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Ask Dr. Schultz | Skin Care Guides | Skin Care Solutions: Should You Visit Your Dermatologist or DIY?

Skin Care Solutions: Should You Visit Your Dermatologist or DIY?

As satisfying as it is to handle a skin care issue all on your own, there is a fine line between the skin care concerns you can self-treat and those you should let the professionals handle. It’s understandable that you can’t expect to pop into the office for every pimple that surfaces (although, if you’re one of Dr. Schultz’s regular patients, you can!). But do you know which kinds of skin care concerns do warrant a trip to the doctor? Here’s some insight into a few skin issues you can solve at home and the times when a trip to the dermatologist’s office is highly recommended.

Definitely Visit Your Dermatologist’s Office

A great rule of thumb for the kinds of skin care treatments you should leave to the professionals is when those treatments require tools! If the procedure could eventually require a needle or comedone extractor, it should be dealt with by your dermatologist to make sure your skin is in steady, experienced hands. If these skin issues come up, it’s time to book a date with your dermatologist:

Extractions: “How hard could pimple-popping really be?” you may ask yourself. The answer is: pretty difficult! Self-treating breakouts on your skin can result in pain, scarring, or infection. Extractions at the dermatologist are the only safe way to remove a blackhead, whitehead, or deep cyst. For the deep-rooted, painful nodules, dermatologists might even inject a cyst with corticosteroid to speed the healing process and reduce the risk of scarring. Next time you want to get rid of a problem blemish, leave the pimple popping to the professionals.

Botox: Botox injections are perfectly safe, as long as they are being administered by a professional. Other than the simple fact that Botox is a prescription-only product in the United States, it is extremely dangerous to be poking and prodding your skin without proper medical training and you should always see a doctor who regularly treats facial muscles. While getting Botox at your dermatologist’s office can offer a huge improvement in your skin’s appearance, there are plenty of at-home products to help you safely reduce the appearance of aging skin as well, and we’ll discuss those in the next section.

Moles: Whether you’re following a Facebook group dedicated to at-home skin care remedies or you’re addicted to r/skincareaddicts on Reddit, be wary of the DIY solutions offered up for mole removal in forums. The forum-recommended castor oil, baking soda, and DIY mole removal kits aren’t as safe as a trip to your dermatologist. Most importantly, your dermatologist will tell you if your mole is potentially harmful to your skin and if it’s necessary to remove it. The ability to look at any marks or moles on your skin and determine their danger level comes with training and experience. For mole removal, don’t follow forums, follow your doctor’s recommendation.

These are, of course, only a few examples of what you should only be treating at your dermatologist's office. But if you're ever worried about a skin condition, your best bet is to always go see your doctor. It's better to needlessly visit the office than to need care and not get it.

Bathroom-Approved Skin Care Solutions

While trips to the dermatologist are necessary in certain cases, there are still plenty of at-home skin care tricks to help put your best face forward. Here are a few things you can handle all by yourself:

Discovering the Perfect Regimen for Your Skin: You don’t need to step foot into an office to figure out the perfect combination of products that are best suited for your skin type. Finding the perfect product has to do with first knowing your skin type, whether it’s normal, oily, dry, or combination. Just this bit of knowledge can help put you on the path to your best skin. Using cleansers that don’t over-dry your skin or moisturizers that are oil-free can be the difference in resolving your skin issues. Additionally, a daily regimen your skin can get used to will cause less irritation in the long run. Use Dr. Schultz’s Regimen Builder to discover what products are perfect for your skin.

Some Sunburns: If you forgot to reapply your sunscreen or forgot to put it on entirely and now you’re feeling the burn, there are definitely some at-home tricks to handle your sunburn. Applying moisturizer with shea butter and adding a cool compress to the burn will alleviate some pain. If large blisters are covering the affected area or you’re experiencing sickness like nausea or a high fever, then you should definitely see a dermatologist.

Combating the Signs of Aging: Before you opt for Botox, there are many steps you can take at home to combat aging skin. As Dr. Schultz always tell us, wrinkles only account for 5% of the skin issues that make our skin look older. So a successful anti-aging routine isn’t just about reducing wrinkles, it’s about fixing the 95% of other issues that cause you to look older. Using an antioxidant serum will help protect your skin while reducing hyperpigmentation and dark spots, which are part of that 95%. Daily exfoliation is also key to removing the layer of dull, matte-looking, uneven-toned skin that contributes to how old your skin looks. Even just using those two products can make a drastic improvement in the appearance of your skin’s age without stepping foot into a doctor’s office.

While there are plenty of conditions that warrant a dermatologist’s visit, the majority of your skin care solutions can happen in your own home with the properly formulated products and a bit of skin care knowledge. Arm yourself with information and products that produce real results, and your dermatologist visit may only end up being an annual one.

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