Q: Should everyone see a dermatologist?
A: No. I do not think everyone needs to see a dermatologist. I do believe that everyone needs a very thorough full body skin examination at least once a year to screen for skin cancers. If your primary care doctor doesn’t have the time to fit that into your appointments, then a referral to a dermatologist would be worth your while.
If you have a chronic or worsening skin problem, a dermatologist would be an essential consultant. Their breadth of exposure to and knowledge of skin conditions will enable them to develop a more exhaustive list of possible causes and to develop a complete diagnostic work up and treatment plan
Dr. Brent Ridge is the health expert for Martha Stewart Living Omnimedia. You can call and ask him a question live every Tuesday at 2 p.m. Eastern on Sirius Satellite Radio, Channel 112 (1.866.675.6675). You can also follow along as he learns to grow his own food and raise goats on his farm in upstate New York by visiting www.beekman1802.com.
Got a health question for Dr. Brent? E-mail him at firstname.lastname@example.org.