Preparing for your appointmentBy Mayo Clinic staff
You're likely to start by seeing your family doctor or a general practitioner. However, when you call to set up an appointment, you may be referred to a doctor who specializes in skin conditions (dermatologist).
At the time you make the appointment, be sure to ask if there's anything you need to do in advance. For example, if you're going to have tests that check for a reaction to ultraviolet light (phototesting), your doctor may ask you to stop taking certain medications beforehand.
What you can do
Before your appointment, you may want to write a list of answers to the following questions:
- How long after exposure to the sun did your symptoms begin?
- What type of symptoms did you experience?
- Have your symptoms worsened or gotten better?
- Have you ever had these types of symptoms before?
- What medications and supplements do you take regularly?
What to expect from your doctor
Your doctor is likely to ask you a number of questions. Examples may include:
- What parts of your body are affected?
- Exactly what does the affected skin look like?
- How severe are your symptoms?
- How long does your skin reaction last?
- Do you have itching or pain?
- Does your skin react just to direct sunlight or also to sunlight shining through window glass?
- Does anyone else in your family have skin reactions to sunlight or other allergic skin conditions?
- What products do you use on your skin?
- Elmets CA. Photosensitivity disorders (photodermatoses): Clinical manifestations, diagnosis and treatment. http://www.uptodate.com/index. Accessed June 29, 2012.
- 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 June 29, 2012.
- Auerbach PS. Wilderness Medicine. 6th ed. Philadelphia, Pa: Mosby Elsevier; 2011. http://www.mdconsult.com/books/page.do?eid=4-u1.0-B978-1-4377-1678-8..00014-3--s0235&isbn=978-1-4377-1678-8&sid=1328139176&uniqId=343465713-3#4-u1.0-B978-1-4377-1678-8..00014-3--s0240. Accessed July 2, 2012.
- Elmets CA. Polymorphous light eruption. http://www.uptodate.com/index. Accessed July 2, 2012.
- Elmets CA. Overview of cutaneous photosensitivity: Photobiology, patient evaluation and photoprotection. http://www.uptodate.com/index. Accessed July 2, 2012.