Your First Dermatologist Appointment: What To Expect and How To Prepare

by | Sep 18, 2023 | Blog

For most people, visiting the dermatologist is one of those annual things they want to get over and done with. For some, however, it can be as nerve-wracking as a thorough medical examination. It is often even worse for those who notice something strange on their skin and will be visiting the dermatologist for the first time.

If you’ve recently scheduled your first dermatologist appointment, it’s natural to feel uncertain about what will happen. Whether the consultation is for a routine skin examination or to determine whether you have an underlying health condition, the guide below will help you prepare for and make the most of your first visit.

Preparing For Your First Appointment

Before your first dermatologist appointment, ensure you have the following in order:

  • Gather relevant information: Write down a comprehensive list of your current medications, allergies, and medical history, including previous skin conditions or treatments. Doing this will give your dermatologist sufficient information for your evaluation.
  • Add your questions to the list: Jot down concerns or questions about your skin, such as persistent acne, moles, or spots that won’t go away.
  • Review your medical insurance coverage: Check whether your insurance plan will cover your appointment before heading to the dermatologist. Also, find out whether you would need to make a co-payment.

When you schedule your appointment, check that you’ve received confirmation of the time and date you need to be there and take note of specific instructions that you need to follow or forms to complete.

If possible, arrive a few minutes early to hand over the necessary paperwork, and remember to take your insurance information and identification along.

What to Expect During The Appointment

Someone will meet you at the front desk when you arrive. You may have to wait a few minutes before being taken to the examination room. Your dermatologist will review your medical history and ask about your skin concerns. Be open and honest about what’s worrying you to make it easier for the dermatologist to diagnose and develop an appropriate treatment plan.

When the initial ‘interview’ is over, the dermatologist will do a thorough examination of your skin, scalp, hair, and nails to look for indications of topical or underlying health conditions. You may need to undergo diagnostic tests such as skin biopsies or cultures to rule out specific disorders.

Based on the findings, the dermatologist will provide a diagnosis and recommend or prescribe treatment, including medication or lifestyle changes. If the dermatologist cannot diagnose you, they may schedule further tests or refer you to other specialists.

Your dermatologist will also advise you on how to care for your skin based on specific concerns you may have highlighted during the appointment.

After the Appointment

When the appointment is over, it is essential to follow these steps:

  • Complete medication and treatment plans: If your dermatologist prescribed medication or recommended a treatment plan, follow their instructions carefully. If you’re unsure of something, ask the dermatologist to clarify before using any medication. Also, ask about potential side effects to avoid nasty surprises.
  • Follow a skincare routine: Implement a skincare routine as recommended. This may include using a series of products or taking supplements.
  • Schedule follow-up appointments: Depending on your diagnosis, you may need to schedule follow-up appointments so your dermatologist can monitor your progress or adjust your treatment.
  • Save emergency contact information: Make sure you save the contact information of your dermatologist’s office in case of urgent concerns or adverse reactions to prescribed medications.
The Bottom Line

Your first dermatologist appointment will get you on the road to achieving and maintaining healthy skin and overall health. For more information on how to prepare for a dermatologist appointment, contact Complete Dermatology at (402) 423-1111.

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