Charleston Dermatology Blog

How To Prepare For Your First Dermatology Appointment

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While a dermatological appointment may be unlike your typical doctor’s visit, it’s just as important to your overall health. At Charleston Dermatology, our board-certified dermatologists are here to help you at every step of your skincare journey. That includes helping you prepare for your first appointment!

What does a dermatologist do?

First off, it’s important to know exactly what a dermatologist does. A dermatologist is a medical doctor specializing in treating health conditions pertaining to your hair, nails and skin. To get a better idea of what dermatology is, here is a list of common skin conditions diagnosed and treated by board-certified dermatologists:

While it is advised to schedule an appointment if you notice a change to the hair, skin or nails, routine dermatologist check-ups are as vital as annual physical exams. When preparing for your first visit, there are some things you should know. 

Perform a self-examination beforehand.

Before going to your appointment, make sure you know why you are scheduling a visit. Examine your skin to see if there are any irregularities, new or growing moles, or abnormal discoloration that causes concern. By identifying these issues, your dermatologist will be able to quickly assess the issues at hand. 

Bring needed medical information.

Just like a typical doctor’s appointment, make sure to bring your medical records with you, so your dermatologist has a clear understanding of your medical history. Be sure to make note of any family history of skin conditions such as skin cancer and psoriasis. Aside from medical records and family history, here are some other helpful things to bring to make sure your dermatologist is fully aware of your condition:

  • Pictures of skin, hair or nail irregularities
  • List of current medications 
  • List of skin care products in current use 
  • Known environmental triggers and food sensitivities/allergies 

Bringing all these materials to your visit will help your dermatologist conduct the exam in the best way possible. 

Prepare a list of questions for your dermatologist.

Given that this is your first appointment, you’re likely not a dermatological expert. That’s what your dermatologist is for! To help you get a head start and avoid any confusion, here are some questions to ask:

  • Do you notice any skin irregularities?
  • Do you think my skincare routine is working?
  • What skincare products do you suggest would work well for my skin?
  • What is my skin type?
  • Are there any treatments you recommend or discourage?
  • What should I look for to determine if a skin condition is worsening?
  • What are my next steps?

While you should prepare questions to ask, also be prepared to answer questions. Your dermatologist might ask:

  • Do you use skincare products?
  • How long have you noticed the skin irregularities you mentioned?
  • How often do you spend time in the sun?
  • Does your family have a history of a certain skin condition? 

With these questions and answers prepared, you will set yourself up for an efficient, successful appointment. 

Your first appointment shouldn’t be scary. That’s where we come in.

Here at Charleston Dermatology, our board-certified dermatologists are here to make your first appointment as stress-free as possible. With our skilled expertise, we have the knowledge to help guide you in your skin journey, providing you the services and tools you need. Schedule an appointment with one of our board-certified dermatologists today to take one step closer to healthy skin. 

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