How to get the most out of your dermatology appointment? Prepare!
Doctors are wonderful people and nothing can, or should, replace a professional medical exam. But lets face it, they are human. They are often overworked, sometimes a bit grumpy, and don’t always have the time to give us all the information we need. To make things even more difficult, acne is often an embarrassing problem that is hard to talk about to anyone – even a doctor! I’m sometimes so mortified that I forget to ask even my most pressing questions! Have you been there too? There is a better way!
Here are some tips for preparing for that first dermatology appointment:
1. Don’t wear makeup
I know its hard. You don’t want to go out in public with big, red, bulging zits. But how will your doctor fully understand the problem if they can’t see it? Bite the bullet. Go in bare-faced. The doc is sure to have seen worse.
2. Put together your skin-care history
If your are going to win the clear skin battle you need to get organized! Keep a list of every medication and treatment you have tried before, how long you tried it, and the results. Also, tell your doctor about any other medications you might be taking, including birth-control pills.
3. Describe your skin-care routine
Make a list of which skin-care products you use, including moisturizers, cleaners, exfoliants, over-the-counter treatments, everything! Also note any ingredients that you have noticed irritating your skin.
4. Be sure to mention stress
Have you had any major life changes or especially stressful situations? This might be important for your doctor to make a correct diagnosis, so don’t leave anything out.
5. Come prepared with questions!
It helps to make a list ahead of time, and don’t be afraid to take notes when you get your answers. This isn’t the time to be shy! Here are a few examples of things you might want to ask:
Do you recommend any nutritional changes to my diet?
What are the side effects for the prescribed medication?
Do you recommend any changes to my skin-care routine?
How soon can I expect results?
When should I come back?
For acne, your dermatologist will most likely want you to come back every few months to see how the treatment is working. If you keep a skin-care diary and go to each appointment well prepared, you will have a way better chance of creating an effective treatment plan with your doctor.