Your skin is one of the most important parts of your body. It protects you from pathogens by acting as the first line of defense. However, when an issue develops on it, getting it checked immediately is essential.
You shouldn’t ignore any issue, whether it is a mole or signs of basal cell carcinoma. Dermatologists can help you get rid of common skin conditions and suggest cosmetic remedies for some of your worries.
If this is your first time attending a dermatologist appointment, it is okay to be confused about what goes on. This will walk you through what to expect during a dermatologist’s routine checkup. Here is what dermatologists look for and what to expect during your appointment:
Skin cancer assessment
It is standard practice for dermatologists to look for signs of skin cancer. They will need to assess each part of your skin. The earlier skin cancer signs are identified, the easier it is to deal with. They will also offer you tips for checking your skin for skin cancer signs at home.
Assessing your skincare routine
Your skincare routine will have a large impact on any remedies your dermatologist suggests. While some products will contribute to your skin looking great, others could harm it. There are skin products that are designed for specific skin types.
If you use the wrong product, you risk contracting some skin conditions. Be sure to share all information about your skincare routine. The more information you share with your dermatologist, the better.
Assessing your medical history
Your medical history matters when suggesting a regimen for your specific condition. For instance, blood thinners tend to aggravate the small bruising you get from cosmetic injections. If you leave this information out, you could risk some side effects.
Assessing your medical history helps dermatologists assess whether you are the perfect candidate for the procedure. Don’t worry. Most procedures have ways to circumvent them if you have a condition that complicates doing them normally.
Assessing your skin aging goals
If you are interested in looking forever young, your dermatologist will want to know your specific goals. They will look into any signs of aging you might have. You will also need to provide information about your current age, lifestyle habits, skincare ingredients, and specific concerns.
Fine lines and wrinkles are natural, but there are ways to delay them. In fact, some of these formats are natural and quite effective, especially when you start early enough. Feel free to share enough information on your skin aging goals with your dermatologist.
Once your dermatologist identifies how they can help you, they will suggest a suitable procedure or a home remedy. Here are a few procedures to expect:
- Chemical peels: Involves using chemical solutions to peel the top skin layer. This allows the skin to regenerate while looking as good as new.
- Lesion excision: If you have a lesion on your skin, it might need to be removed for a couple of reasons. For instance, you might need to remove it to prevent disease, for cosmetic reasons, or to prevent an infection.
- Laser surgery: Laser surgery helps with a lot of skin problems, including treating scars, tattoos, moles, wrinkles, tumors, and more.
- Microdermabrasion: this involves removing your skin’s top layer in specific parts of your body to improve its appearance.
- Biopsies: skin biopsies are performed to diagnose specific skin conditions. They help dermatologists rule out specific diseases and identify the specific issue you are suffering from.
- Skin grafts: this simply involves replacing missing skin with new skin from other parts of your body.
- Skin resurfacing: this procedure involves boosting the skin’s collagen production. In turn, better collagen production results in new skin creation, healthier skin tissue, and younger-looking skin.
- Cosmetic injections: From Botox to derma fillers, these injections can help reduce scarring, fine lines, and wrinkles. They are great anti-aging skincare suggestions.
- Cryotherapy: This procedure involves using liquid nitrogen to free the affected skin section to eliminate the benign skin conditions.
- Mohs surgery: This is a specialized cancer surgery that targets cancerous cells growing on facial skin.
Four important things to note before your appointment
1. Prepare your questions beforehand
Before your visit, ensure you understand every question you need to ask to maximize your appointment. You should make a list of concerns, the medication you use, pre-existing medical conditions, and your family history. You could even ask precise questions like whether checking moles for cancer will be necessary during your appointment. All of this information matters – it gives your dermatologist some context.
Listing out your concerns ensures you can maximize your appointment instead of remembering something essential after the fact. This information also helps dermatologists have a better understanding of your previous skin issues and treatments, and medical background. It allows your dermatologist to suggest a treatment plan that’s customized to your skin.
2. Don’t expect quick fixes
Skin conditions can be complex. While they could disappear in a snap for some people, they could be chronic for others. Skin types also differ. This means that you might need some trial and error before your dermatologist can identify the perfect skincare regimen for you.
In some cases, the solution could help keep your skin condition under control without completely treating it. However, there are multiple cases where skin treatments help eliminate specific conditions. It all trickles down to your skin and immediate medical condition.
During your visits, be sure to ask about expectations to ensure you are on the same page. You could need to book follow-up appointments for assessment of the success of the recommended regimens. Rest assured that your dermatologist is working overtime to solve your problem.
3. Book your appointment in advance
While there are some treatments that let you enjoy your results immediately, others require some downtime. They might have side effects that fade away after a few hours or days.
Common side effects can range from simple bruising to swelling to drooping. The downtime period allows your skin to heal before you can start enjoying the results in the future. Be sure to ask about the level of downtime to expect after a procedure during your first appointment. You should book the appointment for the procedure at a time when the downtime won’t cause a lot of disruption.
4. Check with your insurance company
While insurance providers cover dermatology visits, the details of the coverage matter. Understanding what’s covered and what’s not will help you plan your finances. For instance, it is common for certain cosmetic treatments not to be covered by insurance.
Once you are sure of the procedure you want, review your insurance policy to check if it’s covered. Consider also consulting your insurance provider for more information. Most insurance companies cover conditions like eczema, psoriasis, acne, and cancer.
Signs you need to see a dermatologist
It is common for skin problems to appear and disappear on their own. What if your specific condition is a precursor for more issues in the future? It is common to ignore the sign of a chronic condition, whereas a trip to your dermatologist will quickly resolve issues.
This is why dermatologist routine checkups are important. Here are a few signs to book that appointment today:
1. You have a stubborn rash
If you have tried medication to deal with the rush to no success, it might be time to book that appointment. Rashes might look the same to an untrained eye, but dermatologists can identify an issue from a mile away. Your dermatologists will assess the rashes’ shapes and patterns to identify if you need to be worried about anything.
2. Your nails are changing color
Nail discoloration can be a sure sign of fungal infections. It could also be a sign of aging, nutritional deficiencies, or various diseases. It could also be a reaction to specific medications. Paying your dermatologist a visit will help identify the issue fast.
3. You notice a new spot on your body
New moles can easily develop in your body. You could also notice changes to a pre-existing mole. Such appearances could be a sign of skin cancer and checking moles for cancer is essential.
4. Your skin is extra sensitive
It is normal for skin sensitivity to increase with time. As you age, your skin’s immune system weakens due to environmental factors like UV rays and pollen. Paying your dermatologist a visit will help you identify the root cause of your sensitivity.
5. You have recurring acne
While some people experience acne that goes away on its own, there are an unlucky few who have recurring acne. In other cases, the acne might recede but leave behind scars. A dermatologist could identify the issues behind your acne and suggest remedies to make it go away.
Protect your skin
Your skin needs a lot of care to keep it looking young and healthy. The earlier you can identify a skin issue such as basal cell carcinoma, the easier it will be to resolve it. Pay your dermatologist a visit today for proper skin treatment.