Preparing for your appointment

By Mayo Clinic Staff

You're likely to start by seeing your family or primary care doctor. But in some cases when you call to set up an appointment, you may be referred to a specialist in skin diseases (dermatologist).

It's good to prepare for your appointment. Here's some information to help you get ready.

What you can do

  • List your signs and symptoms, when they occurred and how long they lasted. Also, it may help to list factors that triggered or worsened your symptoms — such as soaps or detergents, tobacco smoke, sweating, or long, hot showers.
  • Make a list of all the medications, vitamins, supplements and herbs you're taking. Even better, take the original bottles and a written list of the dosages and directions.
  • List questions to ask your doctor. Ask questions when you want something clarified.

For atopic dermatitis, some basic questions you might ask your doctor include:

  • What might be causing my signs and symptoms?
  • Are tests needed to confirm the diagnosis?
  • What treatment do you recommend, if any?
  • Is this condition temporary or chronic?
  • Can I wait to see if the condition goes away on its own?
  • What are the alternatives to the primary approach you're suggesting?
  • What skin care routines do you recommend to improve my symptoms?

What to expect from your doctor

Your doctor is likely to ask you several questions, including:

  • When did you begin having symptoms?
  • How often do you have these symptoms?
  • Have your symptoms been continuous or occasional?
  • What, if anything, seems to improve your symptoms?
  • What, if anything, appears to worsen your symptoms?
  • Do you or any family members have asthma or allergies?
  • What products do you use on your skin?
  • Does your condition affect your sleep or your ability to go about daily activities?
Jul. 26, 2014

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