What Can an Online Dermatologist Help You With Remotely?
The current COVID-19 lockdowns across the country have meant that seeing a dermatologist is more of a luxury than anything else. However, if you have something more severe than mild acne, it becomes imperative to see a dermatologist. Fortunately, the lockdowns haven’t stopped dermatologists from offering their services to anyone who needs them online. That’s right; an online dermatologist is the next best thing.
Professionals businesses like Walkin Dermatology and their online consultancy are eliminating the often high price associated with seeing a dermatologist in person. However, the question many people ask is, how good are online dermatologists? Can they help us with all types of skin conditions? We’ll answer these and other questions in this article.
How Can an Online Dermatologist Help You?
We already know that there is only so much information that can be relayed to a dermatologist over the internet. Questionnaires and photos can help, but they are second best to perhaps the doctor being able to examine the condition in person. That’s why teledermatology services are most effective for conditions that only require the prescription of common medications like perhaps oral antibiotics mainly for acne or addressing common problems like eczema, or rosacea, etc. For instance, you already know that you have psoriasis but have recently seen it flare-up, and require the prescription of a topical medication then an online dermatologist can help you. The same goes for if you are dealing with a mysterious and insanely itchy bug bite.
However, it is important to understand that sometimes skin issues that may appear to be common rashes, for instance, in a photograph, could be indicative of a more serious problem like T-cell Lymphoma. Doctors admit that it can be very hard to know the type of rash by just looking at a picture, because not getting to feel it, means they can’t tell if it is scaly or perhaps hard for that matter.
Experienced dermatologists like those at Walkin Dermatology, don’t take any risks. If they can’t tell for sure what a particular rash is, they will ask to see the patient in person. Online dermatologists are also great for consulting when there is a problem that’s already been diagnosed, and you’re trying to get an alternative opinion. It also works perfectly for common skin issues like acne. Interestingly the vast majority of people who visit dermatologists do so for common skin issues, with severe skin problems being rare.
When to See a Dermatologist in Person?
While the current lockdowns don’t exactly make it easy to leave home, there are many instances where you will want to see a dermatologist in person. Even though online dermatologists can help prescribe medicine after examining 90% of common skin issues, there a couple of red flags that should prompt you for a face to face appointment. If there are rashes in the mouth, dark bruises, rashes on the genitals, fever, or the buildup of pus under the skin for no reason or joint paint, that’s when you need to see a doctor in person. If anything, these are signs of there being an underlying infection or some type of viral issue, which requires immediate medical attention.
You will also want to see a dermatologist in person for any condition that suggests the development of skin cancer, like perhaps a mole that has changed in appearance, size, or texture. While online photos can tell a lot, there are limitations, and people are advised not to take unwarranted risks with their health. So, if you are worried that a mole or mark on your skin could be a sign of cancer, then, by all means, get an IRL skin check.
Who to see if Your Skin is Acting Up?
The answer to this question is that it depends on the intensity of the issue. Online dermatologists or teledermatology is useful when you already have some information about the condition. Also, if you’ve already been diagnosed with something, you have a fairly good idea of the type of treatment it entails, and want to get a prescription or perhaps a second opinion. Online sessions with a dermatologist are quick, affordable, and will work for 90% of common skin conditions.
However, if you have a skin condition that you have never experienced before or it has never been diagnosed, followed with fever and other issues, then seeing a doctor in person is highly recommended. The same goes for if you are dealing with a flat out emergency and need to see a doctor right away as it can be with a food allergy.