Preparing for your appointment

By Mayo Clinic Staff

You're likely to start by seeing your family doctor. He or she may refer you 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 as well as 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 illnesses, stresses or recent life changes.
  • Make a list of all medications, vitamins and supplements that you're taking, including the dosage information.
  • Write down questions to ask your doctor.

Your time with your doctor is limited, so preparing a list of questions can help you make the most of your time together. List your questions from most important to least important in case time runs out. For pityriasis rosea, some basic questions to ask your doctor include:

  • What's the most likely cause of this rash?
  • Are there other possible causes for my symptoms?
  • I have another health condition. Could it be related to the skin rash?
  • Is this skin condition temporary or long lasting?
  • Will this rash leave permanent scars?
  • What treatments are available, and which do you recommend?
  • Will treatment for the skin rash interact with other treatments I'm receiving?
  • Are there any side effects from this treatment?
  • Will the treatment help ease the itching? If not, how can I treat the itching?

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

What to expect from your doctor

Your doctor is likely to ask you a number of questions about your symptoms and possible causes. Questions to expect include:

  • When did you first begin to notice the rash?
  • Have you had this type of rash in the past?
  • Are you experiencing symptoms?
  • Does your rash itch?
  • Have your symptoms changed over time?
  • Does anything seem to improve your symptoms?
  • What, if anything, appears to worsen your symptoms?
Jul. 03, 2012