Visiting A Dermatologist For The First Time

If you suffer from any on-going or recurrent skin problems, it makes sense to pay a visit to a dermatology clinic. Consulting with a dermatologist is the best way to both determine the underlying cause of the condition (if any) and choose an appropriate course of treatment.

It's worth remembering that the most effective course of treatment for your skin problem could be available on prescription only. OTC remedies may help to a degree, but you may not gain complete control of the issue without first speaking to a dermatologist.

But what can you expect during your first visit to a dermatology clinic? More importantly, is there anything important you should prepare for in advance?

Sensible Clothing and Minimal Makeup
Your dermatologist will carry out a detailed examination of your skin, including both the affected area (where applicable) and elsewhere. It's therefore important to ensure you wear sensible clothing, which can easily be removed as required to provide access to your skin. In addition, you must ensure you don't cover the area to be examined with makeup, or any other products that could make it difficult for the dermatologist to examine your skin.

Questions About Your Medical History
As with any appointment with a medical professional, you'll almost certainly be asked about your medical history. Your dermatologist will want to assess your general state of health, any history of illness you may have and whether or not you're currently taking any medication - prescription or otherwise. They may also ask questions about allergies, sensitivities and general lifestyle habits that are linked with common skin problems. If you are currently taking any medication or supplements on a regular basis, you might want to bring the packaging with you for the dermatologist to inspect.

A More Detailed Examination
With this being your first trip to a dermatologist, he or she will most likely want to carry out a more detailed inspection of your skin in general. Even if you've visited a dermatologist with regard to a localised skin problem on your arm, don't be surprised if they take a look at the rest of your body during the visit. More often than not, dermatologists will proactively examine patients" bodies for suspicious moles, or signs of other skin problems in general. Hence, there's nothing to worry about if they suggest a head-to-toe inspection - it's simply a professional precaution.

Suggestions and Recommendations
Following the examination, your dermatologist will provide their expert suggestions and recommendations accordingly. In some instances, you may be given the choice of several products or DIY treatments to try out at home. In others, they may recommend prescription medication of some kind to tackle the problem. It's during this point of the conversation that it's important to address any questions or concerns you may have. For example, if you'd prefer not to take prescription medication, you can request alternative options.

Further Visits
Last but not least, it's almost certain that your dermatologist will suggest that you organise another visit after a given number of days, weeks or months. This is because there isn't an outright "cure" for any common skin condition that works for every patient across the board. They'll therefore need to see if and to what extent the treatment is getting the job done, which will mean visiting your dermatologist once again. If the dermatologist has a hectic schedule, it's worth booking an appointment before you leave their office, rather than attempting to do so at the last minute. Always remember that if you have any questions or concerns in the meantime, your dermatologist should only ever be a quick phone call away.