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Bring What You Need

The most important item you’ll want to bring with you to your first appointment is your insurance cards. Also, bring along cash or a credit card to cover your medical co-pay if required. If you’ve been keeping a food journal, bring that also. You could also provide information on what makes your skin condition better and what makes it worse.


Make a List

List dietary habits, stress issues, suspected allergies to laundry soaps, shampoos and cosmetics. Also, list members of your immediate family who suffer skin maladies because many of these conditions are hereditary. Finally, be sure to jot down and bring with you a list of medication currently prescribed to you. Don’t forget to list over-the-counter medicines, ointments, vitamins and supplements you frequently purchase.

Help Secure Referring Doctor’s Files
We may require records from a referring doctor that reference your skin condition.  When you make your appointment, you may want to ask us to make a formal request for your patient files.  Medical offices tend to respond more quickly to requests from another medical office than they do to requests by you, the patient.

For Skin Cancer

If you notice any unusual skin changes that worry you, make an appointment as soon as possible.  For skin cancer, some basic questions to ask your doctor include:

  • Do I have skin cancer?
  • What type of skin cancer do I have?
  • Will I need additional tests?
  • What are my treatment options?
  • What are the potential risks of each treatment?
  • Will surgery leave a scar?
  • Do I have an increased risk of additional skin cancers?
  • How can I reduce my risk of additional skin cancers?
  • Should I have regular skin exams to check for additional skin cancers?
  • Should I see a specialist? What will that cost, and will my insurance cover it?
  • Is there a generic alternative to the medicine you’re prescribing me?
  • Are there brochures or other printed material that I can take with me? What websites do you recommend?
  • What will determine whether I should plan for a follow-up visit?

What to expect from your doctor

Your doctor is likely to ask you a number of questions. Being ready to answer them may allow time to cover other points you want to address.

Your doctor may ask:

  • When did you first begin experiencing symptoms?
  • Have your symptoms been continuous or occasional?
  • How severe are your symptoms?
  • What, if anything, seems to improve your symptoms?
  • What, if anything, appears to worsen your symptoms?

Take Notes

Finally, it doesn’t hurt at all to bring along a notebook with questions you have for the dermatologist. That notebook can also prove helpful for you to jot down information the doctor gives to you.