Preparing for your appointmentBy Mayo Clinic staff
You're likely to start by seeing your family doctor or primary care doctor. However, in some cases when you call to set up an appointment, you may be referred directly to a specialist in skin diseases (dermatologist).
What you can do
Your time with your doctor is limited, so preparing a list of questions will help you make the most of your appointment. List your questions from most important to least important in case time runs out. For actinic keratoses, some basic questions to ask your doctor include:
- Are tests needed to confirm the diagnosis?
- What is the best course of action?
- What are the alternatives to the primary approach that you're suggesting?
- What are my treatment options and the pros and cons for each?
- What suspicious changes in my skin should I look for?
- What kind of follow-up should I expect?
In addition to the questions that you've prepared to ask your doctor, don't hesitate to ask follow-up questions during your appointment.
What to expect from your doctor
Questions your doctor may ask you include:
- When did you first notice the lesions?
- Have you noticed multiple lesions?
- Is the condition bothersome?
- Have you experienced frequent or severe sunburns?
- How often are you exposed to sun or UV radiation?
- Do you regularly protect your skin from UV radiation?
- Jorizzo J, et al. Actinic keratosis. http://www.uptodate.com/home/index.html. Accessed Oct. 28, 2010.
- Actinic keratoses. American Academy of Dermatology. http://www.aad.org/public/publications/pamphlets/sun_actinic.html. Accessed Oct. 28, 2010.
- Shoimer I, et al. Current management of actinic keratoses. Skin Therapy Letter. 2010;15:5.
- Habif TP. Premalignant and malignant nonmelanoma skin tumors. In: 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/page.do?eid=4-u1.0-B978-0-7234-3541-9..00030-4--s0300&isbn=978-0-7234-3541-9&type=bookPage§ionEid=4-u1.0-B978-0-7234-3541-9..00030-4--s0300&uniqId=224808926-3#4-u1.0-B978-0-7234-3541-9..00030-4--s0300. Accessed Oct. 28, 2010.
- Duncan KO, et al. Epithelial precancerous lesions. In: Wolff K, et al. Fitzpatrick's Dermatology in General Medicine. 7th ed. New York, N.Y.: The McGraw-Hill Companies; 2008. http://www.accessmedicine.com/content.aspx?aID=2981340. Accessed Oct. 28, 2010.
- Sunscreens/sunblocks. American Academy of Dermatology. http://www.aad.org/public/publications/pamphlets/sun_sunscreens.html. Accessed Oct. 28, 2010.