The importance of learning about your skin and how to take great care of it is substantial—and oftentimes overlooked. As the body’s largest organ, the skin needs consistent upkeep to remain healthy and in its top condition, which is why people bathe, moisturize, and visit their dermatologist on a regular basis.
Dermatology is complex yet vital to your health, especially in Arizona—a state known for high temperatures and constant sunshine. People carrying on with their normal routine in temperatures reaching as high as 115 degrees during the summer need to pay extra attention to their skin.
That’s where your dermatologist comes in. It takes a licensed professional with years of experience to diagnose a variety of rashes, moles, and other irregularities that might occur, as well as prescribe the right treatment based on your personal needs.
But what are the top qualities you should look for in a dermatologist in the sunny state of Arizona? Well to start, we recommend doing your research before choosing a dermatologist, and establishing a set of expectations before your first visit.
We understand that you might be ‘picky’ when it comes to choosing a dermatologist, and that’s OK. This is your skin we’re talking about here!
Dermatologists, what do they do exactly?
You should know that Dermatology isn’t all rashes, facelifts, and fillers. Dermatology encompasses the evaluation, diagnosis, and treatment of all diseases related to the skin, hair, nails, and oral cavity. These specialists in white coats aren’t all talk, they literally do it all!
At Arizona Dermatology, we offer professional Medical Dermatology, Skin Cancer, Cosmetic, and Medspa Services. Our specialists can evaluate and treat practically anything from rare to common skin diseases, to hair transplantation and laser resurfacing, to spray tanning and more! Each department has its own team of specialists, making Arizona Dermatology a practice full of experts who are educated and experienced with conditions across the board.
Tips on choosing a dermatologist
There are a lot of certified dermatologists in Phoenix, but that doesn’t mean they’re all on the same spectrum. Some patients prefer a dermatologist who’s won awards and certifications, others look for the basic necessities and a comforting personality; each dermatologist offers something different.
Other than knowing you’re at a higher risk for sunburns and skin cancer if you live in Arizona, making the important decision to visit a dermatologist doesn’t stop there. Continue to visit them on a regular basis so the dry heat and intense UV rays don’t cause long-lasting effects on your overall health.
Let’s get down to it! Here are a few tips to make the decision process easier when choosing a dermatologist.
Set your expectations
First, determine what matters most to you before choosing your next dermatologist. Are “Top Doctor” awards more important than an open schedule? Do you prefer a hands-on doctor or are you open to them supervising while a nurse or technician perform your treatment? How important is location?
Ask yourself these questions, in addition to others, to determine what you want most out of your dermatologist. The truth is, you probably won’t get everything on your list in one dermatologist; but at least you know which characteristics are more important to you than others.
Read their bios
Take the time to read a brief biography (also known as a bio) about your dermatologist. This is an easy way to get a high level overview of their education, achievements, memberships, and previous projects they were involved in. Bios provide relevant information that potential patients like you are looking for in a short, concise list.
Are awards and other recognized accomplishments a high priority on your list of expectations? If so, you should be able to view a list of their awards in their bio, or read more about them online. Research the types of awards—or other unfamiliar information—you see mentioned in your dermatologist’s bio. Different awards could stand for various sectors of Dermatology.
Consider a field of expertise
Dermatology is a popular field, so you may want to get more specific. What we mean by this is that you may want a doctor who specializes in your condition. A doctor who specializes in a certain field could benefit you in the following ways:
- Comfort you by talking about their experience treating the condition
- Talk about the expected time of recovery based on previous patients
- Prescribe a preferred treatment option for a faster recovery
- Diagnose your condition faster
- Educate you about your condition
Research their dermatology practice
You may find a qualified dermatologist, but what about the quality of care they provide as a team? Research the practice as a whole to see if current patients are happy with their dermatology provider. Reading reviews on Yelp or testimonials from current—and past—patients can help you make a decision on whether you should move forward with them or not.
Consider gender preference
Issues with the skin can happen anywhere on the body. Therefore, consider your own problematic areas and if you feel more comfortable talking to one gender verses another. Feeling shy or uncomfortable about sharing your skin issues with your dermatologist can result in a misdiagnosis. It’s extremely important to remain truthful to your dermatologist and provide them with all the insight you know and are feeling—even information you may feel embarrassed about sharing.
You should be able to hold a conversation with your dermatologist and talk through your experiences without feeling judged. Doing so could lead to a faster recovery and prevent your condition from worsening.
Schedule a consultation
Don’t be shy! Ask questions and evaluate their communication style. Do they welcome questions and sincerely care about helping you? They should also be listening to your concerns and addressing what you say with care, not rushing the appointment or pushing products.
Check the cost
No matter what dermatologist you choose, they always come with a cost. Make sure the dermatologist office you choose accepts your insurance. Once you’re provided with a treatment option, check and see if the treatment for your diagnosis is covered by your insurance.
Ask for referrals
Ask your doctor’s office for a list of references to help narrow down your search (or just use as a good place to start your research). Although doctors usually only provide you references when your condition calls for a specialist, don’t be afraid to ask! You shouldn’t wait for something to go wrong before scheduling an appointment, so ask your doctor’s office for some good references.
Visit us at Arizona Dermatology!
Taking the first step to quality skin care begins with visiting a dermatologist, but we know choosing one can be scary. If you’re experiencing any conditions related to the hair, skin, or nails, just give us a call by finding your nearest location! Whether it’s booking your next appointment or scheduling your first consultation, the Arizona Dermatology family is here for you with office locations throughout the Valley: Gilbert, Paradise Valley, Phoenix, Queen Creek, Show Low, Apache Junction, Coolidge, and Quartzsite.