Just like any other part of your body, your skin needs regular care and attention.
To keep your skin looking and feeling its best, you need a high-quality dermatologist in your area to oversee your skin-related concerns.
But contrary to what some may think, simply plugging “dermatologist near me” into your search engine, scheduling an appointment with your nearest doctor, and showing up for your appointment isn’t enough.
Just like you’d research a surgeon’s practice, qualifications, and bedside manner before undergoing an open-heart operation, you’ll want to get acquainted with your dermatologist’s expertise before paying that first visit.
Here’s what you should look for in your research for an appointment with a new dermatologist.
Questions to Ask
What services does the dermatologist offer?
First and foremost, you’ll want to consider a dermatologist’s available services when finding the right provider.
As you peruse a clinic’s website, ensure their office offers the services that you’re looking for. While some dermatology clinics offer more than just skincare, other dermatologists don’t provide a comprehensive suite of skin-related services.
What’s the dermatologist’s availability?
Another important factor to consider when choosing a dermatologist is their schedule. Some dermatologists have evening and weekend hours, while others only see patients during the week on a 9-5 basis.
When selecting your dermatologist, you want to make sure they have appointments available when it’s convenient for you.
If the dermatologist is booked for the next few months, you might want to continue your search and get an appointment with a different provider as soon as possible.
What kind of insurance do they accept?
As you research different dermatologists, check their insurance policies to find a provider that accepts your plan.
Dermatologists that accept your insurance can save you significant amounts of money on your medical bills. Plus, if you have a preferred provider organization (PPO) plan, you may be able to get more coverage for your visits if you see a dermatologist who is in-network.
Insurance can also help offset the cost of some procedures, such as skin cancer screenings and biopsies.
Still, on insurance, you must understand your policy. For instance, some policies require you to see a primary care physician before being referred to a specialist. Knowing the terms of your insurance ahead of time can help save you time, money, and stress during your dermatologist visit.
Do the dermatologist’s services work with my budget?
Dermatological care can be expensive. By considering your budget, you’ll be able to find a dermatologist that doesn’t put a dent in your wallet.
While many insurance plans cover at least some of the cost of dermatological care, it’s important to make sure that you can afford any out-of-pocket expenses. To do so, ask about the clinic’s payment policy, including any payment plans or discounts that may be available.
What are the dermatologist’s qualifications?
Above all else, you want to ensure that the doctor you select is qualified to treat you. All doctors, including dermatologists, have to go through years of schooling and training before they can start seeing patients.
For the best results, it’s important to find a doctor qualified and experienced in treating people with conditions similar to yours.
One way to ensure that your dermatologist is qualified is to look for someone board-certified by the American Board of Dermatology. This certification indicates that the doctor has completed rigorous training, passed a comprehensive exam, and is equipped with the knowledge to give you proper treatment.
What is the dermatologist’s experience with gender-related care?
Different skin types require different care, but different genders also have unique dermatological needs. That’s why choosing a dermatologist who understands the nuances of gender-specific care is important.
For example, according to the American Academy of Dermatology Association, women are more likely to suffer from conditions like rosacea, while men are more likely to develop melanoma. Dermatologists attuned to these differences can provide more targeted and effective care.
In addition, gender-sensitive dermatologists can help patients feel more comfortable discussing sensitive topics, such as hair loss or sexually transmitted diseases.
What is the dermatologist’s office like?
The physical environment of the doctor’s office should also be a factor in your hunt for a dermatologist. You should feel comfortable in their office and ensure it is clean, orderly, and professional.
To get a feel for a dermatologist’s office without a visit, read online reviews and explore their website for office photos.
What is the dermatologist’s bedside manner?
Because you will be discussing personal information and concerns with your dermatologist, it’s crucial that you feel heard, understood, and taken care of.
Reading patient reviews and a clinic’s practice philosophy are often sound ways to determine how you will be treated during your visit. While bedside manners may differ from doctor to doctor, you want to at least know that they are compassionate and understand your needs.
Your Action Step: Scheduling an Initial Consultation
After answering pertinent questions about your chosen dermatologist, it’s time to put your skincare plan into motion.
The best way to know if a dermatologist is right for you is to schedule a consultation. During an initial consultation, you’ll be able to meet the doctor, ask questions, and learn more about their qualifications — giving you the context you need to make a final decision.
This consultation also lets the dermatologist know you, your skin type, and your skincare goals. Based on this information, your dermatologist can develop a customized treatment plan that meets your needs.
Visit The Dermatology Clinic
For many people, the skin is a source of great pride. Because it’s one of the first things people notice about you, it’s important to find a dermatologist to help you achieve and maintain healthy skin.
At The Dermatology Clinic, we’ve provided the Greater Baton Rouge area with personalized care and a comprehensive suite of skincare services since 1947. With a team of compassionate and qualified professionals, we can target your unique goals and concerns to help you look and feel your best.
Schedule an appointment with us to find your next dermatologist today.