Getting the Most From Healthcare Appointments

Good communication with your doctor is one of the most important ways you can take an active role in managing your atopic dermatitis.

Remember your doctor is an expert on medical care, and you are the expert on yourself. By sharing your unique experience, you and your doctor can work together to make the best decisions for your care. You’ll feel more in control of your atopic dermatitis, plus good communication can actually have a positive effect on your health.

Other tips that may help

Be open and honest. You may feel uncomfortable at first, but without the full story, your doctor is working at a disadvantage.

Tracking can help. Between appointments, record the number and severity of your flare-ups, and any possible triggers.

Plan to share. Take time to consider how atopic dermatitis is affecting your quality of life, and plan to share this information with your doctor.

Prepare for appointments. Before you go, decide what you want to discuss. Jot down any questions you have, and gather any information you may want to share.

Ask again, if necessary. If you don't understand your doctor's explanation or are unclear about what the next steps are, ask. Unless you speak up, your doctor won’t know there's a problem.

Determine the Impact Atopic Dermatitis Is Having on Your Life

Use the helpful My Experience assessments to help you and your doctor identify specific concerns about your atopic dermatitis treatment and management.

Take an Assessment

Plan ahead

Living with atopic dermatitis may trigger many different emotions: loss of control, confusion, wondering if things could be better or feeling alone. This activity is designed to help you start thinking about things you may want to discuss with your doctor. Each of the following topics includes suggested information to share with your doctor and examples of questions you may want to ask.


Understanding atopic dermatitis

Being well-informed, understanding the symptoms of atopic dermatitis and their possible causes, and developing a partnership with your healthcare team all contribute to improving your overall quality of life.

What to share
  • Health goals
  • Anything new you've tried since your last visit
  • Frequency and severity of your flare-ups, and their effect on your daily life
What to ask
  • What causes atopic dermatitis?
  • What else can I do to better manage my atopic dermatitis?
  • What can I do to help prevent skin infections?
  • How can I understand what my triggers are?

Explain your current treatment plan to your healthcare provider to help determine if it's the right one for you.

What to share
  • The symptoms that are currently bothering you
  • How often they occur
  • How you manage symptoms now
  • Any recent changes in your symptoms
  • If your sleep is impacted by the symptoms
What to ask
  • How have other patients dealt with the emotional aspect of living with atopic dermatitis?
  • What changes to my environment might help?
  • Is my current skin-care routine the best option for me?
  • How can I create a treatment routine I can keep?

Atopic dermatitis has a high impact on patients' quality of life. Tell your healthcare provider what your needs are. Feeling supported can make it easier to manage life with AD.

What to share
  • If your atopic dermatitis is making you feel anxious or depressed
  • Specific examples of how your life is affected by atopic dermatitis
  • Any steps you’re taking to manage the impact of atopic dermatitis on your life
  • If you feel like you are out of options
What to ask
  • What are some local resources, like support groups, I could participate in?
  • Are my feelings common among people with atopic dermatitis?
  • What could I change to help me better manage my atopic dermatitis?
  • How can I help get ahead of my skin flares?