Urgent Care Clinics And Your Skin's Health

Posted on: 6 November 2019

Here's a (sadly) little known fact: November is National Healthy Skin Month! Every November, the American Academy of Dermatology (AAD) attempts to raise awareness of skin health and skin conditions. Even though everyone wears theirs around all day, every day, it can be easy to neglect skin issues until they become severe. Unfortunately, part of the problem may be the unusually long wait times that are typical for dermatologist appointments. With waits sometimes exceeding a month, scheduling an appointment can be difficult for conditions that may not seem pressing.

Fortunately, there's an alternative that you may not have considered: your local walk-in urgent care clinic. While walk-in centers will not replace specialists, they can be a crucial first step. Here are three situations where a clinic might be the right option for dermatological care.

Minor Rashes or Infections

Many common skin problems can resolve quickly, but they may be painful, itchy, or unsightly in the meantime. Waiting several weeks to see a specialist often isn't worth it, especially since the problem will (hopefully) be well on its way to healing by the time your appointment rolls around. Situations like this are a perfect case to make use of a walk-in center. The doctors on staff will be able to quickly evaluate your condition and likely recommend or prescribe a topical treatment. In the unlikely event that your rash is more severe than it seemed at first glance, the urgent care doctor will be able to recommend your next course of action.

Suspicious Spots

Noticing a suspicious mole or another spot on your skin can be stressful. While many people turn to the internet for answers, there's no substitute for having your issue diagnosed by a physician. If you are concerned with the cost or wait time associated with a trip to the dermatologist, visiting an urgent care center is a good stopgap option. The staff physicians will be able to determine if the issue is dangerous enough to warrant a biopsy. Even better, most urgent care centers can perform shave biopsies in house, so there's no need to wait for a dermatologist to get your results.

Bug Bites

The average mosquito bite doesn't require treatment, but allergic reactions or bites from more dangerous bugs can produce severe skin irritation. Bites that are causing symptoms such as severe swelling, difficulty breathing, or faintness are emergencies warranting a trip to the ER, but urgent care physicians can offer help for minor swelling, pain, itching, or redness. Since a quick visit to a clinic is generally much cheaper than an ER visit, this is an excellent way to determine if you should be concerned and seek further treatment, as well. If possible, always be prepared to describe the insect that bit you to help your doctor with their diagnosis.

Treating your skin right is an essential part of staying healthy. This November, remember that you don't need to wait for a dermatologist to deal with minor skin conditions. A quick stop into your local urgent care clinic might be just what the doctor ordered. For more information, contact companies like Walk-In Family Medicine Center.