5 Ways to Be a Great Dermatology Patient

How To Get Great Results from Your Dermatology Appointment

Want to be your dermatologist's favorite patient?  I've got some tips that will help you be just that.

The motives are not completely altruistic, though.  I've found the dermatologist and staff are 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.

Another benefit -- you'll get much better results from your acne treatments long-term.  For you, it's a win-win.

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 that appointment.  But try to be as diligent as you can about keeping your appointments with the derm.

(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.)

Come to your appointment prepared.

A little prep work beforehand saves you a lot of time and frustration.  Before you go in to 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 on.

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

To get your started, here's a list of everything you can do to prepare yourself for your next appointment:  How To Prepare for Your Next Dermatology Appointment.

Fill your prescription.

I've had the lucky opportunity to attend many dermatology conferences and acne forums, and have picked the brains of many a dermatologist. 

Want to know what most say is their biggest pet peeve?  Patients who don't pick up their prescriptions.  And if you don't use your medication, you're acne is never going to improve.

If the cost of the medication is a hindrance, let your dermatologist know.  Ask for a cheaper alternative.  Ask for coupons or rebates. 

I, as a broke under-insured college student, was not shy in telling my dermatologist that I needed an acne treatment that was super inexpensive.  And guess what?  He was more than happy to oblige.  

Want some more tips?  Try this: How To Save Money On Prescription Acne Medications.

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.

Knowing 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.

I almost didn't add this last tip to the list because I do believe that 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 her instructions to the letter.

If you're frustrated because of lack of improvement in your acne, definitely bring it up but do so in a respectful way. 

If you do these 5 things, you'll be well on your way to being your dermatologist's favorite patient.

Next Steps:

5 Things Your Dermatologist Wishes You Knew

What To Expect at Your First Visit With the Dermatologist

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