10 Questions I Should Ask My Dermatologist During a Consultation
One of the best ways to preserve the health of your skin is to ensure routine check-ups with your dermatologist. In fact, Perri Dermatology encourages patients to come in for an annual check-up, allowing Dr. Perri a chance to take a look at your skin and suggest potential changes to your skincare regimen.
When you meet any dermatologist, you should feel empowered to ask plenty of questions about the state of your skin. Consider just a few examples.
Key Questions for Your Dermatologist
1) What should I be doing to guard against skin cancer?
Believe it or not, skin cancer is the single most common type of cancer in the United States. And while some forms of skin cancer can be easily treated, others can be insidious and deadly. (It is not for nothing that melanoma is called the silent killer.) There may be certain steps you can take to ensure your risk of skin cancer is minimized. Your dermatologist can provide practical suggestions.
2) Am I in a high-risk group for skin cancer?
Along the same lines, it might be helpful to ask your dermatologist whether you have any risk factors that might make you more likely to get skin cancer. For example, your dermatologist will probably want to ask you about any family history of skin cancer, which can be a revealing indicator of your own risk level. You can also talk with your dermatologist about your exposure to the sun, especially if you have a job or a hobby that takes you outside quite a bit. If you are in a higher risk category, your dermatologist may recommend that you get skin cancer screenings more regularly.
3) How should I be caring for my skin?
Everyone wants to know how they can keep their skin looking smooth and youthful. Do a quick Google search for “skin care tips” or “skin care regimens,” and you will find page upon page of guidelines, many of them contradictory. The reason for that is that different people have different skincare needs; there is no one-size-fits-all solution. Your dermatologist can provide you with individualized guidance based on their assessment of your skin and its current condition.
4) What about my moles?
If you have prominent moles on your body, you can bet that our dermatologist will spend a few minutes studying them and talking with you about them. In addition, make sure you ask what you can do to monitor your moles on your own. Ask what red flags or warning signs to watch for and how you know when you need to come back to the dermatologist’s office for a follow-up. Your dermatologist will be happy to share some specific strategies for you.
5) What is this thing, anyway?
By “this thing,” we are referring to whatever odd or unidentifiable skin blemish you have. Most people have something, whether it is a skin tag, an ingrown hair, or something else; maybe your “thing” is visibly inflamed and infected. Maybe it causes you discomfort. Or maybe you just do not know what it is. Regardless, you should never hesitate to ask your dermatologist about those strange blemishes or pain points.
6) What causes me to have these acne breakouts?
Do you regularly find your skin breaking out with blemishes? There are a number of possible causes of acne, ranging from hormonal issues to a suboptimal skincare regimen. Often, the underlying issue is something you can address through simple lifestyle changes. Your dermatologist can help you understand your skin better and potentially take the first steps toward clearing it up.
7) What about my diet?
Like any other part of your body, your skin requires adequate nutrition to work the way it is supposed to. Certain foods help your skin to be stronger, while a diet that is low on key nutrients can actually lead to skin that is oily, flaky, or otherwise compromised. If you have had any issues with your skin, it may be worth it to ask your dermatologist about potential dietary culprits. Or you can simply ask for some general guidelines about what to eat in order to care for your skin.
8) Am I aging as well as I could be?
As we get older, our body loses some of its elasticity. In addition, frequent exposure to the sun can cause some damage. The bottom line: Eventually, your skin is going to start showing some signs of age. However, there may be some treatments available to you to reverse some of the visible effects of the aging process. Your dermatologist will be happy to make some recommendations.
9) What kind of sunscreen should I be using?
Do not hesitate to ask your dermatologist for recommendations regarding any kind of skincare product but be especially intentional in seeking a sunscreen recommendation. Not all sunscreens are created equal, and your dermatologist can point you toward one that is well-suited for your skin and able to offer you the necessary level of protection against cancer.
10) When should I come back?
You should probably plan on annual skin examinations, but if there are any issues or worry signs, your dermatologist may advise you to come back sooner than that. Make sure you know how often you should be getting your skin checked out.
Make an Appointment with Your Dermatologist Today
Regular appointments with your dermatologist can ensure that you have clear, healthy skin. These visits will also ensure that you receive early intervention for things like skin cancer and that you are doing everything you should in order to maintain a youthful appearance.
If you live in The Woodlands or Conroe, TX, we would love to see you here at Perri Dermatology. And if you live elsewhere, we encourage you to reach out to your local dermatologist as soon as you are able.