What is a dermatological examination?

A dermatological examination is a critical step to rule out, diagnose, or monitor a disorder of dermatological nature. In addition to patients with prior diseases affecting the skin that should undergo periodic checks, a patient can visit a dermatologist to determine whether symptoms such as anomalies in terms of a mole, presence of various rashes, presence of hives or angioedema, persistent itching, and changes in the color and texture of the skin are of dermatological nature. 


What is the purpose of a dermatological examination?

A dermatological examination is useful for diagnosing and treating skin diseases such as dermatitis, eczema, urticaria, erythema, acne, psoriasis, vitiligo, and disorders of skin appendages, or to monitor the possible evolution of a skin disease previously diagnosed.


How is a dermatological examination carried out?

Initially a dermatologist will record the medical history of the patient, then collect all the information regarding the history and lifestyle of the patient such as diet, smoking habits, alcohol consumption, physical activity and sedentary lifestyle, pathologies, other cases of skin diseases in the family, and medication intake. In the second part of the visit the doctor will examine the skin symptom that prompted the patient to visit.
In cases where further testings are required the dermatologist may request tests such as allergy testing, swab the skin, skin biopsy, and blood tests.


Are there any guidelines for preparation?

There are no standards of preparation. The patient is asked to bring along any tests carried out at the request of the physician and any other relevant tests performed, any recent blood tests even if performed for other reasons, and a note of the name of current medications intake.