Preparing for your appointmentBy Mayo Clinic staff
You're likely to start by seeing your family doctor. He or she may refer you 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 know what to expect from your doctor.
What you can do
Write down all your signs and symptoms and when they first occurred. Record how long the lesions lasted and if any recurred.
Make a list of all medications — including vitamins, herbs and over-the-counter drugs — that you're taking. Note the dosages and directions for each medication on your list, or take the original bottles with you to your appointment.
Also write down questions that you want to ask your doctor. Don't be afraid to ask questions or to speak up when you don't understand something your doctor says. Start with the problems that concern you most.
What to expect from your doctor
Your doctor is likely to ask you a number of questions, such as:
- When did your symptoms start?
- Did they come on suddenly or gradually?
- What did the lesions look like when they started?
- Are your symptoms painful?
- Have your parents or siblings ever had this problem?
- Have you ever had these symptoms before?
- Goldsmith LA, et al., eds. Fitzpatrick's Dermatology in General Medicine. 8th ed. New York, N.Y.: The McGraw-Hill Companies; 2012. http://www.accessmedicine.com/resourceTOC.aspx?resourceID=740. Accessed Feb. 11, 2013.
- Margesson LJ, et al. Pathogenesis, clinical features and diagnosis of hidradenitis suppurativa. http://www.uptodate.com/home. Accessed Feb. 11, 2013.
- Danby WF, et al. Hidradenitis suppurativa. Dermatologic Clinics. 2010;28:779.
- AskMayoExpert. Hidradenitis suppurativa. Rochester, Minn.: Mayo Foundation for Medical Education and Research; 2013.
- Margesson LJ, et al. Treatment of hidradenitis suppurativa. http://www.uptodate.com/home. Accessed Feb. 11, 2013.
- Ferri FF. Ferri's Clinical Advisor 2013:5 Books in 1. Philadelphia, Pa.: Mosby Elsevier; 2012. http://www.mdconsult.com/books/about.do?eid=4-u1.0-B978-0-323-08373-7..00002-9&isbn=978-0-323-08373-7&about=true&uniqId=343863096-23. Accessed Feb. 11, 2013.
- Gibson LE (expert opinion). Mayo Clinic, Rochester, Minn. Feb. 14, 2013.