How to Get Great Results From Your Dermatology Appointment

Want to be your dermatologist's favorite patient? Not just for altruistic motives, though. The dermatologist and staff are likely to be much more accommodating for their "good" patients. Helpful when you're in desperate need of a fast appointment for a cortisone injection for a monster zit.

The biggest benefit, however—you'll get much better results from your acne treatments long-term. For you, it's a win-win. Try these tips and see the change in your skin.​​

Keep Your Appointments

Dermatologist using magnifying glass to examine woman's skin
Eric Audras/ONOKY/Getty

Your dermatologist can't help you if you aren't coming in. If you want your skin to heal, you need to commit to regular appointments.

Obviously, life happens. You, or your kids, get sick. Something important comes up at school or work that you just can't miss. 

Certainly, there are times that you'll have to cancel or reschedule your appointment. But try to be as diligent as you can about keeping your appointments with the derm. When you reschedule, try to get in ASAP. Don't let the appointment just fall by the wayside, or go too long between visits if your dermatologist wants to see you regularly.

And if you do have to cancel, be sure to call and give the office a heads-up that you won't be coming in as far in advance as you can. Don't just blow it off. That's not cool.


A little prep work beforehand saves you a lot of time and frustration.  Before you go into your appointment, make sure you have your insurance information (has it changed since the last time you were in?)  Also, take a list of any medications you're currently using.

And, while you loathe to go anywhere without makeup, do try to arrive at the dermatology office bare-skinned. It makes it easier for the doctor to really see what's going on with your face.


Fill Your Prescription

Do you want to know what most dermatologists say is their biggest pet peeve? Patients who don't pick up their prescriptions. If you don't use your medication, your acne is never going to improve.

If the cost of the medication is a hindrance, let your dermatologist know. Ask for a cheaper alternative or the generic equivalent. Ask for coupons or rebates. In most cases, your dermatologist will be more than happy to oblige.

Is there another reason why you're reluctant to fill your prescription? Maybe you're nervous about using an oral acne medication or are less than thrilled about the treatment plan your dermatologist has laid out for you. Whatever it is, tell your dermatologist so he can help put your mind at ease or go a different route with your treatment if need be.

Or maybe you're just super busy and keep putting off the trip to the pharmacy. Figure out what's holding you back and do what it takes to get (and start using) your prescribed medication.

Ask Questions

Any dermatologist worth his (or her) salt wants you to be fully informed regarding your acne treatment plan. So don't walk out of your appointment confused.

Not sure how to use your medication? Uncertain if you can wear it under makeup? Wondering about potential side effects? Ask.

For example, knowing ahead of time that some peeling will occur will keep you from stopping your medication too soon. Understanding how to properly use your medication will ensure you get the best results possible.

So don't be intimidated. You have the right and obligation to get the information you need.

If your dermatologist seems put off or too busy to answer your questions, it may be time for a new dermatologist.

Be Courteous

Honestly, the vast majority of people in the world are courteous and well-mannered. But we all have bad days when our ill-manners get the best of us. So, do try to be considerate to the dermatologist, her staff, and the other patients in the building.

Show up for your appointments on time. The staff and those with appointments behind yours will thank you. Stuck in traffic and absolutely can't get there in time? Give the office a call and let them know.

Listen to your doctor. Try to follow his instructions to the letter.

If you're frustrated because of lack of improvement in your acne or long wait times every time you show up for your scheduled appointment, definitely bring it up. Doing so in a respectful way will net more gains. Remember the old adage of flies and honey.

A Word from Verywell

Your dermatologist really does want you to be happy, and see good improvement with your treatments. Whether this is your very first dermatologist ​appointment or your dermatologist and you are already old friends, remembering these tips can help keep the relationship running smoothly.


Zaenglein AL, Pathy AL, Schlosser BJ, Alikhan A, Baldwin HE, et. al. "Guidelines of Care for the Management of Acne Vulgaris." Journal of the American Academy of Dermatology. 2016; 74(5): 945-73.