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6 Signs it's time to see a dermatologist

Elizabeth Mitchell is a freelance fashion and beauty writer living in Los Angeles. A graduate of New York University, she regularly contributes to The Fashion Spot, The Luxury Spot and authors the Star Style column for StyleBakery Teen. ...

Doctor's orders

When it comes to your hair, skin and nails, there are certain signs you simply must not ignore. We asked several top dermatologists to tell us what they are!

Woman visiting dermatologist

1

You're suddenly super sweaty or are dealing with excessively dry skin

Notice that you've been sweating a lot more than normal lately, or conversely, that your skin has become extremely dry? Then you might have a hormonal imbalance, according to Dr. David Bank, Director at The Center for Dermatology, Cosmetic and Laser Surgery in Mount Kisco, New York.

Excessive sweating, also known as hyperhidrosis, is often brought on by thyroid problems, diabetes or other infections, he explains. "There are a number of causes for dry skin as well. Again, it could be a thyroid problem or a development of a multitude of different skin conditions, such as psoriasis or eczema. You may simply be using the wrong moisturizer too,” he notes. As you age, your skin tends to get drier and a thicker moisturizer is necessary.

2

You develop a rash

Many people tend to ignore rashes and assume they'll just go away on their own. But it turns out, the longer you wait, the harder they are to diagnose! Board-certified dermatologist and dermatologic surgeon Dr. Michael Gold of Gold Skin Care Center in Nashville, Tennessee, advises making an appointment with your dermatologist as soon as you develop a rash. "For example, if it's contact dermatitis we're dealing with, we need to see the rash the day it comes up, otherwise it may look like one of the other rashes we observe daily."

3

You notice more hair in your brush or shower drain

While hair loss can be related to genetics, it can also be linked to a variety of other concerns, like skin diseases, points out Dr. Gold. "These aren't just cut and dry hair concerns, and many need a medical workup that dermatologists can routinely do in their offices through biopsies and/or blood tests."

4

You spot a growing freckle or mole

See a freckle or mole that seems to be growing in size? Board certified dermatologist Dr. Charles Griff of Dermatology Depot Medical Spa says it's best to head to your dermatologist stat. "Issues related to skin cancer are fairly easy to treat as long as you catch them early on," he warns.

5

You've never had a skin exam

Skin cancer affects one in five Americans, and it doesn't discriminate as far as age and race go, informs board certified dermatologist Dr. Lisa Chipps. "If you've never had a skin exam, it's a good idea to have one now. A dermatologist can not only check out your moles, but can advise you on how to keep your skin healthy and beautiful."

6

Your nails are yellowing or very brittle

Eek! Believe it or not, yellowing or brittle nails are commonly due to a fungal infection. Dr. Bank recommends visiting your dermatologist ASAP, who can treat the issue with oral and/or topical medications. "Lack of protein and moisture can also result in brittle, cracked nails," he discloses.

More skin care advice

The 8-step guide to clear skin
5 Steps to brighter skin
6 Skin care secrets from Hollywood starlets

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