5 Questions You Should Ask Your Dermatologist
Whether you’re due for a skin check or are dealing with acne, a dermatologist can help guide you toward healthy-looking skin. And while you'll want to ask questions about the skin concern(s) you’re currently facing, don’t miss out on an opportunity to discuss other important skin-related topics. To truly get the most out of your visit, make sure you’re prepared with the right questions. Below, we share five questions you’ll want to ask your dermatologist during your next visit.
What Are the Signs of Skin Cancer?
You should be visiting your dermatologist at least once per year for a full-body check. Your dermatologist will assess your skin under a bright light and magnifying tool to check for any suspicious looking moles or lesions that could be cancerous. That’s not to say you shouldn’t self-check your skin in-between visits, though. You know your skin better than anyone else, so it’s important to keep an eye on birthmarks, spots and moles for the warning signs of skin cancer. Don’t know what they are? It’s a great idea to ask your dermatologist for a quick lesson on what to look out for. The more informed you are, the better you can catch signs of skin cancer during early stages.
How Can I Prevent Wrinkles?
Wrinkles, fine lines and other signs of aging are among the most common skin concerns dermatologists hear daily. There are many factors that can contribute to premature wrinkles, so be vocal with your dermatologist about ways in which you could amp up your anti-aging routine if you’re concerned. He or she might recommend products, lifestyle changes or the combination of both. And if you’re not already, your doctor will undoubtedly recommend using a broad-spectrum sunscreen, like the La Roche-Posay Anthelios Mineral Moisturizer With SPF 30, for everyday use.
Can Diet Affect My Skin?
Environmental factors, skin-care products, lifestyle habits and more can impact the way your skin looks and feels, but how about your diet? Could the food you’re consuming regularly be linked to the skin concerns you’re facing? Talk to your dermatologist about whether there could be a link between certain foods or diet plans and the appearance of your skin.
What SPF Should I Be Using?
Applying broad-spectrum sunscreen to all exposed areas of skin prior to heading outdoors is one of the best ways you could help protect your body’s largest organ from harmful UV rays. And while you should definitely be applying sunscreen every day, it’s important to ask which SPF is right for your skin.
You’ll likely want at least an SPF of 30, but the higher the SPF number doesn’t mean you can skip out on reapplication. You should be reapplying your sunscreen at least every two hours. That said, it doesn’t hurt to see what number SPF and how much product your dermatologist suggests using on your unique skin type and tone.
How Often Should I Exfoliate?
Over time, a buildup of dead skin cells can cause the surface of your skin to appear dull. To help slough away these rough, dead cells, it’s important to exfoliate regularly. But not all exfoliation is considered equal. There are scrubs which can mechanically exfoliate your skin and acids which can chemically exfoliate your skin. Depending on your skin type and preference, your dermatologist can help determine which method, products and frequency of exfoliation is best for you.
Photo: Chaunte Vaughn