Preparing for your appointment

By Mayo Clinic Staff

If the appointment is for your child, you're likely to start by seeing your child's pediatrician. If the appointment is for you, you're likely to start by seeing your primary care doctor. He or she may refer you or your child to a specialist in skin conditions (dermatologist).

Here's some information to help you prepare for the appointment.

What you can do

Before your appointment make a list of:

  • Any symptoms your child or you are experiencing, including any that may seem unrelated to the reason for which you scheduled the appointment.
  • Key personal information, including any major stresses or recent life changes.
  • All medications, vitamins or supplements your child or you are taking.
  • Questions to ask your doctor.

For ichthyosis vulgaris, some basic questions to ask your doctor include:

  • What's the most likely cause of my symptoms?
  • Are there other possible causes?
  • What kinds of tests will I or my child need?
  • Is the condition likely temporary or long lasting?
  • What treatments are available and which do you recommend?
  • Do you have any brochures or other printed materials I can take with me? What websites do you recommend?

What to expect from your doctor

Your doctor is likely to ask you a number of questions, including:

  • When did the symptoms first appear?
  • Are the symptoms constant or do they come and go?
  • Does anything help improve the symptoms?
  • What, if anything, makes the symptoms worse?
  • Does anyone in your family have similar skin changes?

What you can do in the meantime

To help soothe affected skin:

  • Wash only with mild soaps that have added oils and fats. Avoid strongly scented and antibacterial soaps, which may be too harsh on dry skin.
  • Apply moisturizer or lubricating cream while the skin is still moist from bathing. Choose a moisturizer such as petroleum jelly or one that contains urea or propylene glycol — chemicals that help keep skin moist.
Sept. 25, 2015