Preparing for your appointmentBy Mayo Clinic staff
You're likely to start by seeing your family 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).
Because appointments can be brief, and because there's often a lot to cover, it's a good idea to be well prepared for your appointment. Here's some information to help you get ready for your appointment and what to expect from your doctor.
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 dry skin, some basic questions to ask your doctor include:
- What is likely causing the dry skin?
- What are other possible causes for my symptoms?
- Are tests needed to confirm the diagnosis?
- Can I wait to see if the condition goes away on its own?
- What skin care routines do you recommend to improve my symptoms?
In addition to the questions that you've prepared to ask your doctor, don't hesitate to ask questions during your appointment at any time that you don't understand something.
What to expect from your doctor
Your doctor is likely to ask you several questions. Being ready to answer them may reserve time to go over any points you want to discuss more. Your doctor may ask:
- Do you have other symptoms?
- Have your symptoms been continuous or occasional?
- What, if anything, makes it better?
- What, if anything, makes it worse?
- What medications are you taking?
- Do you have asthma or hay fever, or do these conditions run in your family?
- What is your typical bathing pattern, and which soaps and shampoos do you use?
- Do you use moisturizing creams? If so, which ones and how often do you use them?
- Dry skin and keratosis pilaris. American Academy of Dermatology. http://www.aad.org/public/publications/pamphlets/skin_dry.html. Accessed Oct. 5, 2010.
- Fazio SB, et al. Pruritus. http://www.uptodate.com/home/index.html. Accessed Oct. 5, 2010.
- Baumann L. Cosmetics and skin care in dermatology. In: Wolff K, et al. Fitzpatrick's Dermatology in General Medicine. 7th ed. New York, N.Y.: The McGraw-Hill Companies; 2008. http://accessmedicine.com/content.aspx?aID=3007166&searchStr=xerosis. Accessed Oct. 5, 2010.
- Gibson LE (expert opinion). Mayo Clinic, Rochester, Minn. Oct. 14, 2010.