Preparing for your appointmentBy Mayo Clinic staff
You're likely to first see your primary care doctor. 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, as well as any vitamins or supplements, that you're taking.
- Write down questions to ask your doctor.
Your time with your doctor may be limited, so preparing a list of questions can help you make the most of your time together. For pemphigus, some basic questions to ask your doctor include:
- What's the most likely cause of my symptoms?
- Are there other possible causes for my symptoms?
- What kinds of tests do I need? Do these tests require any special preparation?
- What treatments are available, and which do you recommend?
- How long will it take for the blisters to heal?
- Will the blisters come back again?
- Are there any side effects from this treatment?
- What can I do for the pain?
- I have other health conditions. How can I best manage these conditions together?
- Is there a generic alternative to the medicine you're prescribing me?
- Are there any brochures or other printed material that I can take home with me? What websites do you recommend?
In addition to the questions that you've prepared to ask your doctor, don't hesitate to ask any questions that may occur to you during your appointment.
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 you first begin experiencing symptoms?
- Do you have any pain?
- Do the sores or blisters itch?
- Does anything seem to improve your symptoms?
- What, if anything, appears to worsen your symptoms?
- Have you ever had a skin biopsy?
- Have you had any prescription treatments for this skin condition? If so, do you remember the name of the medication and the dosage you were prescribed?
- Goldstein BG. Pemphigus. http://www.uptodate.com/index. Accessed Sept. 10, 2012.
- McPhee SJ, et al., eds. Current Medical Diagnosis and Treatment 2013. New York, N.Y.: McGraw-Hill Medical; 2013. http://www.accessmedicine.com/resourceTOC.aspx?resourceID=1. Accessed September 12, 2012.
- Martin LK, et al. Interventions for pemphigus vulgaris and pemphigus foliaceus. Cochrane Database of Systematic Reviews. http://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/10.1002/14651858.CD006263.pub2/abstract. Accessed Sept. 12, 2012.
- Pemphigus. National Institute of Arthritis and Musculoskeletal and Skin Diseases. http://www.niams.nih.gov/health_info/pemphigus/. Accessed Sept. 10, 2012.
- Kasperkiewicz M, et al. Current therapy of the pemphigus group. Clinics in Dermatology. 2012;30:84.
- Venugopal SS, et al. Diagnosis and clinical features of pemphigus vulgaris. Dermatology Clinics. 2011;29:373.