Medical Appointments

Preparation, Expectations and Questions

Preparing for your appointment

  1. Prepare Your Questions Beforehand – To ensure that your time is used wisley during your visit, make a list of the most important questions and concerns that you would like addressed. It can be hard to remember everything that you wanted to ask your dermatologist, so preparing a list can ensure that all of your questions are answered. Also, feel free to bring pictures of how the problems have progressed. 
  2. Bring your medications with you – Your dermatologist should know about other medications you are currently taking, including those that are not directly related to skincare. This is important to avoid any potential interactions between your current medications and any new treatments you may be prescribed. 
  3. Gather your medical information – Include current and past medical diagnoses, surgical procedures, family history, and current medications to give your dermatologist more context. Compiling your medical history in advance will ensure that your visit will be productive, comprehensive, and tailored to developing the best treatment plan for you. 
  4. Check your insurance policy – Most insurances cover dermatology visits but be sure to review your health insurance policy or call your insurer before you book an appointment to understand any costs that may be associated with your visit. 
  5. Lean on your support networkTake a support person with you if you feel someone else will need to see/hear what is going on during the consultation as it can be tough to remember everything that is said
  6. Ask for documentation – Ask for written instructions for creams etc that have been prescribed 
Click the icon to download the Preparing for your appointment document

What to expect

  1. Medical history
    Your dermatologist will ask you questions about things related to your medical history, medications and health problems. It is important for your dermatologist to know your medical history so they can appropriately treat your skin.
  2. Skin exam
    You will likely be asked to change into a gown during your appointment. This is so the dermatologist can do a full-body exam and check for other skin problems, including moles and skin cancer screening. When evaluating your skin, your dermatologist may use a special light to look carefully at the affected skin.
  3. A Plan
    You and your dermatologist will have a discussion about your concerns, questions, and goals for treatment. Your dermatologist may diagnose vitiligo or another skin disease. If you have vitiligo and want to treat it, this is when you will start a conversation about treatment options with your dermatologist. Depending on your preference, you may choose no medical treatment, medicine applied to the skin, UVB light therapy, or surgery (learn more about treatment options at globalvitiligofoundation.org/treatments).

    Your dermatologist may also order some laboratory studies to check the health of your thyroid, blood sugar, and blood cells.

  4. Expect more than one visit
    Your dermatologist will want to check-in with you regularly to evaluate your progress. If you decide to start a new treatment plan, it may take a few tries to find the right treatment or combination of treatments that work well for you. The first dermatology appointment is the first step to a lifetime of healthy skin.
Click the icon to download the What to expect at your appointment document

Questions to ask

  1. Do I have vitiligo?
  2. How can I best protect my skin from the sun?
  3. Am I at a greater risk of skin cancer?
  4. Does having vitiligo put me at higher risk of getting some other medical conditions?
  5. How long does it take to treat vitiligo? When should I expect results?
  6. What is the cost of treatment?
  7. What if my health insurance will not cover my vitiligo treatments?
  8. Can my vitiligo spots return following treatment?
  9. Is there a special diet that I can follow to help manage my vitiligo?
  10. If I have a child, will my child develop vitiligo?
  11. Are there cosmetic options available to cover vitiligo spots?
  12. Are there things that a person with vitiligo should avoid?
  13. Where can I access support networks of people with vitiligo?
Click the icon to download the Questions to ask at your appointment document
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