Preparing for your appointmentBy Mayo Clinic staff
You're likely to start by seeing your family doctor or a general practitioner. In some cases, you may be referred to a dermatologist.
To get the most from your appointment, it's good to prepare. Here's some information to help you get ready for your appointment.
What you can do
- Write down any symptoms you're experiencing, including any that may seem unrelated to the reason for which you scheduled the appointment.
- Write down key personal information, including any major stresses or recent life changes.
- Make a list of all medications, vitamins and supplements you're taking.
- Write down questions to ask your doctor.
Preparing a list of questions will help you make the most of your time with your doctor. For ingrown hairs, some basic questions to ask your doctor include:
- What is likely causing my symptoms or condition?
- Other than the most likely cause, what are other possible causes for my symptoms or condition?
- Do I need tests?
- Is my condition likely temporary or chronic?
- What is the best course of action?
- What are the alternatives to the primary approach you're suggesting?
- Are there restrictions I need to follow?
- Is there a generic alternative to the medicine you're prescribing?
- Are there any brochures or other printed material that I can take with me? What websites do you recommend?
Don't hesitate to ask other questions, as well.
What to expect from your doctor
Your doctor is likely to ask you a number of questions, including:
- When did you begin experiencing symptoms?
- Have your symptoms been continuous or occasional?
- How severe are your symptoms?
- What, if anything, seems to improve your symptoms?
- What, if anything, appears to worsen your symptoms?
- What type of razor do you use?
- How often do you shave?
- What shaving or other hair removal technique do you use?
What you can do in the meantime
In the days before your appointment with your doctor, if possible, stop shaving or using any form of hair removal. Ingrown hairs may worsen at first as they regrow, but eventually they'll improve.
- Pseudofolliculitis barbae. The Merck Manuals: The Merck Manual for Healthcare Professionals. http://www.merck.com/mmpe/print/sec10/ch124/ch124d.html. Accessed Nov. 22, 2011.
- Coley MK, et al. Managing common dermatoses in skin of color. Seminars in Cutaneous Medicine and Surgery. 2009;28:63.
- Habif TP. Folliculitis. 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/about.do?about=true&eid=4-u1.0-B978-0-7234-3541-9..X0001-6--TOP&isbn=978-0-7234-3541-9&uniqId=230100505-57. Accessed Nov. 22, 2011.
- Perry PK, et al. Defining pseudofolliculitis barbae in 2001: A review of the literature and current trends. Journal of the American Academy of Dermatology. 2002;46(suppl):S113.