Most of the time, people don’t consider visiting a dermatologist until after they’ve noticed some skin issues or symptoms. However, there is a high chance that the symptoms don’t appear until the condition is already beyond reversal so here's what to expect on your first dermatologist visit.
This does not mean that the skin issue you're experiencing cannot be controlled or fixed. However, restoring the skin to how it was before the damage occurred is almost impossible. This is why it is recommended to start skincare habits like moisturizing and wearing sunscreen early on so that the natural elasticity and bounce of the skin can be preserved for longer. When it comes to skincare, preservation is better than cure.
Similarly, visiting a dermatologist on a regular basis is a crucial part of your skincare as well as your overall health and wellness. Irrespective of whether you have any skin issues or not, you must visit a dermatologist for regular checkups at least once a year. If you are punctual in your visits, the dermatologist will be able to better guide you on how frequently you should go in for checkups.
Not only will this help you maintain better skincare habits, but a dermatologist will be able to pick up on underlying skin problems before the symptoms become apparent. Additionally, they will be able to spot symptoms of more severe issues such as skin cancer while it's in its early stages.
First Visit to a Dermatologist
Now that you know the importance of visiting a dermatologist for regular visits, it is time to book your first appointment. If you've never been to a dermatologist before, you may be concerned about how things will. If you're like most people who have a fear of doctors, it's likely that you're already stressing out over the impending appointment.
You can relax knowing that, in most cases, your first checkup shouldn't be anything serious. Whether you're going for a regular checkup or have some underlying issue that you need to discuss, the following are some things you can expect on your first visit to a dermatologist.
· Medical Records and History
Like most doctors and primary care physicians, your dermatologist would ask you about your medical history on the first visit. These include things like any health problems you have, prescription or over-the-counter medications you’re taking, and any other information about your medical history.
It is essential to be honest and transparent to your dermatologist about your medical history, as this will help them provide better treatment for any skin issues you may have. Even if you don't think that your cough medicine isn't related to your skin, tell your dermatologist about how often you tend to take it. When it comes to your health, it is all relevant.
· Full-Body Checkup
When you’re visiting a dermatologist for the first time, you will likely be asked to disrobe and given a paper or cloth gown to wear. Being mentally prepared for this can save you the shock. Since it is your first visit, your dermatologist would do a full-body checkup for any symptoms or signs of skin problems. They would take a closer look at any suspicious moles, uneven skin tone, or any other marks.
You may find this odd, especially if you went to the dermatologist to show your facial acne. However, a dermatologist’s job is to help you with any and all skin issues that you may have. This is why it is crucial for them to do a full-body checkup.
· New Prescriptions
After your skin examination, your dermatologist will have all the relevant information about your skin and any underlying symptoms that you need to be aware of. If you already had any acne or skin issues that you were concerned about, you will most likely leave with a prescription after the first visit. However, even if there weren't any apparent issues, your dermatologist might still give you a prescription.
These are generally not too harsh or invasive. However, be sure to ask questions to understand your new medications. How will it affect your skin and overall health? What are the common side effects? Are there any adverse side effects you should be aware of? What are the signs that you should stop taking the medication and book another appointment with the dermatologist? Ask anything that comes to your mind about the prescription to ensure you're fully aware of what you're getting.
· Follow-Up Visit
This is especially true if you had to visit a dermatologist for already apparent skin issues, such as acne. Ideally, you could just visit the dermatologist once, get a prescription, and never have acne on your face again. Sadly, that's not how it works. Even the most experienced dermatologist may not be able to provide you with the perfect treatment on the first day.
Since every person is different, the treatment that may be most beneficial for them is also different. This is why it may take a few appointments before your dermatologist can figure out the most effective treatment for you. You would like to be called for a follow-up visit within 3 to 6 weeks to see how the medication is affecting you and whether it needs to be changed or updated.
· Don’t Be Scared to Ask Questions
A lot of people get shy if they have any questions for their dermatologist. However, a dermatologist wants you to ask as many questions as you have. They would be happy to help you with any skin health concerns that you have, even if it isn’t related to the main reason for your visit.
Discuss any skincare habits that you have or are trying to build upon. You can ask them if the moisturizer you’re using is the best for your skin type or if you should switch to a different one. Don’t be scared to ask any questions that you have.
If you're looking for a good dermatologist for your first appointment, head over to Suncoast Skin Solutions to book an appointment today.