By Marisa Arakawa, MA & Renata Block, MMS, PA-C
Walk into the clinic and get the most out of your dermatology visit by following these tips. First of all, the best way to be prepared is well to be prepared. I teamed up with my superstar medical assistant, pre-med student, Marisa, to give you the WHAT makes a productive dermatology visit. Disclosure: we are also sharing some Pet Peeves that can eventually, in the end, hinder you from getting better. #truth
Before you know it, you will be prepared for your next dermatology visit every time and be the rockstar patient that gets the results you are looking for! So, not only do you have to keep calm and wear sunscreen, but follow the tips below to make the most of your dermatology visit.
– Be on time for your appointment. PLEASE!
Especially if you are a new patient, give yourself ample time to complete new patient paperwork thoroughly.
– Make sure to know all of your medications and dosage
It is important to relay all current medications as these can have contraindications and are always important to note at a medical facility, even a dermatology office.
-Yes, dear, Birth control is a medication!
Whether it is oral pills or IUD, birth control is an important
component of your medication list and can be key to treatment.
–Document ALL the Vitamins and Supplements you are taking.
Many supplements can interact with prescriptions or treatments; they could also be why you visit the dermatology clinic in the first place!
– Be sure to let your provider know of any pre-existing conditions or ongoing medical problems
–Learn about your family history of skin cancer and other medical concerns (yes, all of it) and document it! It is important, really!
–Prioritize the top three problems you want to discuss – if you throw a kitchen sink at us, things can be easily overlooked. FOCUS!
–Document pictures to show your provider to give them a better idea of the progression.
–Don’t lie to appease us; we know when you are not telling the truth (we have secret powers like that).
–Be nice to the staff. They are here to help YOU! FYI, If you are grouchy or mean, there will be a $20 charge for putting up with you. Dermatology office Pet Peeves:
-When you prefer to listen to your aesthetician and follow their protocol, however, you still are not getting better. -When you take advice from a Sephora sales associate, best friend, or influencer with no dermatology experience. (I love Sephora, btw). -You spend hundreds on skincare products but don’t want to pay your copay for your dermatology visit or prescriptions (RX).
OMG, correspond with us if: RX is too expensive You don’t get the products that were recommended to you. You are running out of your RX You are getting a reaction to your RX You are not getting better. You stop the RX on your own, and why You add anything other than what was discussed to your regimen. You are still using St. Ive’s Apricot Scrub though we told you to stop. Lastly, please follow up as scheduled; if you are better and not using your RX and feel you don’t need a follow-up, please do not be a “no show” or cancel last minute because “you forgot” call us. Why? Because we really do care about you and want to make sure you are better. Also, someone else who really needs to be seen may miss the opportunity to come in. Your turn! I want to hear from you! What can WE do better to make the most of your dermatology visit! Yes, tell me all, including YOUR Pet Peeves. Diva Tip: Come as you are, with your beautiful natural self, but don’t forget your sunscreen! EVER! Marisa Arakawa is a medical assistant at Advanced Dermatology and Aesthetic Medicine. In addition to working, I am also a teaching assistant at Dominican University and graduated from their post Baccalaureate program in 2020. Marisa is currently in the process of applying to become an aspiring physician. You can find her working out at the gym or hanging out with friends and family in her free time.
Renata Block is a Physician Assistant and the creator of Savvy Derm Diva, an online resource for proper skin care. Diva Chronicles is a monthly column discussing everything skin! Make sure you follow her on Instagram, Facebook, and Twitter! Need a dermatology consult? Please visit Advanced Dermatology & Aesthetic Medicine, LLC, or Call/Text 847-802-9667 for a TeleDerm appointment. MUAH!💋