The skin is the largest organ of the body and plays a very important role in protecting your body as it interfaces with the environment. Skin also determines your appearance. Taking proper care of your skin can keep it radiant for years to come and help defend against skin cancer and other conditions.

Just as everyone has a family doctor, similarly everyone should have a dermatologist. And quite frankly, who knows your skin better than a dermatologist?

From skin checks to product recommendations, dermatologists are in the forefront of technology, providing total skin care.

Q: What is a dermatologist?

A: A dermatologist is a qualified medical specialist who, through additional training, has obtained postgraduate qualifications to specialize in the diagnosis, treatment and prevention of skin disease and skin cancers.

Dermatologists treat patients of all ages, from babies and children to adolescents and adults.

Q: What do dermatologists specialize in?

A: Dermatologists treat all disorders of the skin, hair and nails. These include problems such as skin cancer, acne, eczema, rosacea, psoriasis, dry or oily skin, dandruff, warts, dermatitis, moles, rashes, sun damage, wrinkles, pigmentation problems, hair loss, skin infections and several other conditions.

Q: When should I visit a dermatologist?

A: If you are having any type of skin, hair or nail problem, you should consult a dermatologist.

Dermatologists are specially trained to treat these particular conditions.

Q: Does insurance cover treatment I might receive at a dermatologist’s office?

A: Insurance coverage varies with each treatment or medication you might receive from your dermatologist, but most insurance groups cover general dermatological procedures and medications.

Q: How do I know if my child needs to see a dermatologist?

A: A physician should examine any rash that accompanies an illness. Furthermore, any rash that steadily worsens or spreads should also receive medical attention.

Q: What should I know about my teen’s acne?

A: Acne affects most teens, but it is not a life threatening condition though the lesions associated with the condition are upsetting and can be disfiguring.

It is important to seek treatment for your teen, as there are many options available to reduce the embarrassment and scarring associated with acne.

Q: What causes warts, and can a dermatologist treat them?

A: Warts are a viral condition, usually skin-colored, and feel rough to the touch. Warts can grow anywhere on the skin, but most often occur on the hands. Treatment might include freezing or removing the wart, topical medications, or injection.

Almost everyone’s skin can be improved – dermatologists are experts at treating pigmentation, wrinkles, uneven skin tone, blocked pores and most importantly pre-cancerous lesions.

Dr. Oswald Lightsey Mikell, certified by the American Board of Cosmetic Surgery, is the owner of Dermatology Associates of the Lowcountry.