Do you visit your dermatologist regularly, at least once each year? You should! As we grow older and see more changes in our skin, it’s especially important to seek the care of a skilled, board-certified dermatologist and cosmetic surgeon.

A big part of having a successful dermatology appointment is choosing a physician that can provide the best care for your needs, but there are several things you can do as a patient to get the most out of your visit. Besides providing past medical records and being able to answer questions about your family’s medical history, you should also prepare a list of questions for your dermatologist. The five questions below are a great starting point, but we encourage you to add as many as you’d like and tailor them to your interests and areas of concern.

1. What is the best sunscreen for my skin type?

Sun exposure is linked to premature signs of aging, the worsening of pre-existing skin conditions, like eczema, and skin cancer. The single best thing you can do for your skin is to wear sunscreen daily, rain or shine, all year round. Inquiring about a high-quality sunscreen will demonstrate that you’re serious about skin health. While you’re at it, you can ask your dermatologist to assess the sun damage you may have already accrued and recommend ways to combat it. You may also want to inquire about elements that could increase your sun sensitivity, like taking certain prescription medications or using skin care products with potent ingredients.

2.  Am I at risk for skin cancer?

Anyone can get skin cancer at any time, but there are certain factors that can significantly increase the risk. If you have fair skin, a family history of skin cancer, a history of indoor tanning or you experienced frequent or severe sunburns as a child, skin cancer may be a future concern. If you have any suspicious moles or spots, or areas that have changed over time, be sure to point them out. Your dermatologist may need to order a biopsy. They may also reassure you that there is nothing to worry about, giving you peace of mind.

3.  What is causing my acne?

Acne can be a concern at any age, and pinpointing the cause is key to successful treatment. Hormonal fluctuations, certain skin care products, diet, climate and bad habits can all have a huge impact on skin clarity and location of breakouts. There is no such thing as a one-size-fits-all treatment for acne. Your dermatologist can help assess the type and source of acne you might be struggling with and recommend a course of treatment that’s right for you.

4.  What professional treatments and procedures can you recommend for me?

If you’re interested in pursuing Botox, fillers and laser treatments or just wondering about the best facial for you, now is a great time to ask for recommendations. From minimizing scarring, wrinkles and dark spots to enjoying fuller lips, there’s a procedure or professional treatment available that can help you experience results. Many of these treatments are virtually painless, require no down time and can be performed over your lunch break during the week, making scheduling a breeze. Don’t forget, there are also many full-body treatments available to address issues like cellulite, loss of firmness and unwanted fat, so be sure to inquire about those options as well.

  1. How can I create the best skin care routine for my needs?

Now is a great time to work with your dermatologist to customize a professional-grade skin care routine with your goals and needs in mind. Not only will you be guaranteed a regimen with the best products for your concerns, you’ll leave with a clear understanding of how and when to apply them.

Many dermatologists carry clinically proven lines that aren’t available in regular beauty stores. Ask about MEG 21 with Supplamine, a line for combating the effects of glycation that is only available through physicians and licensed skin care professionals. Supplamine has the power to block the formation of toxic sugar in the skin, reversing inflammation, glycation and signs of photo-aging. From MEG 21 Moisturizing Cleanser to MEG 21 Smooth Radiance ADVANCED Formula, each product in the line is formulated with this star ingredient so that you can fight signs of aging every step of the way.

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