Preparing for your appointmentBy Mayo Clinic Staff
You're likely to start by seeing your family doctor or primary care provider. However, when you call to set up an appointment, you may be referred to a doctor who specializes in skin conditions (dermatologist).
At the time you make the appointment, be sure to ask if you need to do anything in advance. For example, if you're going to have tests that check for a reaction to ultraviolet light (phototesting), your doctor may ask you to stop taking certain medications beforehand.
What you can do
Before your appointment, you may want to list answers to the following questions:
- How long after exposure to the sun did your symptoms begin?
- What type of symptoms did you experience?
- Have your symptoms worsened or gotten better?
- Have you ever had these types of symptoms before?
- What medications and supplements do you take regularly?
What to expect from your doctor
Your doctor is likely to ask you a number of questions. Examples may include:
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- What parts of your body are affected?
- Exactly what does the affected skin look like?
- How severe are your symptoms?
- How long does your skin reaction last?
- Do you have itching or pain?
- Does your skin react just to direct sunlight or also to sunlight shining through window glass?
- Does anyone else in your family have skin reactions to sunlight or other allergic skin conditions?
- What products do you use on your skin?
- Elmets CA. Polymorphous light eruption. http://www.uptodate.com/index. Accessed April 2, 2015.
- American Osteopathic College of Dermatology. Polymorphous light eruption. http://www.aocd.org/?page=PolymorphousLightE. Accessed April 2, 2015.
- Elmets CA. Photosensitivity disorders (photodermatoses): Clinical manifestations, diagnosis, and treatment. http://www.uptodate.com/index. Accessed April 2, 2015.
- Elmets CA. Overview of cutaneous photosensitivity: Photobiology, patient evaluation, and photoprotection. http://www.uptodate.com/index. Accessed April 2, 2015.
- O’Gorman SM. Photoaggravated disorders. Dermatologic Clinics. 2014;32:385.
- Photosensitivity reactions. The Merck Manual Professional Edition. http://www.merckmanuals.com/home/skin_disorders/sunlight_and_skin_damage/photosensitivity_reactions.html. Accessed April 2, 2015.
- Mauer MP. Photodermatitis. First consult. https://www.clinicalkey.com. Accessed April 2, 2015.
- Gibson LE (expert opinion). Mayo Clinic, Rochester, Minn. April 6, 2015.
- FDA sheds light on sunscreens. U.S. Food and Drug Administration. http://www.fda.gov/ForConsumers/ConsumerUpdates/ucm258416.htm. Accessed April 21, 2015.
- American Academy of Dermatology. http://www.aad.org. Accessed June 23, 2015.