Don't play a game of "20 Questions" when it comes to your skin's health and appearance. If you're freaked out by weird colors, bumps or other changes in how your skin looks or feels, or if you're worried about cosmetic changes like wrinkles or fine lines, visit a dermatologist. Only a dermatologist can provide you with a professional, skilled review of your skin and a credible diagnosis.
Ask your primary care physician for a referral. This is especially helpful if you notice a skin problem during a routine exam with your physician. She will likely guess what the problem is and can refer you to a dermatologist in your area who specializes in the problem.
Consult your insurance company for a regional referral by calling the customer service line outlined on your insurance documents or your most recent statement. This may be critical if your insurance coverage has restrictions on which doctors you may visit and still be reimbursed for the visit. Some insurance companies have pre-determined networks and a list of eligible dermatologists in your area.
Search the online database of the American Academy of Dermatology (see Resources). The academy runs a nationwide database that's searchable via state or ZIP code. All listed dermatologists have been certified by either the Royal College of Physicians and Surgeons of Canada or by the American Board of Dermatology. This means that they are certified as knowledgeable and able to provide you with high-quality skin care.
Call your state university if you live near one. Many state schools have a school of dermatology and may provide discounted access to their in-house dermatologists or dermatology students. This may be useful if you need to visit a dermatologist and are uninsured or don't have the money to pay the full price of a standard visit. Note that specific rules and regulations vary by state and by university.