11 Questions You Should Ask Your Dermatologist

It's no secret that there's room for improvement in our health care system and our approach to wellness. The worst is when you go to the doctor's office and get rushed out of there -- totally forgetting to ask all of the burning questions you meant to ask (that is, if you're fortunate enough to have heath insurance). We would like to help you out in the skin care department, so that next time you go see your dermatologist, you'll be savvier and know all the right things to ask. And if you've never seen a dermatologist, you should consider going to one to maximize the health and beauty of your skin. See the 11 questions you should ask your 

1- How do I know if I'm aging well or not?

To determine how well you're aging is really about assessing how much sun damage you have,  So if you are more of a sun worshiper, then you probably aren't aging as well as someone who avoids the sun. Aging skin woes like wrinkles and splotchy-ness are really just results of sun damage. However, he says that things like Retinoids, Botox and fillers can counter signs of aging

2- How do I prevent skin cancer?

How do I prevent skin cancer?
We all know that wearing sunscreen and hats or just staying out of the sun all together are some no-brainer ways to prevent skin cancer,  using a night cream that contains DNA repair enzymes can reduce your overall risk of skin cancer by 30-50 percent.

3- What's the best sunscreen to use?

It seems counterintuitive since there are a ton of different types of sunscreens on the market, but recent studies have shown that melanoma is on the rise and UVA rays are responsible for this potentially deadly form of skin cancer. (FYI, tanning beds are pure UVA rays -- eek -- thank goodness there's a tanning tax now to save us from our tan-obsessed selves.) Well,  a lot of older sunscreens block UVB not UVA rays, creating a false sense of security when you're actually getting sun damage. He says to ensure that you're protected, use an SPF that blocks UVA rays such as

4- What can I do to make myself look better?

 there are four different types of procedures that can help make you look better -- who are we kidding -- younger. Ask your dermatologist if you are a good candidate for one of the following (if any):

1. Resurfacing procedures
2. Fillers (See which facial filler is right for you.)
3. Tightening or lifting procedures
4. Botox or relaxing procedures 

5- How do I know if I'm ready for Botox or not?

How do I know if I'm ready for Botox or not?
If you see lines and they bother you, then you could be ready . It most likely won't be necessary in your early 20s,  but it really depends on how much you smile, squint, frown, scrunch your forehead, etc. and -- wait for it -- how much time you spend in the sun. Generally speaking though, you might be ready for Botox in your 30s

6- What causes my acne?

While it's common knowledge that clogged pores and bacteria can cause acne
 Hormones: Your acne could be elicited by your birth control pill, so getting rid of your skin imperfections could be as simple as switching to a different pill.
Diet: Acne has been linked to sugar and dairy, so you could try cutting back on both to see if your diet is triggering your breakouts.
Stress: Leave it to good ol' stress to manifest itself in ugly ways like zits.

7- How often do I need to be seen for skin cancer prevention?

It really depends on risk factors like:

• Having a family history of skin cancer
• Having a history childhood sunburns
• Having fair skin and/or freckles
• Having lots of moles

So, if you are at a high risk, then you should go see your dermatologist twice a year. However, even if you're not, it doesn't hurt to get regular yearly checkups. And no matter how few or many risk factors you have, you should always be hyper-aware of your body and anything that looks unusual on your skin

8- If I have a dysplastic mole (AKA atypical or abnormal) will it turn into cancer?

If I have a dysplastic mole (AKA atypical or abnormal) will it turn into cancer?
 Not necessarily,  but be sure to look for new spots or anything that changes or evolves. And while the general rule of thumb when looking for suspicious moles is all about ABCD (asymmetry, border, color, diameter) -- he enlightens us with "E" (which is for evolving). He adds that it's important to look for what he calls the "ugly duckling" mole -- in other words, the one that stands out and looks different from the others. For example, if you're pink and freckly and have a black dot on your back amid the freckles … run, don't walk, to your derm's office.

9- How many abnormal moles should I have biopsied? And does it really decrease my chances of getting skin cancer?

If you're mole-y and/or at high risk for skin cancer, chances are you've had some spots removed. And while some dermatologists are biopsy-happy and fare on the cautious side, interestingly enough, it doesn't necessary decrease your chances of getting skin cancer. This is because skin cancer typically arises from new moles -- not pre-existing ones. 

10- Are the products I'm using at home okay to use along with the products and/or procedures that you gave me?

Basically, you want to make sure that your at-home regimen and the products and/or procedures that your derm give you work together -- not against each other. So, if your dermatologist has given you topical and/or oral medication, or if you have been given a procedure, make sure you let him/her know what you're using at home. For example, some acne treatments make your skin extra sensitive to the sun, so you want to make sure you're using sunscreen along with it. Or if you received something like microdermabrasion at the your derm's office, then you want to make sure to not be using an exfoliating face wash at home too soon after -- since you would be over-exfoliating your skin. 

11- Is there anything I can incorporate into my diet to help my skin?

As we mentioned before, minimizing your sugar and dairy intake may help prevent acne, plus eating a variety of fruits and veggies in a rainbow of colors will not only make your skin look better, but you're also get anti-aging and anti-cancer benefits too, Plus a diet chock full of antioxidants helps prevent all cancers, namely skin cancers


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