Preparing for your appointment

By Mayo Clinic Staff

You may start by seeing your primary care doctor. He or she may refer you to a doctor who specializes in skin disorders (dermatologist) or a specialist in diseases of the joints, bones and muscles (rheumatologist).

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

What you can do

Before your appointment make a list of:

  • Symptoms you've been having and for how long
  • All medications, vitamins and supplements you take, including the doses
  • Questions to ask your doctor

For morphea, some basic questions to ask your doctor include:

  • What's the most likely cause of my symptoms?
  • Are there other possible causes?
  • Do I need any tests?
  • How long will these skin changes last?
  • If the skin discoloration and hardening clears up, will it ever come back?
  • What treatments are available, and which do you recommend?
  • What side effects can I expect from treatment?
  • I have these other health conditions. How can I best manage them together?
  • What can I do to improve my appearance?
  • 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, such as:

  • When did you first notice changes in your skin?
  • Has this ever happened before?
  • Do the changes come and go or are they constant?
  • What steps have you taken to treat this condition yourself?
  • Have any of these measures helped?
  • Have you ever been treated by a doctor for this condition?
  • If so, what were the treatments? Did they help?
  • Have you had any difficulty chewing food or swallowing?
  • Have you experienced extreme cold sensitivity in your fingers or toes?
  • Have you noticed any other changes in your general health?
Sept. 29, 2015