Preparing for your doctor’s appointment

How to work with your doctor to diagnose and treat

If you think you might have solar keratoses, it is important that you schedule a visit with your doctor, so you can get a proper diagnosis. 

Ask your doctor

Before visiting your doctor, it is always a good idea to consider what questions you’d like to have answered before leaving. It is important that you leave your doctor’s office feeling well-informed – both about the diagnosis and the treatment your doctor may have prescribed. 

You may want to ask your doctor more about the diagnosis: 

• Will I need any tests to confirm the diagnosis?  
• How long will I need to wait for the results?
• What will happen when the diagnosis is confirmed?
• What are the next steps?

If the diagnosis is solar keratoses, you may want to know: 

• What is solar keratoses?
• What is my risk of getting skin cancer?
• How can I prevent any further damage to my skin?
• Will my solar keratoses come back?

And if you are offered a treatment for solar keratoses, you may want to ask: 

• What are my treatment options?
• Why is this the right treatment for me?
• Will my treatment treat single spots or a whole area with solar keratoses? 
• How should I apply my treatment?
• How often do I use my treatment?
• How long will I use my treatment?
• How does it work?
• How soon might I see results?
• What are the possible side effects of my treatment? 
• Do I risk any long-term cosmetic effects?
• Can I combine this treatment with another medication?
• Can I go out in the sun after applying this treatment?
• Where can I get more information about solar keratoses?

What to consider before your appointment

Your doctor will also have some questions to ask you. Here are some questions that you may want to think about before your visit:
• When did you first notice this problem?
• Have you noticed similar lesions elsewhere on your body?
• Is the lesion painful/itchy/uncomfortable?
• Do you often get sunburnt/have you ever been severely burnt/did you get sunburnt when you were a child?
• How much time do you spend outside?
• When outside in the sun, do you usually cover up with a hat and long sleeves?
• Do you routinely use sunscreen of factor 30 or higher? 
• Do/have you used sunbeds?
• Have you received treatment for sun damaged skin or skin cancer before?
• Are you taking immunosuppressant medication

Try to give as much information as you can as this will help your doctor with the diagnosis, and selection of the right treatment. Talk to your doctor about risk factors, prevention, and other advice.