Things Your Dermatologist Needs To Know

Patients often assume that seeing a dermatologist will be really simple. The doctor will look at their skin, visually identify what's wrong, and then recommend a treatment. Sometimes, this is the way things go. But usually, dermatologists don't diagnose skin problems based on visuals alone. Instead, your dermatologist will want to know a little more about you and your health. Here are some of the key things they need to know to make a good diagnosis.

Your skincare habits

You should give your dermatologist a list of the products you use for skincare. This should include any cosmetics, like foundation makeup and blush. Some skin problems end up being allergies or reactions to harsh products. If your dermatologist knows what products you are using, they'll be better able to consider or rule out these diagnoses.

Supplements and medications you take

Make sure you bring a list of any supplements or medications you take to your dermatology appointments. Sometimes, skin problems can be a reaction to certain medications, or a sign that you're taking too much of a certain nutrient or herb. In analyzing your supplements, your dermatologist could even identify certain additives or flavoring compounds that could be contributing to your problems.

Family history of skin conditions

Not all skin conditions are genetic, but some are. You can also inherit a predisposition to certain skin conditions from your parents. So, bring information about your family health history to your dermatologist. You may want to call your parents and ask if they have ever been diagnosed with any dermatological conditions or if they know of other family members with diagnosed skin conditions. This can help point your dermatologist in the right direction.

Other medical diagnoses

Make sure you tell your dermatologist what other health conditions, if any, you have been diagnosed with over the years. You might think they are unrelated, but it's surprising how various health conditions can show up in your skin. For instance, you should tell your doctor if you've been diagnosed with rheumatoid arthritis. While it is primarily a disease of the joints, sometimes it can cause skin problems due to its auto-immune component. 

Dermatologists do diagnose skin conditions, but to do so, they need to evaluate your overall health. Your skin, after all, is just another part of your body! Make sure you are able to provide the information above to your dermatologist, and you'll have better luck getting an accurate diagnosis.