Preparing for your appointmentBy Mayo Clinic staff
You may start by seeing your primary care physician. However, you may then be referred to a doctor who specializes in skin disorders (dermatologist).
Because appointments can be brief, and there's often a lot of ground to cover, it's a good idea to arrive well prepared. Here's some information to help you get ready for your appointment, and what to expect from your doctor.
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 or supplements you're taking.
- Write down questions to ask your doctor.
Your time with your doctor is limited, so preparing a list of questions can help you make the most of your time together. For neurodermatitis, some basic questions to ask your doctor include:
- What's the most likely cause of my itching?
- Are there other possible causes?
- Do I need any tests?
- Will the itching ever stop?
- What treatments are available, and which do you recommend?
- What side effects can I expect from treatment?
- Are there any alternatives to the primary approach that you're suggesting?
- How long will it take for my skin to return to normal?
- I have other health conditions. How can I best manage these conditions together?
What to expect from your doctor
Your doctor is likely to ask you a number of questions. Being ready to answer them may reserve time to go over any points you want to spend more time on. Your doctor may ask:
- When did your symptoms start?
- Have your symptoms been continuous, or do they come and go?
- What steps have you taken on your own to manage the itchiness?
- Have any of these measures helped?
- Lichen simplex chronicus (Neurodermatitis). The Merck Manuals: The Merck Manual for Healthcare Professionals. http://www.merckmanuals.com/professional/dermatologic_disorders/dermatitis/lichen_simplex_chronicus.html?qt=neurodermatitis&alt=sh. Accessed Aug. 14, 2012.
- Park KK, et al. Pathologic skin picking. http://www.uptodate.com/index. Accessed Aug. 14, 2012.
- 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/resourceTOC.aspx?resourceID=505. Accessed Aug. 14, 2012.