13 Questions You Should Ask Your Dermatologist

Lionesse Gem

Published: May 30, 2019

With the current environment becoming more and more polluted and stressful, the skin is becoming more and more damaged, sensitive. The skin can also reflect what is happening inside the body; so going to the dermatologist is a great way to understand if something else unseen might be happening.

Here are 13 questions you should ask your dermatologist that will make you realized how important skin care is.

1. How Do I Monitor Moles?

Moles might look innocent, and are sometimes even considered sexy. But it’s crucial to keep an eye on them. Early detection is crucial in treating melanoma skin cancer. While at the dermatologist, make sure to ask them to have a look at your moles to see if they are benign. And then ask them to teach you how you can monitor them yourself at home. The dermatologist will teach you for which warning signs to look for.

2. How is My Diet Influencing My Skin?

This is pretty much common knowledge that whatever you put into your body, it shows on your skin. And junk food will definitely take its toll on your body, inside and outside. You may have a breakout or inflamed skin on your face that no beauty product can fix. You may have skin that looks dry, but that could actually be dehydrated – a sign that you should be drinking more water.

Your diet is as important as the beauty products that you put on your skin. And to have a great skin, having a healthy, balanced food intake is key. Make sure to get rid of processed foods, reduce sugars, and increase vegetable and water intake. Add to this a healthy amount of olive oil and avocado, and fibers, and you are on the way for a healthy body and skin.

3. What Skin Type Do I Have?

Among the first questions to ask the dermatologist is about your skin type. This is crucial in defining your skincare routine and the type of products that you use. The dermatologist will let you know what parts of your face and body are dry, oily, sensitive or dehydrated. Based on this, they will be able to recommend a skincare routine that will balance out all these areas.

4. How Many Times Should I Exfoliate Each Week? 

Based on your skin type, you can now follow up with this question. Exfoliation is an important step in the skincare routine, but should not be taken lightly. Exfoliate too much, and your skin can become too sensitive, and inflamed; exfoliate too little, and your skin will be covered in a layer of dead skin, clogged pores and prone to breakouts.

For starters, you can begin from exfoliating once per week, and increase according to your skin type needs. Some people can handle even multiple times per week; it all depends on the skin.

Based on the skin type, your dermatologist can recommend you to use either a physical or a chemical exfoliant. Depending on your skin type, you may find physical or chemical exfoliants more suitable.

To try a gentle physical exfoliant that can help get rid of dead skin cells and clogged pores without stripping away vital oils, you might want to start with the White Pearl Facial Peeling, which is infused with pearl powder to promote the natural luminosity of your skin.

People with oily skin tend to be too harsh. That leads to stripping away the natural oils of the skin, which then leads to overproduction. And then you are caught in a vicious circle. In such cases, it’s best to go for a chemical exfoliant with acids with such as glycolic, salicylic or lactic acids. Those can get rid of the build up of sebum without being excessive.

However, if you have sensitive skin and are worried such acids can react adversely, it’s best to go for physical exfoliation, where you can control the abrasiveness.

In both cases, whether you use physical or chemical exfoliant, there is a risk of over exfoliation. This can damage the skin and break down the skin barrier, which exposes the skin to bacteria, and makes it prone to inflammation and breakouts. Make sure to always consult with the dermatologist about the best way to exfoliate.   

5. Which SPF Should I Use?

Sun protection is important in protecting the skin by slowing down the aging process and the risk of sin cancer. The sunscreen market is full of products and it might be confusing.

If you are unsure about which one to choose, ask your dermatologist to recommend you a high-end product – or if you are on a budget, which ingredients to best look for in a good SPF product. In terms of the SPF level, the American Academy of Dermatology recommends at least SPF 30, which blocks 97% of the sun’s UVB rays.

Infographic on sun protection

But many experts recommend actually even higher – an SPF 50 to be applied. However, remember that a higher SPF does not mean you can stay longer in the sun – so make sure to reapply every 2 hours, even if the weather is cloudy, and especially if you are swimming or sweating.

6. Will Sunscreen Reduce the Body’s Production of Vitamin D? 

If you are worried about your levels of vitamin D, ask for a blood test prescription to look for it. If you need more vitamin D, or are worried that sunscreen might reduce it, discuss other options, such as vitamin supplements or changing your diet.

7. Why Is My Skin Red? 

There are many reasons why the skin is red. And while the first reason you would ask this is because it may affect your self-confidence, you would be surprised that skin redness can be a sign of a variety of illnesses. Sometimes redness is also a symptom of rosacea.

Make sure to point this out to the doctor and, if worried, request extra tests. If the redness is not serious, it may be linked to your skincare routine or your diet. 

8. How Can I Reduce Discoloration? 

In general, with age, the skin is prone to discoloration – new moles, freckles, ages spots and more, may appear slowly in time. Sun exposure without protection can also accelerate their appearance. Make sure to point them out to your dermatologist to find out the cause of your discoloration. Case by case, they will be able to point you out to a certain skincare product or procedure.

9. What Is Causing My Persistent Acne?

If you seem to do everything right, from diet to skincare products, yet you experience acne and breakouts, ask your dermatologist to help you investigate this further. The causes of acne can be a mix of hormonal changes, stress, environmental pollution, on top of diet and hygiene. Our dermatologist can help you find out the cause and guide you towards further tests, a skin care product or lifestyle change that can improve your condition.

10. What Ingredients Should I Look For in Beauty Products?

Choose your beauty products and skincare routine according to your skin type. After the assessment of the doctor, your skin can be normal, oily, combination, sensitive, dry, aging and irritated skin.

If you have dry and sensitive skin, go for fragrance free and hydrating ingredients, such a hyaluronic acid. If you have oily skin or acne, be diligent with your exfoliation and go for ingredients such a salicylic acid. For mature skin, look for anti-aging ingredients such as retinol and collagen. If you have pigmentation or dark spots, go for skin brightening ingredients, such as vitamin C and alpha hydroxy acids (AHAs).

If you are using the wrong beauty products, make sure to look out for these signs and let the dermatologist know

  • Burning or stinging when using a product (for the first time or even one that you have used before)
  • Excessive dryness, flaking, and peeling
  • Rash or blisters forming at sites of application
  • Red and irritated skin after using an acne treatment
  • Skin is oilier than usual after using a new product
  • Itching all over your body

11. How Can I Slow Premature Aging?

Aging is inevitable, but premature aging is not. Discuss with your doctor your lifestyle, such as your diet, stress levels, environment, and exercise – and see where and how you can make changes. Slowing down aging of the skin is a holistic approach that doesn’t mean simply skincare products and plastic surgery.

12. When Can I Start Using Botox?

With the first sign of wrinkles, we (and mostly women) start to panic at something so natural happening. This can take a toll on ones self-confidence, and most of us make use of various invasive and non-invasive procedures to improve our skin. Make sure to discuss with your dermatologist to see which procedure is best for you and for you age. Starting too early and unnecessarily may do more damage than good in the long term.

13. Are Tanning Beds Safer than Sun Bathing?

If you want to get that tan glow, but are worried about sun exposure, tanning beds are not a safe alternative. According to the American Academy of Dermatology, there is no such thing as a safe tanning bed. Both ultraviolet radiations from the sun and artificial sources are carcinogen. Studies have shown that exposing our skin to indoor tanning damages the DNA of the cells and leads to premature aging, as well as eye damage. It’s highly advisable to not use a tanning bed to obtain your vitamin D or get a tan. The healthiest ways to do that is by taking oral supplements, and simply using a tanning product.

Finish the checkup with making a recurrent yearly appointment. Just like you do with your GP, gynecologist or dentist, having a yearly skin check-up is important. Use this as an opportunity to not only monitor the general state of your skin, but also bring up any skin-related issues you might have experienced.

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