Dermatology is defined as the branch of medicine that deals with the treatment and diagnosis of skin disorders. The human skin, on average, covers an area of 2 square meters, it accounts for 15 percent of our body weight and on average weighs about 9 pounds (with 11 miles of blood vessels too.) So it is no surprise that dermatologists have to deal with a person’s entire body.
Given this requirement, dermatologists are sure to see and hear a lot of stories.
Here are 16 secrets that dermatologists want you to know and facts that they would never tell you.
1. Surprisingly, dermatologists don’t like taking a ‘quick look’ at weird moles, blemishes or bumps. They say that friends, acquaintances and sometimes even dates have a tendency to show them their ‘weird skin thing.’
2. Dermatologists ALWAYS advise the use of sunscreen. Sun damage isn’t solely determined by the naked eye; a UV lamp would paint a much better picture. In the United States, melanoma kills one person every hour.
3. Dermatologists are just like ‘actual doctors.’ They treat medical conditions and also perform operations on skin cancers such as melanoma, squamous cell carcinoma, and basal cell carcinomas.
4. They also deal with issues surrounding nails and hair. Melanoma, which is the deadliest form of skin cancer, can grow under nails. Dermatologists also deal with problems involving hair loss, cysts and even dandruff.
5. Some skin infections don’t have the most pleasant smell. Fungal infections and oozing skin are not generally things that smell great and pus that is drained from cysts and abscesses can downright stink.
6. The skin can be a marker for a lot of things that are going on inside the body. Vasculitis, as shown in the picture, can be indicative of an infection, lupus, autoimmune disease or rheumatoid arthritis.
7. Swimming in slow-moving fresh water can come with larval parasites that can dig their way under the skin. It can penetrate the skin but cannot live in a human host so they usually die off immediately.
8. It is always recommended to use a ‘comedone’ or a blackhead extractor tool when getting rid of blackheads. Using one’s fingers can leave your skin pinched or inflamed and can also spread infections.
9. Pore strips have a limited effectiveness but if they are too sticky they can cause inflammation. One recommendation is to use salicylic acid gel which will help get rid of and loosen blackheads.
10. Microdermabrasion will temporarily smoothen the skin by removing superficial dead cells but it won’t create any long-lasting changes.
11. Cleaning your face doesn’t have to be rough and violent. It is recommended to use a mild, non-soapy cleanser to wash your face about once or twice a day.
12. Most DIY dermatology treatments don’t actually work. Items such as micro-current devices or pore vacuums don’t actually solve skin problems and instead, dermatologists recommend using sunscreen every morning, and moisturizing during the day and at night.
13. The most expensive moisturizers don’t mean they are the best ones. Instead look for ones that have ceramides because they are one of three types of fats that can help the skin retain water and thus moisture.
14. A study done for four weeks by Ronni Wolf at the Kaplan Medical Center in Israel showed no correlation between drinking tons of water and skin moisture. Individuals who drank copious amounts of water showed a decrease in skin density and not an increase in moisture. Wrinkles did not smoothen out either.
15. Shaving hair, whether for men or women, does NOT cause it to come back thicker. Dermatologists recommend not shaving when possible as it can irritate the skin and cause ingrown hairs.
16. And finally, dermatologists love the feeling of being able to help a child or an adult’s skin problems that have caused them shyness or anxiety out in public. In some cases, some treatments can create rapid changes that leave the patient more confident and less self-conscious than before.