Online dermatologist telemedicine came to be in 1995 when dermatologists Perednia and Brown coined the term “teledermatology.” The two experts studied underserved residents from rural areas and concluded professional service is needed to reach them! Today, teledermatology is no longer limited to the underserved areas either; it has extended to the general population, with 76% of clinics and hospitals integrating telemedicine into their systems.
The utmost benefit telemedicine has given to medical institutions is savings. This practice saves hospitals and clinics billions of dollars every year. Unsurprisingly, the telemedicine market’s value is expected to reach $8.6 billion by the end of 2030!
Yep, the dermatologist is not just in; he or she is now online! Telemedicine is not far from an actual doctor’s visit. The only difference is that consultation is made through a mobile or computer application and other audio or visual conferencing channels. You enjoy the same quality of medical advice without having to leave home or work and wait at the doctor’s office for so long, not knowing the exact time you would be able to have your consultation. In the US, the average waiting time to book an appointment with a dermatologist is 32 days. Imagine not having to wait that long anymore.
There are two modes of data transmission in teledermatology, the “store and forward” and the interactive teledermatology. In SAF or store and forward, you take an image of your concern and send it to your dermatologist via e-mail together with the description or information regarding the medical condition that requires your doctor’s attention and advice. In interactive teledermatology, both the patient and the doctor have to be available at the same time for a video conference where the consultation happens.
Just by showing your skin condition, describing it accurately, and providing other required information, the dermatologist would be able to diagnose your problem properly and provide the corresponding care and treatment regimen, save for some instances that would require physical visits for tests using a dermatoscope. The online dermatologist would inform you of the findings based on your initial assessment through your video conference.
You can also schedule procedures like Botox or filler and in-person check-ups through online dermatologist sites through a video conference. You can confirm whether you are qualified for such procedures or require a further physical examination. If you need oral or topical medicine only, your doctor can send an electronic copy of your prescription to you or a pharmacy of your choice. It’s as easy and as convenient as that!
What Conditions Call for an Expert Online Dermatologist Service?
Skin conditions ranging from acne, aging, scarring, carbuncle, keratosis pilaris, eczema, latex allergy, cold sore, actinic keratosis, warts, contact dermatitis, bug bites, rashes, ringworm, blisters, psoriasis, cellulitis, rosacea, hives, and many others are diagnosed and treated through online dermatology telemedicine.
“Teledermatology” has broken what most believe to be the norm in the field of dermatology – that it requires hands-on care for the client or patient. You’d be surprised to know that with the proper knowledge, advice, instruction, and guidance, you can be diagnosed and treated just within the walls of your home!
The American Academy of Dermatology Association (AAD) has officially approved dermatology telemedicine and has set forth guidelines for dermatologists to assess and give proper treatment to their clients and patients. Given that guidelines in place, you need not worry about the level and quality of patient care you will receive if you pursue telemedicine in dermatology.
- Online dermatologist services are as effective in triaging skin conditions as in-person services
- It serves a wide clientele, including from remote areas and those who are physically unable to visit the clinic
- Online dermatologist telemedicine sites also offer medical education
- There is an accurate recording of your patient information or history
- There is the direct electronic transmission of prescription to your chosen pharmacy
- You can stay at home or never miss work and still get your appointment
- You save more as you eliminate travel costs and other expenses
- You eliminate waiting time because you know your exact appointment time and are less likely to miss it
- You get the same quality of treatment and advice as outlined in the AAD guidelines
- You avoid the risk of exposing yourself to contagious illnesses and vice versa
Given the advantages and convenience of this pairing of medicine and modern communication technology, more and more clients and patients opt for this kind of professional service—particularly for routine check-ups and minor inquiries only.
Online dermatologist telemedicine has probably reached its all-time high in this pandemic period when lesser trips and visits to the clinic are advisable, and quarantine and social distancing protocols are enforced. However, may it be before, during, or even after the COVID-19 pandemic, online dermatologist telemedicine has been and will surely be gaining attention for its advantages and convenience!
- US Dermatology Partners
- Mandel Dermatology
- First Derm
- TeleDerm by West Dermatology
- Direct Derm
Cost: Starts at $19.95 per month | Offers a free 30-day trial + $4.95 shipping cost
Curology offers a custom formula unique for every client, and they put the client’s name on the label. They specialize in diagnosing and treating acne, zits, pimples, and dark spots. Each client is assigned a licensed dermatologist who will ask about your skin condition, skin type, skin profile, prior treatments, and medical history. They will check on you, too, and are available for personal chats if you have more questions.
In the 30-day free trial, you will get your unique custom formula, cleanser, and moisturizer. If you want to continue treatment beyond the 30-day period, you can log in to your Curology account and purchase refills.
Curology will design a full plan for you, which may be subject to change as you progress with the treatment. You won’t need to visit a clinic, which means no copay. Results vary depending on your skin type. Curology offers a 90-day period within which they will issue a full refund if you are not satisfied with their service.
Cost: Visits start at $75
With DermatologistOnCall, getting your skin treated is as easy as 1, 2, 3. One – you need to create your patient profile, two – upload a photo of your condition together with a description and medical history, and three – receive a diagnosis and treatment plan. They offer nationwide services in the United States and treat over 3,000 kinds of skin, hair, and nail conditions. The board-certified physicians who will diagnose and give you treatment have been trained with pictures and images of real-life cases. This means that they can give you an accurate diagnosis and will be able to customize your treatment plan. Prescriptions are forwarded to your choice of pharmacy and would be ready for pickup or delivery.
Their asynchronous consultations through the store-and-forward mode are available 24 hours a day, seven days a week, 365 days a year. You can reach them any time on your own time. There is no need to book an appointment, and you can expect a response from their US board-certified physicians within a maximum time frame of 72 hours. However, most consults are done within 18 hours from submission of the needed information.
They treat conditions on the skin, hair, and nails, such as actinic keratosis, athlete’s foot, genital herpes, hair loss, hyperhidrosis, lice, melanoma, poison ivy, ringworm, scabies, shingles, and many more. They also offer online spot-checks for immediate concerns that may require in-person visits.
Cost: $75 or less depending on your insurance
While it is difficult to set an appointment for an in-office consultation with a dermatologist, at MDLIVE you can have your consult, diagnosis, and treatment in less than 24 hours. No need to set an appointment. Your online visit or consultation will only last for a few minutes, and you can even choose which licensed dermatologist in your state will handle your case. They are in an exclusive partnership with DermatologistOnCall.
MDLIVE needs you to send photos of your skin, hair, or nail and give details of your concern. If the dermatologist you chose will prescribe medications, they will send a copy of that prescription electronically to a local pharmacy. Access everything at your fingertips!
Whether it’s eczema, acne, rashes, warts, cold sores, alopecia, suspicious spots and moles, rosacea, abnormal bumps, psoriasis, insect bites, other skin infections, or inflamed hair follicles, MDLIVE will treat them without you having to step foot on their office or clinic. However, if the licensed dermatologist assesses that your condition would require further in-office consult or procedure, you would have to pay separately for said professional service.
You will have to disclose if you are pregnant or nursing as these will not qualify you for online dermatology consult based on guidelines set forth by AAD. Minors must have their parent’s or guardian’s consent for consultation.
Cost: $20 copay and billing will be directed to insurance; Cash is at $50 per visit (i.e., no insurance)
Your journey with US Dermatology Partners begins by filling out the online form provided on their website or calling their office to have your Virtual Visit booked. You will be given an exact date and time for your appointment together with the instructions. You will then meet with a Board-certified dermatologist to address your medical needs. Prescriptions are likewise sent electronically to your local pharmacy.
Most skin conditions can be treated online. At US Dermatology Partners, the top common skin conditions they have treated are acne, psoriasis, eczema, moles, hives, melisma, rosacea, and cold sore. Other conditions like dandruff, genital herpes, hair loss, hyperhidrosis, impetigo, lice, nail fungus, and jock itch can also be treated online. In case the dermatologist assesses your case as serious or high risk, they will also arrange for a biopsy and an in-office visit at the earliest time possible.
They have an Electronic Health Record that is accessible to all of their registered physicians. However, if you wish to see the same physician for every visit, make sure to choose the same location every time you will be listed to the same office.
Cost: $69 for online consultation; Fee for in-person visit varies
Dr. Brenda Dintiman, the founder, has been in the medical dermatology and cosmetic treatment field for more than 30 years. DermUtopia is a progressive and patient-centric institution, online and offline. Aside from treating common to severe skin conditions, they also offer cosmetic dermatology, which will keep you young looking despite age.
DermUtopia’s US board-certified dermatologists offer a holistic approach to treatment. Aside from the remote skin condition, they also consider other factors such as diet, which is directly related to some dermatological conditions.
They use EZDERM as their electronic medical record system, which makes recording information, making appointments, and sending appointment reminders to clients easy and efficient. It’s secure and safe to use. You can even request to communicate with them through text messaging. Your convenience is their priority. You will get your diagnosis and treatment course within 48 hours upon submission, whether day or night.
Follow their Instagram account. The DermUtopia app is also available on Google Play and the App Store.
At Mandel Dermatology, you have two options on how to go about your consultation. You can either pay a flat fee of $150 for a live video with a dermatologist who can entertain any number of complaints you have, or if you only have a single complaint, you may opt to go for their SimpleSubmit option at DocBright.com. With the latter option, you only need to send a photo of the skin condition you want to be examined for and diagnosed.
You will be connected to your provider for a live video. Your consultation does not end when the video conference ends. Keep in constant touch with your provider through e-mail or phone, which will be given to you just if you have further questions or clarifications regarding your diagnosis, treatment, and prescription. The prescriptions, if not over the counter, will be sent electronically to your chosen local pharmacy.
Cost: From only $29.95
First Derm, you only need to send two pictures of your skin problem, fill-up the form provided on their website or the app and send them. You can pay with your credit or debit card and wait 24 hours for your diagnosis and other information.
Language is no barrier at First Derm as they have a team of top Board-certified professionals who speak six languages. They have been helping users not just from the United States but from 159 other countries as well.
Whether it’s a skin, hair, or nail condition, their team can help you understand your condition and treat it. From acne, viral rashes, actinic keratosis to folliculitis, they have you covered. They also have a free artificial intelligence (AI) dermatology search. You can search what skin disease you have by uploading a photo of it on their website or app. The photo needs to be clear and taken in good lighting.
As to customer statistics, 80% of their clientele reported getting better and cured with just over the counter medication while the other 20% required more in-depth testing and treatment. The latter group is getting appointments booked as early as a week after calling. You won’t have to wait for a month or so before having your condition checked in-office.
TeleDerm by West Dermatology
A part of West Dermatology, which has been in existence for more than 60 years, TeleDerm offers telehealth services. It’s like having personalized dermatology at home. You will be connected with a board-certified dermatologist and expert provider to whom you can ask any questions related to your concern or skin condition and receive treatment options. Warts, moles, acne, skin cancer, scalp issues, rashes, psoriasis, and rosacea are some of the dermatology concerns TeleDerm can address through their Telehealth platform.
They have locations in Arizona at Apache Junction, Coolidge, Mesa, Paradise Valley, Phoenix, Quartzsite, Show Low and in California at Arroyo Grande, Aliso Viejo, Carlsbad, Laguna Beach, Torrance, Camarillo, Thousand Oaks, Anaheim Hills, Huntington Beach, San Diego, Upland, Encinitas, Fresno, Fullerton, Santa Barbara, Santa Maria, Solvang, Santa Maria, Newport Beach, Laguna Niguel, Palm Springs, Rancho Mirage, Redlands, and Riverside. You can call any of the offices near your area to check if they offer Telehealth visits where you are residing as not all clinics are participating branches.
The dermatology practitioners and expert providers in the West Dermatology network are experienced, passionate, and approachable. You will be comfortable and confident sharing details about your concern or condition. They do not give pre-patterned treatments as they make sure that each treatment and care they give is tailored to each client’s needs.
Cost: $20 per visit credited to prescription purchase
Insurance not accepted
Apostrophe, previously YoDerm, specializes in breakouts, hormonal acne, dark spots, hyperpigmentation, redness, texture, acne, scarring, rosacea, wrinkles, eyelash, and hair loss and provides the corresponding treatment. Describe your skin and skin condition in detail, and a board-certified expert will read and assess them. They will help you understand your skin condition and what it needs to thrive from the outside-in and the inside-out.
Their prescription ingredients are backed by decades of research, study, and clinical data. You can be secure knowing that you are not just taking the medication without scientific evidence. They have various topical medications with nine vegan topical ingredients at $25 per month and oral medications with six actives starting at $15 per month. Get an instant $10 off from your medication by subscribing to their newsletter. If they would be unable to treat your condition, they will give you a full refund for your visit.
Since skin treatment doesn’t happen overnight but is a journey, Apostrophe’s care team is just a message away for all your inquiries and questions. The team is made up of a dermatologist and care coordinators. They also keep track of your medication and send you reminders to stock up on them.
Cost: Case to case basis
Insurance accepted: United Healthcare, Anthem Bluecross, HMSA, Molina Healthcare, Centene Corporation, Medicare, Health Net, Hill Physicians, Health Plan of San Joaquin, California Health and Wellness; If you do not have insurance, they also offer an affordable self-pay option.
If you are after healthy skin and peace of mind, Direct Derm is the right site. Their leading board-certified dermatologists are well-trained and experienced in diagnosing and treat your skin, hair, or nail condition. Upon receiving your photos and details of your concern, one of their Board-certified dermatologists will review and examine your file and give you a response in less than 48 hours. If they see that you need further examination, they will also help you book an in-office consultation.
Some of the most common conditions they have examined are atopic eczema, lichen planus, pityriasis rosea, ringworm, impetigo, herpes, scabies, skin cancer, angiomas, hirsutism, paronychia, and many more. They tend to adult patients and children, newborns, infants, adolescents, and teenagers as well. They are available for consults 24/7/365, so you can send your concerns any time of the day, any day of the week, and still expect a response within 48 hours.
As to medications or prescriptions, they will suggest over-the-counter medicines and electronically send your prescriptions to your chosen local pharmacy.