the extent of hair loss
Medicine, Mesotherapy, PRP, Hair Transplantation (if required)
A healthy diet affects skin conditions in the following ways:
- Dietary intervention steers the course of the disease (acne)
- Dermatological diseases are linked to systemic diseases; thus a regular diet affects the health in a positive way, leading to a favorable outcome (psoriasis)
- A healthy diet can assist in preventing certain dermatological conditions (skin cancer, wrinkles)
- Systemic medication (steroids) prescribed for dermatological conditions may increase the risk of other diseases. A regular diet helps reduce that risk
For example, in the case of food allergies, there is a direct relationship between diet and skin conditions.
Consumption of certain foods like chocolate, sea food, nuts dairy can lead to flare up of acne
A fruit and vegetable based diet, rich in antioxidants and vitamin C & E can reduce the risks of skin cancer; a diet rich in meat, and full fat dairy increases the risk.
A diet with high sugar content accelerates the rate of aging skin; herbs such as cinnamon, garlic, ginger, oregano & lipoic acid found in certain fruits and vegetables decelerates the rate of aging skin
Dietary intervention in psoriasis reduces the cardiovascular risk. A diet rich in fruits and vegetables, whole grains & omega 3 fatty acids is recommended.
Depending on your need and the condition of your skin & hair, there are several products that can help in maintaining your skin and hair. There are natural as well as synthetic products, each with their respective advantages. Natural skin products such as olive oil, multani mitti (Fuller’s earth), yogurt, honey, papaya, potato, cucumber (dark circles). Natural hair products such as yogurt, egg, coconut oil can be used. Use unscented, hypoallergic and non-comedogenic creams, lotions and makeup.
Acne is one of the most common skin diseases worldwide. Around 80% of people, between the ages of 11 – 30, suffer from acne. Depending on the type of acne, your dermatologist will provide you several treatment options.
Mild acne (whiteheads, blackheads or pimples) is treated by gentle washing with warm water and mild soap. Application of benzoyl peroxide & salicylic acid is recommended.
Moderate to severe acne (nodules, cysts) is treated by a combination of therapies. These include application of benzoyl peroxide, draining of large pimples & cysts by a medical professional, application of retinoids, gels, creams, topical antibiotics. In some cases, oral antibiotics & retinoids may be prescribed.
Hair transplant is a restorative procedure where hair follicles are transplanted from the back of the scalp (donor site) to the thinning area or bald spot (recipient site). As it is an auto transplant (your own follicles are used), there is a greater chance of success with the hair growing out is the same texture and colour.
The hair starts growing naturally within 2 to 3 months, completing in 8 to 10 months. It is one of the best methods in later stage of hair loss. We insist on regular followups and regular medical management for the maintenance of hair for at least one year.
The sun’s UV rays can be detrimental to our skin. Prolonged exposure to the sun leads to the UV rays passing the superficial layers to reach the deeper layers, leading to damaging or killing the cells. Chronic exposure may result in skin cancer.
You can reduce the damage caused by the sun in the following ways:
- Use sunscreen with SPF 30 or higher
- Limit your exposure in the sun, especially between 10 am to 2 pm
- Gentle Exfoliate , removing the dead skin on a regular basis
- Reapply sunscreen every 2-3 hours
- Hydrate often and adequately
- Topical ointments with vitamin C reduce the damage
- Use protective gloves while driving to reduce exposure
- Visit a dermatologist regularly
Any product used on your skin should make it smooth, soft and clean. If there is any dryness, rash, inflammation, cracking, formation of scales or any allergic reaction, the product is not right for you.
One need to choose face wash, sunscreen & night cream on the basis of skin type like dry normal or oily skin .
Test new products on a small area on the forearm before using all over your body.
If doctor prescribes any medicine he /she does align for side effects, in normal circumstances there are no side effects but in case there is contact your dermatologist .
Timing is extremely crucial when treating skin cancer as the earlier the diagnosis, the better the chances of treatment. Thus, there are a few self-checks one can conduct:
- any change in shape, size, color of existing moles
- Check areas that are not exposed to the sun, not limited to underneath the nails
- Know what you are looking for:
a) Melanoma – a new spot that may change color, size or shape
b) Basal cell carcinoma – A lump or dry scaly area, which is red, pale or pearly in color
c) Squamous cell carcinoma – Thickened, red, scaly spot that may ulcerate or bleed easily
The sun UV rays damage the skin, leading to sun burn, hyperpigmentation or in some cases, skin cancer. Sunscreen is used to protect our skin from these harmful rays. UV rays are of two types – UVA & UVB. UVA prematurely wrinkles your skin & UVB causes damage to the skin, resulting in sunburn. The best type of sunscreen protects the skin from both.
SPF is sun protection factor, which calculates how well our skin is protected from UVB rays. While SPF 30 is better than SPF 15, it isn’t twice as protective. Thus, it is better to choose a broad-spectrum sunscreen (protects from both UVA & UVB) rather than SPF
Application of sunscreen is equally important as is the type of sunscreen used. One must reapply every 4 hours. If you are swimming or sweating, apply every 2 hourly. It should be applied on the skin exposed to the sun, including ears, bridge of the nose and back of the neck.
While sunscreen is effective in protecting the skin, it is still limited protection. Try to cover up yourself during the day, especially between 10 am to 2pm and avoid sun exposure whenever possible.
Depending on the type of treatment and the condition of the patient, you will be asked for post-treatment follow ups