What Age Should I Start Regularly Seeing a Dermatologist?
Few people truly enjoy paying a visit to the doctor or dentist, but receiving regular check-ups is essential for keeping tabs on your health. The same rule applies to dermatology. Your skin is your body’s largest organ, and it’s vulnerable to a variety of threats ranging from minor to fatal. And the older you get, the higher your chances are of experiencing skin-related issues. That said, when exactly should you start seeing a dermatologist on a regular basis? While it’s never too soon to pay a visit to a skin specialist, let’s go over some general rules of thumb about making regular dermatology appointments.
What to Know About Visiting a Dermatologist
See a Dermatologist in Early Adolescence
The hormonal turmoil that occurs during puberty has well-documented effects on one’s skin, even if some people have a harder time than others. The main culprit here is acne, of course, which kids can experience as early as the age of 12 (or before, in rare instances). Details aside, the age range between 12 and 15 is an optimal time for parents to bring in their kids for an initial dermatology visit. A dermatologist will take this opportunity to evaluate the pre-teen/teen’s potential acne problems, rashes, moles, and other notable conditions that reveal more about their skin type and potential problems they may encounter down the road. It’s often recommended that kids/teens with chronic issues like eczema or psoriasis see their dermatologist every few months to closely assess the progress of the condition and any treatments that have been prescribed. This initial visit that occurs early in one’s life is also an important time to learn more about the dangers of excessive sun exposure and other best practices for long-term skin care.
When in Doubt, Make Annual Appointments
Depending on your skin type, condition(s), and family health history, you may be advised to make more or less frequent visits to the dermatology office in your teen years. As you enter your 20s, however, it’s a good rule of thumb to set up yearly dermatology visits, primarily to check your skin for warning signs of skin cancer and other serious problems. Indeed, receiving an annual skin cancer screening is key for catching skin cancer early on, which will greatly increase the odds of successfully removing the tumor(s) in question. If you have atypical mole syndrome and/or skin cancer runs in your family, your dermatologist might have you come in every 6 months rather than 12 to be extra vigilant.
Make More Frequent Visits as You Age
While annual dermatology check-ins are the norm for most people, you might prefer to see your dermatologist more frequently for a number of reasons, especially as you get older. Many patients, for instance, want to find ways to mitigate their wrinkles, reverse/prevent hair loss, relieve dry/itchy skin, and much more. While yearly visits can help you and your doctor find solutions for your particular problems, more frequent visits can prove even more effective.
So, at what age should you start regularly seeing a dermatologist? The answer will vary from person to person, but receiving an initial evaluation in your early adolescent years is an important milestone that will set you up for healthier, better-looking skin throughout your life, especially if you keep up with annual visits upon entering your 20s and 30s (or once every two years, twice a year, etc., depending on your needs).
If it’s been some time since your last dermatology appointment, we at Premier Dermatology Partners are here to help you find the best provider for your skin. To learn more about our providers and all the services we offer, contact us today.