It’s a good idea to schedule your yearly visit on your birthday or some other significant date. Look at it as a great start to a new year of terrific skin.
Be sure to work with a dermatologist who understands your skin. As a woman of color myself, I make sure I understand the ins and outs of how certain procedures affect black skin. At Doctor's Approach we have an array of different doctors who see different skin types. As an example, your dermatologist may perform state of the art laser treatments to even out skin tone and to correct discolorations such as rosacea. However, only a few types of laser equipment are good for black skin. Most others can cause hyperpigmentation.
During your visit, address your concerns about dry skin, oily skin, eczema and break outs. It is also a great time to develop an anti-aging plan for your skin. This is the time to discuss the best products for your skin type and to go over how you are cleansing and moisturizing your skin. The products you used when you were 18 might not be the right ones for you as you head into your thirties or forties.
Aside from your cosmetic concerns there is one really important reason why you should check in with your dermatologist at least once a year—early detection of skin cancers. Women of color often think that the melanin in their skin protects them from skin cancers. Where it is true that African Americans do get skin cancers less than their white counterparts, when they do, it is more likely to be discovered at a later, more deadly stage. But that doesn’t have to be the case.
By checking in annually with your dermatologist, you can catch any precancerous moles and lesions at their earliest stages. During your annual visit, your dermatologist will examine your upper body, legs and feet for suspicious growths. Make sure you are doing your part by paying attention to any changes in your moles or skin tags. Regularly examine the palms of your hands, the soles of your feet and in between your toes, for new growths or changes. Be sure to point them out to your dermatologist during your visit.
Product Tip: While you are at the dermatologist’
At Home Tip: Take time to make notes at home about the things you want to discuss with your doctor before you get to the office. This is the time to jot down skin changes, concerns about discolorations, issues with hair shedding or thinning. Come in prepared to get your questions answered.
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Doctor’s Approach is a full-service medical and surgical dermatology clinic with a cosmetic medical spa. Our dermatology practice has been well established and respected for over 15 years, with patients visiting from all over the Midwest region.