When you're young, you tend to take skin health for granted. Maybe you occasionally seek out a deep moisturizer for prolonged dryness or use acne medications for some blemishes, but from day to day, things are pretty simple. As you grow older, though, you are more likely to encounter more serious skin conditions that require treatment by a dermatologist. In most cases, the earlier you notice and seek treatment for these conditions, the easier they are to treat. So what signs of skin issues should you watch out for as you age?
Changes in Moles
Sometimes, after having had a mole for years, it will suddenly start to change. It may grow larger, or it may change shape, and its color may change. This is more likely to happen as you get older. Changes in moles are not always indicative of skin cancer, but they can be a sign — so make sure you have a dermatologist take a look and possibly take a biopsy.
Stubborn Dry Patches
If you have a dry patch on your skin and moisturizer corrects it within a few days, this is no big deal. But stubborn dry patches — ones that do not respond to moisturizer — are concerning. If they are larger, they could indicate an autoimmune disorder or even psoriasis. Smaller dry patches could be caused by skin cancer. (Not all skin cancers cause raised lesions.)
People often assume that dark spots that appear on their skin are age spots. And sometimes, they really are. But to the untrained eye, dark spots and cancerous lesions tend to look quite similar. It's best to let a dermatologist take a look. If they do turn out to be age spots, there are some treatments a dermatologist can recommend, such as laser therapy and various creams. So your visit will not be wasted, either way.
If your face suddenly starts to look and feel red and flushed a lot of the time, then you may be developing rosacea. Although it can occur in patients of any age, it is most common in older adults, presumably due to changes in hormone levels that occur at this time. Rosacea can be embarrassing and uncomfortable, but there are now more treatments for it, so it's worth seeking care.
Dermatologists treat patients of all ages, but the older you get, the more likely you are to need their services. Don't hesitate to make an appointment if you notice any of these symptoms developing.