9 Questions to Always Ask at Your Annual Dermatologist Appointment

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Between checking for signs of skin cancer, monitoring abnormalities and prescribing products to usher in healthier skin, your annual dermatologist appointment is vital. To ensure that you discuss everything you want to during the visit, Eagan, MN dermatologist Charles Crutchfield III, MD suggests writing down questions and bringing them with you.

Conversely, it’s just as important to be prepared to respond to questions from your doctor about past medical history, dermatologic histry, family history and current medications, says Bloomfield Hills, MI dermatologist Linda C. Honet, MD. She adds that it’s essential to be completely honest when answering any questions your dermatologist asks.

“There’s no reason to hide or stretch the truth,” says Dr. Honet. “Everything else falls into place when your dermatologist examines your skin—remember that your skin never ever lies!” Fort Lauderdale, FL dermatologist Dr. Matthew Elias says you should also tell your doctor what products you’re using on your skin. His brother, Fort Lauderdale, FL dermatologist Dr. Merrick Elias says disclosing any supplements and vitamins in your regimen is also important.

To make sure you cover all your bases during your appointment, we’ve rounded up some of the top questions dermatologists say you should ask.

“What kind of things determine my risk for skin cancer?”

— Chico, CA dermatologist Kafele Hodari, MD 

“What kind of things can I do to minimize my risk of developing skin cancer?”

— Dr. Hodari

“What are the best practices for optimal skin health?”

— Dr. Crutchfield

“Ask about the ABCD’s of mole changes that are significant. Asymmetry, Border changes and Bleeds, Color (i.e. black dark brown variations and diameter changes).”

— Delray Beach, FL dermatologist Dr. Janet Allenby

“What is photoaging, and how can I reduce or minimize my risk of developing it?”

— Dr. Hodari

“What are some sunscreen suggestions?”

— Dr. Allenby

“What is the best thing I can do to have or maintain healthy glowing skin?”

— Dr. Hodari

“How often should I have a comprehensive skin exam?”

— Dr. Crutchfield

“What are skin conditions/changes that would cause me to call (you) my dermatologist before my next annual visit?”

— Dr. Crutchfield

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