Healthy SKINteractions: Tips On How To Navigate Your Dermatologist Appointment And Ask The Right Questions

Your skin is gorgeous, and we love celebrating its rich color, but that doesn’t mean you should skip the dermatologist. You skin is your largest organ, so take good care of it. A dermatologist can help you achieve skin that is as healthy and vibrant as you are!

We get it, you’re worried they might be clueless when it comes to Black skin. You deserve to see someone who cares for your individual needs, which may be different if you have a little, or a lot of melanin in your skin. From acne scars to sunburns, everything can present differently in skin of color, so we’re going to help you find a dermatologist who gets it and give you a few questions you should ask at your next appointment.

Top Questions to Ask at Your Appointment
Your doctor will likely do a head-to-toe screening first, which is an important step for your overall health, and when they are done, ask a few of these questions to make sure you get the most out of your appointment.

What’s the best skin routine for me?
From cleansers to lotions to serums, there is a lot of information out there—and even more products. So, take the guesswork out of deciding by asking an expert. During your visit, your dermatologist can provide you with the education and tools you need to select products and ingredients that will help you achieve your best skin. To keep your melanin-rich skin smooth and hydrated, they may recommend cleansers and lotions with soothing oat and rich emollients that help replenish skin’s natural moisture and relieve dry skin, like Aveeno®’s Body Wash and Body Lotion. You may have specific skin concerns you want to address, like uneven skin tone and texture. Snap a picture of your skin when you have a breakout or any other irregular skin occurrences to show your dermatologist at your appointment. This will help them identify conditions like eczema or hyperpigmentation so they can help you relieve these conditions with effective ingredients like oat or soy. Just be sure you leave your appointment feeling great about a skincare routine that works for you, your schedule, and, of course, your skin.

How do I monitor moles?
If you’ve got some beauty marks, you’ll want to know how to monitor them. You know your body better than anyone, so ask about any moles you’re worried about and for instructions on what to look for. In the meantime, you can follow the “ABCDE” test: A is for Asymmetry: Is one half of the mole different than the other? B stands for Border: Are the mole borders irregular in any way? C is for Color: Has there been a change in color or are there multiple colors present in the mole? D means Diameter: Is the size of the mole increasing? And E is for Elevation: Is the mole elevated from your skin’s surface?

What causes acne?
While some of us stop seeing acne after puberty, most of us will have breakouts over our lifetime. From clogged oil glands to hormonal shifts, it’s important to discuss what’s happening with your dermatologist. When they know what’s contributing to your breakouts, they can help you achieve clearer skin.

What’s trending?
We are all curious about the hottest products and procedures that we hear or see in media. Now is a great time to ask what’s really worth it. For example, feverfew is currently in the spotlight, so find out if you could benefit from its calming effects found in products like Calm + Restore Moisture by Aveeno®. This is also a great time to inquire about those buzzworthy words, like benzoyl peroxide, hyaluronic acid, and even Botox. Your dermatologist will give you the facts on all of this and more.

Deciding on a Dermatologist
Any dermatologist should be board-certified, trained, and able to treat anyone who walks through the door, but you may feel more comfortable seeing a doctor who looks like you and has experience with your skin type. Choosing a Black dermatologist who has experience treating Black women’s skin could set you up for success during your next dermatologist visit.

To get started, check your insurance company’s website for a board-certified dermatologist in your area. Then try cross-referencing potential doctors on resources like the Skin of Color Society’s directory, where you can find dermatologists who specialize in diverse skin types. Once you have a physician that meets your needs, book your appointment.

Feel free to ask your dermatologist anything you may be wondering, they have heard it all—and hey, if you don’t ask, you’ll never know. If you’re curious to learn more about eczema, hyperpigmentation, and the power of natural ingredients for Black skin, click here to see more skincare articles from Aveeno.

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