Lawrence A. Schiffman, D.O., FAOCD - Board Certified Dermatologist

Lawrence A. Schiffman, D.O., FAOCD - Board Certified Dermatologist


8 Things You Should Ask Dermatologists During Your Next Appointment

Published June 14th, 2021 by Thepracticeagency

Too many patients don't schedule regular visits to their dermatologist. And those who do see their dermatologist don't ask the right questions.

This leaves them with a less effective (or ineffective) skincare routine. To avoid this, you need to learn which questions to ask during your visit. Asking dermatologists the right questions will ensure your skin is the healthiest it can be.

In this article, we'll discuss the top questions to ask your dermatologist at your next visit. Plus, we'll talk about the importance of having them review your medical history and your skincare routine. Continue reading to prepare for your next visit. 

1. How Often Should I Visit Dermatologists?

Part of maintaining healthy skin is scheduling regular visits with dermatologists. At a minimum, you should schedule an annual visit. However, some patients need to be seen more frequently.

It's worth talking with your dermatologist about the frequency of routine visits. In all likelihood, one visit per year is enough. But depending on your medical history and skin condition, they may recommend more frequent visits.

2. Is My Skin Healthy?

This is an extension of the previous question, but it's still important to ask. Routine visits are important to catch any small problems before they become big problems. 

However, even if your dermatologists don't see any problems, that doesn't necessarily mean your skin is healthy. By asking your doctor about your general skin health, you can make any necessary adjustments to get the glowing skin you want. 

3. How Is My Diet Affecting My Skin?

Too few people ask their dermatologists about how their diet affects the overall health of their skin, but it's an important question. What you eat affects your skin's hydration. A poor diet can result in skin dryness, which leads to wrinkling or an overproduction of oil. 

Your diet can also make your skin age quicker. A healthy diet produces the nutrients you need to maintain healthy skin and fewer wrinkles. Your dermatologist can discuss how to adjust your diet for optimally healthy skin.

4. Do My Moles Appear Healthy?

Most dermatologists pay close attention to moles to make sure they are normal and not a cause for concern, but it's still worth asking about. If you have newly developed moles or moles that are changing in color, shape, or size, you should have them examined.

A dermatologist's examination of moles can help catch early signs of skin cancer. It's especially important if you have a medical history of it. If you have any suspicious moles, your dermatologist may recommend having them removed, which is often a simple procedure. 

5. Is My Skin Care Routine Effective?

Your skincare routine could be negatively affecting your skin's health, so this is an important question for dermatologists. Even if it isn't harming your skin, it may not be helping either. 

Routine visits to your dermatologist mean better monitoring of your skin's general health. If your skincare routine isn't helping, they can suggest alternative methods or treatments. 

6. What Products Should I Use?

Whether your skincare involves several products or none, it's worth getting suggestions from your dermatologist. It may surprise you to find out that a product you've used for years isn't as beneficial to your skin as you thought. You also might discover that you could be using a single product instead of three.

Even if they don't have specific products to recommend, they can tell you what to look for in a skincare product. Reviewing products, and the ingredients of those products, with your dermatologist will make sure your skincare routine is as effective and efficient as possible. 

7. How Can I Protect My Skin?

Part of good skincare is preventing damage and it's something you should discuss with your dermatologist. In the majority of cases, they will recommend using sunscreen to prevent sun damage, but skin protection doesn't end there. 

This is why dermatologists review your medical history. For example, if you have a history of skin cancer (or someone in your family does), they may recommend stricter guidelines to skincare, such as limiting your time in the sun altogether. 

8. Are There Any Treatments I Should/Shouldn't Pursue?

Just because you have the ability to do something, doesn't always mean you should. Many dermatologists say their patients don't often ask them if they should have a certain procedure done. They may present the benefits as well as the risks involved with certain treatments or procedures, but you should definitely be asking what they think about the treatment for you.

For example, Botox is a popular treatment to hide signs of aging. Overall, it's been found to be a safe treatment for wrinkles. However, it's not a great option for everyone. 

People with moderate to severe sagging skin are not necessarily good candidates for the procedure because it may not be effective. Your doctor will likely inform you of this, but it's also worth asking outright to prevent disappointment and unnecessary discomfort, and can even save you money.

For this reason, it's important to work with dermatologists who are comfortable telling you not to pursue a certain treatment, as well as someone who will help you find the right one. 

Start Asking the Right Questions With Dermatologists 

Asking dermatologists the right questions can be truly beneficial to your skin. It can also save you time and money. Make sure to schedule your routine visits and have some (or all) of these questions prepared. 

Your dermatologist will be happy to review these with you and get your skin to the healthiest it can possibly be. They'll review your medical history, skincare routine, and skincare products used. The right dermatologist will have your best interests at heart. 

Put these questions to use and book your appointment today.

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