It's not always necessary to be referred to a dermatologist when you have a skin condition. There are a number of skin conditions that a GP can treat, and this can allow you to access treatment faster than would be possible if you had to wait for a hospital appointment. The first step to having your skin condition resolved is to make an appointment with your GP to get a formal diagnosis. They will then outline a treatment plan based on the severity of your symptoms. Treatment may involve several follow-up appointments with you GP to ensure your skin condition is improving, or you may be given treatment to administer at home and only have to return to your GP if the condition has not completely resolved at the end of the treatment period. Read on to find out about two skin conditions that can be treated by your GP.
Atopic eczema is a common form of eczema that causes your skin to become dry, cracked and itchy. It's a chronic condition that can occur in adults and children and can affect the skin on any part of your body, but it's often observed on the knees, elbows, hands and scalp. Atopic eczema can flare-up when the skin is exposed to detergents and soaps. Children with food or environmental allergies seem to be more prone to developing atopic eczema than their peers. Atopic eczema can be treated with emollient washes and creams to keep skin moisturized and prevent the need to use soap-based products. Topical corticosteroids may also be prescribed to reduce itching and redness.
Psoriasis is an itchy and often painful skin condition that causes patches of the skin to become red and flaky. In severe cases, scaling of the skin can occur, and these thick scales may weep or bleed if they are scratched or catch on clothing. Patches of psoriasis can appear on any part of the body, but the lower back, knees and elbows are commonly affected. For many people who suffer from psoriasis, the condition will come and go, but it can be permanently present for others. The cause of psoriasis isn't yet fully understood, but it tends to run in families, and an overactive immune system may play a role in the development of the condition. Treatment for psoriasis can include the use of topical corticosteroids and anti-inflammatory creams. Oral anti-inflammatory drugs and biologic drugs, which are designed to mimic certain chemical processes that naturally occur in the body, can be prescribed for severe cases of psoriasis when more conservative treatment has not been successful.
If you'd like to find out more about the sin conditions your GP can treat, contact your medical centre for information.