Preparing for your appointment

By Mayo Clinic Staff

You'll probably first visit your primary care doctor. He or she may refer you to a doctor who specializes in skin disorders (dermatologist).

Here's some information to help you get ready for your appointment, and know what to expect from your doctor.

What you can do

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

Your time with your doctor is limited, so preparing a list of questions ahead of time may help you make the most of your time together. For seborrheic dermatitis, some basic questions you might want to ask include:

  • What's the most likely cause of my symptoms?
  • What treatments are available, and which ones do you recommend?
  • Are there any side effects from treatment?
  • How long does treatment take to clear up this condition?
  • Will the treatment need to be repeated and, if so, how often?
  • 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 with me? 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 if you don't understand something.

What to expect from your doctor

Your doctor is likely to ask you a number of questions. Being ready to answer them may free up time to go over any points you want to spend more time on. Your doctor may ask:

  • When did you first notice your symptoms?
  • Is this the first time you've had these symptoms, or have you had them before?
  • How severe are your symptoms? Are they about the same all the time, getting worse, or sometimes better and sometimes worse?
  • Have you tried any at-home treatments? Any creams or gels or shampoos?
  • How often do you use these treatments?
  • Does anything seem to help?
  • Does anything seem to make your symptoms worse?

What you can do in the meantime

An over-the-counter antifungal cream or anti-itch cream can be helpful. If your scalp is affected, an over-the-counter antifungal shampoo may ease your symptoms. Try not to scratch or pick at the affected area, because if you irritate your skin or scratch it open, you increase your risk of infection.

Jun. 16, 2011