We all want the best looking skin possible, which means seeing your dermatologist on a regular basis. Your skin doctor will do a check for any worrisome spots that could be cancer. She can also help you target specific skin issues, such as acne or greasiness. However, your dermatologist can’t help you get the best skin if you don’t tell her certain things. Wondering what to share at your next appointment? These are the most important things to tell your derm.
1. Your Family History of Skin Cancer
Because skin cancer runs in families and can be partly blamed on genetics, you should let her know if anyone in your family has ever had melanoma or other types of skin cancer. That way she can keep an eye on your skin for similar issues. She’ll probably ask you enough questions that it shouldn’t be hard to outline your history.
2. Skin Changes
If you’ve noticed any changes to your skin since your last appointment, make sure you speak up. This could be a scaly patch of skin you can’t get rid of or a mole that has gotten bigger or changed color. If you see the same dermatologist every year, she will probably have each year’s check up on record so she can make comparisons to detect these changes. However, you should always bring up any changes you’ve seen too so that you’re both on the same page.
3. Be Honest about Your Tanning Practices
Whether you tan without SPF or you spend time in the tanning booths, it’s important to be totally honest with your dermatologist. She won’t judge you, but needs to know what kinds of things you’re doing that could harm your skin. It might be embarrassing or make you feel you shameful, but let her know the real picture. It’s vital for the health of your skin.
4. Talk about the Products You Use on a Daily Basis
Tell your dermatologist about all of the products you put on your skin. That includes any cleansers, lotions, creams, serums or anything else you use regularly. You should also tell her about anything you only use occasionally. This will give your dermatologist a clear picture of why your skin might be doing what it’s doing. If you’re having issues, she can help determine if your products might be causing the problems.
5. Tell Her about Any Medications You’re Taking
If your derm is going to put you on any medications for your skin, it’s important to know what other supplements and meds you’re taking. Some of them interact with each other and your dermatologist won’t know the risks of certain skin medications if she doesn’t know what you’re taking. Your best bet is to take a bag containing all of your meds with you to the appointment so that she can see what you’re taking.
6. Be Ready to Discuss Your Environment
Your dermatologist will probably want to know what kind of laundry soap you use, what pets you have and what your job entails. These things can contribute to your skin issues so it’s important to tell her everything. Write this info down and if she doesn’t ask you about it, hand her the list and tell her you want to see if any of these things could be at play.
7. You Have to Talk about Your Lifestyle Habits Too
You might want to skip this conversation, but many lifestyle choices can interfere with healthy skin, so be sure you are honest about this. You’ll need to tell your dermatologist whether you smoke, drink alcohol, do drugs, eat a lot of junk food or skimp on sleep. All of these things have a solution, but you won’t know what that solution is if you keep things hidden.
How often do you see your dermatologist?