Your family doctor or general practitioner is likely to refer you to a dermatologist for diagnosis and treatment of Sweet's syndrome. Because appointments can be brief and there's often a lot of ground to cover, it can help to be well prepared. Here are some tips to help you get ready for your appointment and what to expect from your doctor.
What you can do
Before your appointment, you may want to:
- Write down all your signs and symptoms. List even those that seem unrelated to your rash. Sweet's syndrome can be a sign of several illnesses, so it's important that your doctor know all of your symptoms.
- Make a list of all your medications. Include any vitamins, herbs and over-the-counter drugs that you're taking. Even better, take the original bottles and a written list of the dosages and directions.
- Arrange to take along a family member or friend. It can be difficult to remember all the information provided to you during an appointment. The person who accompanies you may remember something that you forgot or missed.
- Write down questions for your doctor. Don't be afraid to ask questions or to speak up when you don't understand something your doctor says. Start with the problems that concern you most. If you run out of time, ask to speak with a nurse or physician's assistant or leave a message for your doctor.
If you have symptoms of Sweet's syndrome, questions you may want to ask include:
- What might be causing my rash?
- What tests do I need to confirm the diagnosis?
- Is this condition temporary or chronic?
- What is the best course of action?
- What are the alternatives to the primary treatment approach that you're suggesting?
- I don't like the idea of taking steroids. Are there other medications you can prescribe?
- Is there a generic alternative to the medicine you're prescribing me?
- What if I just wait to see if my signs and symptoms go away on their own?
What to expect from your doctor
Your doctor is likely to ask you a number of questions, such as:
Dec. 13, 2012
- When did your symptoms start?
- Did they come on suddenly or gradually?
- What did the rash look like when it first appeared?
- Is the rash painful?
- What, if anything, makes it better?
- What, if anything, makes it worse?
- Were you sick before the rash started?
- What medical problems have you had?
- Do you have other symptoms that started about the same time?
- What medications do you take?
- Goldsmith LA, et al., eds. Fitzpatrick's Dermatology in General Medicine. 8th ed. New York, N.Y.: The McGraw-Hill Companies; 2012. http://www.accessmedicine.com/resourceTOC.aspx?resourceID=740. Accessed Oct. 15, 2012.
- Moschella SL. Neutrophilic dermatoses. http://www.uptodate.com/index. Accessed Oct. 15, 2012.
- Habif TP. Clinical Dermatology: A Color Guide to Diagnosis and Therapy. 5th ed. Edinburgh, U.K.; New York, N.Y.: Mosby Elsevier; 2010. http://www.mdconsult.com/books/about.do?about=true&eid=4-u1.0-B978-0-7234-3541-9..X0001-6--TOP&isbn=978-0-7234-3541-9&uniqId=230100505-57. Accessed Oct. 15, 2012.
- Saag KG, et al. Major side effects of systemic glucocorticoids. http://www.uptodate.com/index. Accessed Oct. 15, 2012.