Skin problems, such as rashes, wrinkles, psoriasis, or melanoma, can significantly affect one's quality of life. To effectively address these issues, it's important to seek the expertise of a dermatologist. Whether it's your first time visiting a dermatologist or you haven't been in a while, utilizing the following advice can help you find the right dermatologist for you and make the most out of your appointment.
When searching for a dermatologist in St. Louis, it's important to look for one who is a Fellow of the American Academy of Dermatology (FAAD). This designation indicates that the dermatologist is board-certified and has the knowledge and skills to effectively diagnose and treat skin conditions. To check if a dermatologist is an FAAD, visit the American Academy of Dermatology's Find a Dermatologist website, where you'll be able to see the FAAD designation after their name. Additionally, you can check their website to see if they have mentioned something about being board-certified or the FAAD designation.
Before scheduling an appointment with a dermatologist, it's essential to verify their accepted insurance plans. To do so, contact your insurance provider for information on whether the dermatologist is in-network and if your visit and any potential treatments are covered. They will be able to provide you with the most accurate and up-to-date information on coverage for your specific plan.
To ensure timely care, use these tips when scheduling your appointment with a St. Louis dermatologist as there may be a wait to see them:
Schedule your appointment as soon as possible. To ensure the best availability, schedule routine appointments several weeks or even months in advance.
When making your appointment, clearly state any concerns or symptoms you have. For example, if you have a mole that is showing signs of potential skin cancer such as itching, bleeding, or changes in appearance, be sure to mention this to the receptionist or include it in the online scheduling form.
Inquire about the availability of a waitlist. Many dermatologists maintain a waitlist that can help you get an earlier appointment if someone cancels. If the office does not have a waitlist, check regularly to see if any earlier appointments have opened up.
To make the most of your dermatology visit, it's helpful to prepare in advance. Here are some recommendations from dermatologists to help you get ready:
Prioritize your concerns. To ensure you don't forget any questions during your visit, jot them down before your appointment. Also, bring a list of all medications, supplements, and vitamins you're currently taking, including over-the-counter products for conditions such as acne.
If your dermatologist uses medical terminology or explanations that are confusing, don't hesitate to ask for clarification. They should be able to explain any terms or concepts in simple language. Additionally, it's helpful to take note of any conditions or diagnoses mentioned during the visit, so you can research them further afterwards.
Be aware of your family's medical history. Many skin conditions have a genetic component, so if a close relative has had a particular condition, you may have an increased risk of developing it. Be sure to inform your dermatologist of any family history of skin cancer or other serious skin diseases. If you're unsure about your family's medical history, ask relatives for more information.
Bring copies of any relevant lab work or tissue sample results. If another physician has already conducted laboratory tests or taken tissue samples, bring a copy of the results. This can assist your dermatologist in making a diagnosis and prevent redundant testing.
Avoid wearing makeup, nail polish, excessive moisturizer, or any other skin treatments before your appointment. Your dermatologist needs to see your natural skin and nails. If you must wear makeup, bring the necessary tools to remove it at the office.
At Mid-County Dermatology located at Missouri Baptist Hospital, our BJC dermatologists, who are also Fellows of the American Academy of Dermatology (FAAD) are the best professionals to understand your skin's condition. By working closely with one of these specialists and being well-prepared for your appointment, you can receive the highest level of care and make the most out of your visit.