What You Should Be Telling Your Derm (But Aren't)

When it comes to talking with your dermatologist, most of us tend to be a little shy. They don't really want to know every last detail about your life, right? Wrong! In fact, there are several lifestyle choices that you should be telling your dermatologist about, but aren't. These choices could even be key factors in what is causing many of your skin care issues. So, don't be a wallflower. Start chatting honestly about your dermatologist.

You've booked an appointment with your dermatologist. Now, what? Well, for starters, you should do a little soul searching. Try observing the patterns you see in your own day-to-day life in order to learn what could be affecting your skin. Whether it's your daily diet or your favorite hobbies, there are loads of things that could be affecting your skin, and your dermatologist wants to know about it. Prone to picking at your zits? Tell your derm. Indulge in the occasional glass (or bottle) of wine? Tell your derm. It may seem superfluous to you, but talking with your dermatologist honestly about your lifestyle is integral for properly treating your skin. Wondering what you two should be chatting about? Here are 11 things that you should be telling your dermatologist.

1. How Often You're In The Sun

Let's start with an easy one. Exposure to UV rays can affect the way certain medications work or react with your skin, according to WebMD. So, even if you head to the tanning bed only "once in a blue moon," your derm need to know about it. So it's not for the reason you might think: Your level of sun exposure can completely affect what medications or procedures your dermatologist recommends.

2. If You Smoke

In order to determine the best treatment for your skin, your dermatologist needs to know what may be causing your particular issues. This means that they need to know about all of your vices. For instance, smoking can cause "bags under the eyes, premature aging, a loss of natural glow, and a susceptibility to psoriasis," according to dermatologist Dr. Amy Wechsler in an interview with Teen Vogue . Knowing this from the start will help your derm to determine the best course of action for you.

3. What Products You Actually Use Daily

While we all want to say that we use a gentle facial cleanser, all-natural toner, and paraben-free makeup everyday, often times that isn't the case. Be honest with your dermatologist about the products you regally use on your skin. Listing out your day-to-day products can help them weed out skin allergies or possible irritations.

4. If You Regularly Use Sunscreen

Let's be honest – sometimes we can all be a little lax about sun protection. However, if you aren't a tried and true sunscreen user, then don't tell your doctor that you are. The lack of sun protection could be the reason for many of your skin-related issues, according to Good Housekeeping.

5. If Anyone In Your Family Has Ever Had Skin Cancer

Remember that time your mom/dad/long-lost uncle once had skin cancer? Yeah, your dermatologist should know about that. Knowing if skin cancer runs in your family is key for determining your skin care routine and possible prevention.

6. If You Have A Breakout That Just Won't Go Away

Have you been noticing a breakout that just won't go away? Well, it may be a sign of something else. According to, a persistent breakout or cluster of zits may be a sign of rosacea, a skin condition that causes redness and bumps.

7. If Your Nails That Are Discolored (And Not By Nail Polish)

When it comes to determining many skin and hair issues, dermatologists turn to your nails for the answer. According to Allure, discolored nail beds, peeling cuticles, and various nail shapes are all tell-tale signs of larger medical issues such as infections or autoimmune disorders. In order to give your doctor a better insight to your health, keep your nails polish-free when heading to the dermatologist.

8. If You Could Possibly Be Pregnant

No matter how safe you are being, if you're having sex, there is always the possibility of being pregnant. In order to rule out side effects associated with pregnancy (like darkening skin or psoriasis), Good Housekeeping recommends asking your dermatologist do a quick pregnancy test before any receiving treatments or medication.

9. If You've Ever Tried Facial Fillers

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Don't be shy. If you've had facial fillers or botox in the past, let your dermatologist know. This is vital when dermatologist are checking for any possible rashes or infections, or even injecting new treatments.

10. Your REAL Diet

Fad diets, unhealthy eating habits, and even diet supplements can affect the way your skin looks and feels, according to Health Magazine. Be honest with your dermatologist in order to see the best results.

11. How Often You Use DIY Treatments

Do you apply at-home face treatments on the reg? If so, you should be sure to mention it to your dermatologist. There are a few staple ingredients in many DIY treatments can actually damage your skin, even if they work for other people, according to

See? Your dermatologist needs to know more than you think.

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