One of the best things you can do as a patient is to arrive at your appointment prepared with information that will make the visit go as smoothly as possible. This is definitely the case when you are getting ready to see your dermatologist. We all want the best looking skin possible, which means seeing your dermatologist on a regular basis is very important.
Your skin doctor will do a check for any worrisome spots that could be cancer. She can also help you target specific skin issues, such as acne or greasiness. However, your dermatologist can’t help you get the best skin if you don’t tell her certain things.
Here are 9 things to share with your dermatologist at your next appointment.
1. Your Family History Of Skin Cancer
Because skin cancer runs in families and can be partly blamed on genetics, you should let her know if anyone in your family has ever had melanoma or other types of skin cancer. That way she can keep an eye on your skin for similar issues.
2. Skin Changes
If you’ve noticed any changes to your skin since your last appointment, make sure you tell your dermatologist about it. Some changes in moles are no big deal, but others can signify a health issue so it’s important to let him or her know any changes and/or new moles on your body. This could also be a scaly patch of skin you can’t get rid of. If you see the same dermatologist every year, she will probably have each year’s check up on record so she can make comparisons to detect these changes. However, you should always bring up any changes you’ve seen too so that you’re both on the same page.
3. Your History Of Sun Exposure & Tanning Beds
Whether you tan without SPF or you spend time in the tanning booths, it’s important to be totally honest with your dermatologist. She won’t judge you, trust me. Your dermatologist has heard it all before and will appreciate your honesty. It might be embarrassing or make you feel you shameful, but let her know the real picture. She needs to know what kinds of things you’re doing that could harm your skin and it’s vital for the health of your skin.
4. Skincare Products You Use Daily
Tell your dermatologist about all of the products you put on your skin. That includes any cleansers, lotions, creams, serums or anything else you use regularly. You should also tell her about anything you only use occasionally. This will give your dermatologist a clear picture of why your skin might be doing what it’s doing. If you’re having issues, she can help determine if your products might be causing the problems.
5. Tell Your Dermatologist About Any Medications You Are Taking, Including Vitamins, Minerals And/Or Herbal Supplements
If your dermatologist prescribes something for you to take, it is imperative that he or she knows what you are already taking to avoid any potential drug interactions. Since some natural remedies can negatively interact with certain drugs, it is important to mention everything you take, even if it’s just a daily multi-vitamin or occasional garlic tablet. Your best bet is to take a bag containing all of your meds with you to the appointment so that she can see what you’re taking.
6. Tell Your Dermatologist About Your Lifestyle Habits
You might want to skip this conversation, but many lifestyle choices can interfere with healthy skin, so be sure you are honest about this. You’ll need to tell your dermatologist whether you smoke, drink alcohol, do drugs, eat a lot of junk food or skimp on sleep. All of these things have a solution, but you won’t know what that solution is if you keep things hidden.
7. Tell Your Dermatologist If You Are Pregnant Or Nursing
Your body changes in all sorts of ways when you are pregnant, and your skin will also behave in unusual ways when you are expecting. Knowing you are pregnant will help your doctor understand any skin issues you might be having. And again, if you need medication to treat a skin condition, being pregnant or nursing will definitely influence what, if any, medications can be prescribed.
8. What Facial Treatments Will Benefit My Skin
Few things are more luxurious than trip to the spa, but leaving with irritated skin ruins the whole day. Finding out if your skin won’t benefit from a facial (or that a facial will actually harm your skin) ahead of time will save you a lot of stress and money.
9. Discuss Your Environment
Your dermatologist will probably want to know what kind of laundry soap you use, what pets you have and what your job entails. These things can contribute to your skin issues so it’s important to tell her everything. Write this info down and if she doesn’t ask you about it, hand her the list and tell her you want to see if any of these things could be at play.
A lot of people find that making a list and/or jotting down the information above is really useful—a lot of people develop “white coat syndrome” when in the doctor’s office and end up forgetting most of what they want to say. Write down the information suggested in the 9 topics above, and it will make your appointment go that much faster and smoother.
Are you established with a dermatologist? Do you think it’s important to see one? Why or why not? Share in the comments section below!