Preparing for your appointment

By Mayo Clinic Staff

You're likely to start by seeing your family doctor or a general practitioner. However, you may then be referred to a doctor who specializes in skin disorders (dermatologist).

Because appointments can be brief, and there's often a lot of ground to cover, it's a good idea to arrive well prepared. Here's some information to help you get ready for your appointment, and what to expect from your doctor.

What you can do

  • Write down any symptoms you're experiencing, including any that may seem unrelated to the reason for which you scheduled the appointment.
  • Write down key personal information, including any major stresses or recent life changes.
  • Make a list of all medications, as well as any vitamins or supplements, that you're taking.
  • Write down questions to ask your doctor.

Preparing a list of questions can help you make the most of your time with your doctor. For folliculitis, some basic questions to ask your doctor include:

  • What's the most likely cause of my symptoms?
  • Are there other possible causes for my symptoms?
  • Do I need any tests?
  • What's the best treatment for my folliculitis?
  • I have these other health conditions. How can I best manage them together?
  • What types of side effects can I expect from treatment?
  • Is there a generic alternative to the medicine you're prescribing me?
  • Are there any brochures or other printed material that I can take home? What websites do you recommend?

In addition to the questions that you've prepared to ask your doctor, don't hesitate to ask questions during your appointment.

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 spend more time on. Your doctor may ask:

  • How long have you had this skin infection?
  • Do you have a history of eczema?
  • Do you work or have a hobby that creates perspiration or that might clog your hair follicles?
  • Were you in a hot tub or heated swimming pool prior to your skin rash?
  • Have your symptoms been continuous or occasional?
  • Does your skin itch? Is it painful to the touch?
  • Does anything seem to improve your symptoms?
  • Does anything make your symptoms worse?

What you can do in the meantime

For some, folliculitis goes away without medical treatment. During that time, self-care measures, such as warm compresses and anti-itch creams, can help relieve your symptoms.

Oct. 06, 2011

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