Wondering If You Should Call Us for an Appointment? Preparing for Your First Visit?
At least once a week, we get a caller who asks us if our Ontario-area dermatology services are covered by their insurance company. It’s surprising how many people think that a dermatologist is luxury service provider. Sure, we provide pampering treatments in our full-service MedSpa, but the majority of our clients come for medical treatment.
What is a dermatologist exactly, and who should see one?
A dermatologist is a physician who has very specific training in the diagnosis of diseases and conditions of the skin, hair, and nails. They are specially trained to provide the highest quality medical and surgical treatments. Clients come because their primary care provider referred them or because they notice something of concern.
The first appointment is typically a skin check. Our dermatologist and nurse practitioners perform hundreds of skin screenings every month. During these screenings, they evaluate moles, colored lesions, non-healing sores, rough spots, bumps, or any other concerns of the patient. They examine all of your skin, including your scalp, palms, and soles of your feet. These thorough screenings are typically performed annually—unless if you have a history of skin problems or skin cancer. Then they may be more frequent.
To prepare for your skin check, we recommend that you wear clothes that are easy to change out of and to bring loose shorts. We will provide a gown for you to wear, but adding shorts may make you more comfortable. Be prepared to take off your shoes, socks, and undergarments. I also recommend that you wear your hair down to allow for a proper scalp exam.
We frequently get asked about makeup as well. You are fine to wear makeup to your skin screening, but know that our providers may remove it in certain areas if they feel the need.
Our providers will also examine your nails. Did you know that your nails often reflect the general state of your health? Changes in your nails, such as discoloration or thickening, can signal health problems, including liver and kidney diseases, heart and lung conditions, anemia, and diabetes. Nail problems are more common than most people think and make up about 10 percent of all dermatological conditions. Unfortunately, nail problems usually increase throughout life and affect a high number of senior citizens.
Fungal infections cause about half of all nail disorders and are most common in toenails because the toes are confined in a warm, moist, weight-bearing environment. Thick and/or discolored nails are not normal and should be treated! When left untreated, fungal infections can spread to the skin on your body and lead to a rash. If you wear polish on your nails and have nail concerns, you should consider removing your polish prior to your screening.
Many conditions and diseases, as well as improper hair care, can result in hair loss. While daily shedding is normal, people who notice shedding in large amounts after combing or brushing, or whose hair becomes thinner or falls out, should consult a dermatologist for proper diagnosis and treatment. Alopecia, the term for hair loss, is a medical condition. It can cause dramatic and devastating emotions in patients that can negatively impact quality of life. There are many highly effective treatments available.
Please keep in mind that if you come to your first appointment with significant skin problems, such as rashes or a problematic skin disease, your provider may choose to spend your time together getting to the root cause of those issues rather than a skin check. When this happens, your provider will make sure to communicate that you need to come back for a skin check. A member of our front desk team will help you schedule that as part of our check-out procedures.
Our highly trained team is here to help you with any and all dermatology-related conditions. From newborns with cradle cap, teenagers battling acne, and middle aged clients concerned with signs of aging and sun spots to elderly people battling recurrent skin cancer, we see patients of all ages. Dr. Carl Thornfeldt has been providing high-quality care in Treasure Valley for more than 30 years and is on a mission to stamp out disease and skin cancer. Understanding your skin and how it works is his specialty. His team of highly trained professionals and he take great pride in delivering exceptional care!
So, are you due for your skin check? If so, our team looks forward to serving you! As for that insurance company, make sure to call them to make sure we are in network! Reach out to us by visiting our Contact Us page, or call 208-452-7450.
See you soon!