You're likely to start by seeing your family doctor or primary care doctor. However, in some cases when you call to set up an appointment, you may be referred to a specialist in skin diseases (dermatologist).
What to expect from your doctor
Your doctor is likely to ask you a number of questions, such as:
- When did you first notice the spots on your skin?
- Did the spots appear gradually or quickly?
- Have you noticed any other changes in the appearance of your skin?
- Is the condition itchy, tender or otherwise bothersome?
- Have you experienced frequent or severe sunburns?
- How often are you exposed to sun or UV radiation?
- Do you regularly protect your skin from UV radiation?
- What kind of sun protection do you use?
Questions for your doctor
Questions you may want to ask your doctor include:
Apr. 10, 2014
- What suspicious changes in my skin should I look for?
- If the spots are age spots, what can I do to improve the appearance?
- Do treatments make them go away completely, or do they just lighten the age spots?
- Could these spots turn into skin cancer?
- Schaffer JV, et al. Benign pigmented skin lesions other than melanocytic nevi (moles). http://www.uptodate.com/home. Accessed Nov. 22, 2013.
- Goldstein BG, et al. Overview of benign lesions of the skin. http://www.uptodate.com/home. Accessed Nov. 22, 2013.
- Ortonne JP, et al. Treatment of solar lentigines. Journal of the American Academy of Dermatology. 2006;54:S262.
- Melanoma (malignant melanoma). The Merck Manuals: The Merck Manual for Health Care Professionals. http://www.merckmanuals.com/professional/dermatologic_disorders/cancers_of_the_skin/melanoma.html#v968069. Accessed Nov. 24, 2013.
- Metelitsa A, et al. Laser and light therapy for cutaneous hyperpigmentation. http://www.uptodate.com/home. Accessed Nov. 22, 2013.
- Is microdermabrasion the right choice for you? American Academy of Dermatology. http://www.aad.org/dermatology-a-to-z/diseases-and-treatments/m---p/microdermabrasion/is-it-right-for-you#allpages. Accessed Nov. 24, 2013.
- Draelos ZD. Skin lightening preparations and the hydroquinone controversy. Dermatologic Therapy. 2007;20:308.
- Sunscreen FAQs. American Academy of Dermatology. http://www.aad.org/media/background/factsheets/fact_sunscreen.htm. Accessed Nov. 14, 2013.
- Sun protective clothing. American Melanoma Foundation. http://www.melanomafoundation.org/prevention/clothing.htm. Accessed Nov. 14, 2013.