You'll probably first bring your concerns to the attention of your family doctor. He or she might refer you to a doctor who specializes in the diagnosis and treatment of skin conditions (dermatologist).
Here's some information to help you get ready for your appointment and know what to expect from your doctor.
What you can do
Before your appointment, list your answers to the following questions:
- What are your symptoms, and when did they start?
- Does anything seem to trigger your symptoms?
- What medications are you taking, including those you take by mouth as well as creams or ointments that you apply to your skin?
- Do you have a family history of allergies or asthma?
- What treatments have you tried so far? Has anything helped?
What to expect from your doctor
Your doctor is likely to ask you a number of questions. Being ready to answer them may reserve time to go over any points you want to talk about in depth. Depending on what type of dermatitis you have, your doctor may ask:
- Do your symptoms come and go, or are they fairly constant?
- How often do you shower or bathe?
- What products do you use on your skin, including soaps, lotions and cosmetics?
- What household cleaning products do you use?
- Are you exposed to any possible irritants from your job or hobbies?
- Have you been under any unusual stress or depressed lately?
- How much do your symptoms affect your quality of life, including your ability to sleep?