Q: If the doctor takes a biopsy, will it leave a scar?

A: There are many different types of biopsies, and, unfortunately, all cause some type of scar. Talk about the severity of potential scarring with your doctor as well as ways to reduce or minimize its appearance. And always remember, a small scar is better than skin cancer later on.

Q: How does a dermatologist diagnose skin cancer?

A: First, the doctor will examine your skin. If he or she finds any suspicious growths, moles or lesions, a biopsy — or small sample — will be cut away and sent to a pathologist to determine whether or not it’s cancerous.

by team
While many sidestep the dermatologist’s office, a short visit can enhance your skin care regimen — so take advantage of professional expertise and make an appointment today. To get the most out of your visit, here are five fundamental skin care questions to ask.

If you’ve never been to a dermatologist, you may be missing out on some vital information that could help your skin.

  1. What skin care products should I be using each day?
  2. Makeup counters and store shelves are overflowing with products. Unless you have a thorough understanding of your skin type and condition — which may change with seasons or age — it’s tough to decide which products are right for your routine.

    By examining your skin, a dermatologist can explain what products you should use, skip and combine in your regimen based on your skin’s type (i.e. dry or normal) and condition (i.e. acne-prone or aging). In addition to the face, he or she can address what skin care steps and formulas you can add to maintain youthful, radiant skin elsewhere on the body.

  3. Are the products I'm using at home okay to use along with the products and/or procedures that you gave me?
  4. Some products used at home may not work well with professional procedures or prescriptions. Some acne treatments, for example, may heighten skin’s sensitivity to the sun, making it necessary to increase the SPF and include other measures of sun protection in your routine. Or, if professional microdermabrasion is a regular part of your routine, it’s important to avoid exfoliating face washes and certain harsh ingredients. Always discuss the products you already use with your dermatologist before undergoing a procedure or topical treatment to ensure a safe, effective and cohesive regimen.

  5. How can I reduce my risk of skin cancer?
  6. A dermatologist can offer you information on what sunscreen to use, how to properly use it and what other clothing and products are out there to help shield your skin from harmful rays. In addition, he or she can provide important information about the role of screening in skin cancer prevention.

  7. What are some of the signs of skin cancer, and how often should I have my moles checked?
  8. Typically, when it comes to surviving or minimizing the risks associated with skin cancer, the earlier it’s detected the better. The doctor’s office is the perfect place to learn how to recognize the early signs of cancer and how to incorporate professional and at-home screening into your routine.

    Be sure to ask your dermatologist how to do a self-exam for skin cancer. Also, he or she can recommend how often to schedule professional screenings based on your:

    • Family history of skin cancer
    • Childhood history of sunburns
    • Complexion
    • Number of freckles and moles

  9. What's the most important thing I can do to slow the effects of aging on my face?
  10. Sunscreen is a must in the fight against aging. Beyond that, a dermatologist can recommend a personalized anti-aging plan that includes the prescriptions, procedures, ingredients and products that are appropriate for your skin type. Always be honest about your skin care regimen — including any history of smoking and sun exposure. This is vital information for your dermatologist to create an effective anti-aging skin care routine.

Bottom line: Professional expertise will improve your skin

Kick off your office visit with these five questions. And don’t forget to write down a few of your own, too. By taking advantage of a dermatologist’s expertise, you’ll improve and enhance the quality and appearance of your skin in no time.

See also:

Firsthand Beauty Lessons from Top 10 Skincare Experts

10 Skincare Secrets from Dermatologists Revealed

10 Things You Need to Know About Preventing Skin Cancer

Preventing Melanoma



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"The information provided on is not intended as a substitute for medical advice. If you have a medical question or concern regarding any news item or article on this news magazine, please consult your physician..."