Scarring alopecia is a very personal issue and having a good rapport and trusting relationship with your treating physician will help very much.
Tips for finding a doctor
If you live near a teaching hospital, or university hospital, you can contact their dermatology department and inquire if they offer or know of a hair disorder clinic. Doctors who run these clinics are interested in hair disorders and usually very willing to meet new patients.
You can also look for a dermatologist on your own in your local area. It’s important to remember that you have the right to “interview” and ask questions before you choose a dermatologist or schedule an appointment. Don’t be discouraged if you don’t find the right doctor at first. It may take two or three appointments before finding the right doctor. Scarring alopecia is a very personal issue and having a good rapport and trusting relationship with your treating physician will help very much.
If you are looking for an informed and experienced doctor, you’ve come to the right place. There are many unknowns that accompany a scarring alopecia diagnosis, and finding a knowledgeable dermatologist can be incredibly reassuring. SAF works as a liaison between patients and the medical community. One of the many valuable services we can provide to you is our Physician Referral Listing (PRL). This list is comprised of physicians names that have either been passed along to the SAF office from other patients, serve on SAF’s Board of Directors and Medical & Scientific Advisory Board, members of well-recognized hair associations, or links to hair specialists/members of the American Academy of Dermatology (AAD). SAF provides this list as a service but neither the Board of Directors, staff, nor its affiliates endorse or recommend any one particular doctor or practice. It is recommended that you do your own research to determine which, if any, physician may be right for you.
SAF’s Physician Referral Listing (PRL) is an exclusive service that can only be accessed by completing this form. If you have any questions, please feel free to contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Here are some helpful tips and questions to ask that will help guide you in the process and narrow your search.
What to ask your doctor
So, you’ve finally scheduled an appointment with a hair disorder specialist. Educate yourself as much as possible beforehand. The SAF website is a wonderful resource with abundant information on both the clinical and emotional aspects of scarring alopecia.
Educate yourself as much as possible
Leave any preconceptions at home. Be open-minded and remember this is a learning experience.
Try to limit the number of people who go to the appointment. This will help with concentration and focus and ensure that you cover all your areas of concern. The more relaxed you can remain, the more effective the visit will be.
Discuss the situation with your spouse or other family members who will not be at the doctor visit. Write a list of their questions, as well as your own, and bring it with you.
Write a summary, journaling what your experience has been since you first became aware of symptoms. Record any information you have that help form a whole picture for the physician, including symptoms, concerns, and specifically how scarring alopecia is affecting your lifestyle. Writing it down may also take some of the emotion out of the story, so you can remain focused.
Bring all blood test results, physician reports, photographs, skin biopsy reports and the slides —basically anything that has been medically recorded.
Always remember there is a difference in what you read on the internet, and what the average experience might be. Often the internet is filled with “worst case scenario” stories. At your visit, discuss the things that you have seen or heard that may be scary or alarming. Your doctor will be able to discern medical fact from hype and sensationalism, and provide more supportive stories, people and resources.
Most importantly, don’t hold back on discussing anything that comes to mind, particularly issues that have made you uncomfortable. This visit is an opportunity to educate yourself and to give yourself peace of mind.
Here are some basic questions to help keep you focused when discussing your treatment: