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 to a specialist in skin diseases (dermatologist).
Because appointments can be brief and there's often a lot of ground to cover, it can help to be well prepared. Here are some tips to help you get ready for your appointment and what to expect from your doctor.
What you can do
Write down all your signs and symptoms, when they occurred and how long they lasted. Also, make a list of all medications, including vitamins, herbs and over-the-counter drugs, that you're taking. Even better, take the original bottles and a written list of the dosages and directions.
Write down questions that you want to ask your doctor and don't be afraid to ask questions that may come up during your appointment. For itchy skin, questions you may want to ask include:
- What is likely causing my symptoms?
- Are tests needed to confirm the diagnosis?
- What are other possible causes for my symptoms?
- Is my condition likely temporary or chronic?
- What is the best course of action?
- What are the alternatives to the primary approach that you're suggesting?
- Do I need prescription medication, or can I use over-the-counter medications to treat the condition?
- What results can I expect?
- Can I wait to see if the condition goes away on its own?
What to expect from your doctor
Your doctor is likely to begin with your medical history and ask you some questions, such as:
- When did you first begin experiencing symptoms?
- What did your skin look like when your symptoms first started?
- Have your symptoms changed over time?
- What, if anything, appears to worsen your symptoms?
- What, if anything, appears to improve your symptoms?
- What at-home treatments have you tried?
- What prescription and over-the-counter medications are you taking?
- Have you traveled recently?
- What is your typical diet?
Do you come in contact with common environmental irritants, such as pets or certain metals, at home or at work?
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