At Vanguard Skin Specialists, we want to make sure you have a great dermatology visit with us. Our dermatologists and advanced practitioners are here to serve you, and we have some tips on how to make sure you get the most from your visit.
1. Tell the scheduler what dermatology concern you have.
Our scheduling team aspires to match patients with the right medical provider at Vanguard Skin Specialists. While our dermatologists are all board certified and have completed a dermatology residency, we each have certain areas of expertise, as do our advanced practice practitioners. If you tell the scheduler about your concern whether it is acne, a wart, a new mole, age spots, etc., then they can help match you with the right medical provider.
- Write down all the medical questions you have for your dermatologist.
If you have a list, we can make sure we have addressed all your skin concerns. Sometimes, we near the end of a dermatology visit and then a patient will bring up a question they have forgotten. In those instances, we may not have time to cover the topic. By listing out all your dermatology questions in advance, you help us manage our time with you. In addition, make sure you communicate to your scheduler if you have multiple concerns so that we are aware beforehand.
- Point out any concerning moles.
We offer a total body skin exam, but one of the concerns is if a mole has changed over time. We aren’t able to see that change in a dermatology visit but you are. If there are any moles that are new or have changed, then point those out to us. We even have patients who will mark them in advance which we appreciate. Skin cancer can grow anywhere you have skin, so if you have concerning spots in a sensitive area, please do not hesitate to let us know or to have us examine you.
- Inform us of your skin cancer history, especially if you’ve had melanoma.
If you or a family member has had skin cancer, it is helpful for us to know. Tell us what type of skin cancer as well, whether it was melanoma, basal cell carcinoma or squamous cell carcinoma. Then, we can gauge your risk and how often we need to see you.
- Get a total body skin exam during your dermatology visit.
Even if you are coming in for a condition like acne or eczema, we encourage patients to get a total body skin exam to screen for skin cancer. Countless times, we have had patients come in for one dermatology concern, only to find during exam that they have a melanoma. Skin cancer is common with 1 in 5 Americans diagnosed with skin cancer during a lifetime. Fortunately, most skin cancers are curable if detected early. So don’t miss an opportunity to be examined head to toe, and if you run out of time during your visit, we are happy to see you for a separate skin cancer examination.
- Tell us what you have tried before for your skin condition.
Include the names of all your oral and topical medications. If a patient tells us it was a purple pill, then that does not help us identify the prior medication. Thus, full names or bringing in the prior medications can help us understand what you have tried in the past. In addition, if there are medications you are taking, we need to know even if it is not for your skin. We may want to prescribe a medication that should not be taken with others.
- Be honest with us about your dermatology concerns.
We are here to help you get the best medical treatment possible. Whether you have used tanning beds, have a skin issue in a sensitive area, have an embarrassing condition or refuse to wear sunscreen, these are all things we have seen before. Our job is not to judge you but to take care of your health.
- Come when your rash is active.
We have often taken care of patients who come in for a rash and there is no rash at the time of the visit. It does not help us to know you had a rash one month ago. Occasionally, photos may be helpful. It is helpful to know when your skin condition flares.
- Set realistic expectations for your dermatology visit.
We schedule a set amount of time with each patient. If you have multiple skincare issues to discuss, then we may need to schedule another visit. If you require a procedure such as an excision, then we will often need to schedule another visit. If we ever run out of time during an appointment, then please schedule another one with us.
- Give us feedback.
At Vanguard Skin Specialists, we talk about creating raving fans. If you were not satisfied with your visit, we’d like to understand how we can serve you better. From front desk to medical assistant to doctor, we see our job as a calling to serve patients. So please tell us whenever we fall short. And, if we did something well, we want to make sure we continue doing it.
Vanguard Skin Specialists strives to give our dermatology patients the best medical care in a compassionate environment. Thank you for allowing us to serve you. To schedule an appointment in any of our Southern Colorado dermatology offices, please call 719 355 1585.