Rather than dealing with the hassles of seeing a doc in person, I went the app route. The results were Recently I've had some less-than-stellar experiences with doctors. When I went to a podiatrist for help with a foot issue, he seemed stumped and offered a smattering of wild-guess suggestions. None of them worked. When I went to a vision clinic for an eye exam and updated prescription, I waited 45 minutes to actually get into the exam room and another 25 minutes before I threw my hands up and left.
Note to doctors everywhere: Work on your customer service.
I hired an online dermatologist. Here's what happened
If there's a delay, acknowledge it and apologize for it. In 47 years I've never experienced that simple courtesy. So when I realized I needed to see a dermatologist, I really didn't want to see a dermatologist. I wanted to explain my symptoms and see if maybe there was an ointment that could fix me up. Like, if I passed a dermatologist in the street, it would probably take 60 seconds. Sounds great, right? So much time and energy down the drain. And yet my problem -- red, itchy, flaky skin in a few areas of my face -- was getting worse. I'd heard of online consultations with doctors, but I always thought those were general practitioners focused on things like coughs and allergies.
As it turns out, there are numerous apps that can pair you with a dermatologist for a virtual consultation -- usually powered by the camera in your phone.
Skin Conditions & Treatments
I looked at four such apps and tried one. Here's the rundown, with my initial impressions of each and the reason I chose the one I chose. First Derm Android iOS : To use First Derm, you snap two pictures of your skin, then get an evaluation and recommendation from one of about a dozen dermatologists. However, the only issues covered are rashes and moles. Nope, sorry, not until I know what I'm getting and paying.
However, it's currently available in only about 15 states. Luckily, mine was among them, but the app starts by asking you to identify your issue: acne, Rosacea, etc. I didn't know exactly what my issue was -- that's what I needed help with! And the patients are of all ages, from the neonate to the very old. Because the speciality covers such a broad area, it knows many fields of interest, most with roots in basic science:. That means that besides the somatic aspects, concerning the patient with his or her diseases, there are psychosexual, social and epidemiological aspects.
Prevention of STD's is a main field of interest in this respect. The fact that several STD's express themselves by skin symptoms, elucidates the connection between venereology and dermatology. In Europe, besides the UEMS Section of Dermatology and Venereology DV that represents all the nations DV societies, the three other dermato-venereological organisations with an umbrella function, each covering special areas of interest, are:.
The main activity is organising continuing medical education congresses, fostering courses. It acts as a barrier to injury and bacteria. Dermatology patients can be of any age, from babies to people who are more than years old. Out of 3, different dermatology conditions that might be treated, 20 of these account for around 80 percent of a dermatologist's workload.
In certain parts of the world, like Australia, dermatologists spend much of their time treating conditions resulting from exposure to the sun, such as malignant melanoma, squamous cell carcinoma, and basal cell carcinoma. In other regions, dermatologists are more likely to encounter cosmetic problems; moles, hair and nail disorders, occupational dermatitis, psoriasis, skin infections, eczema, acne, rosacea, and hand dermatitis. Rosacea is a common skin condition that can cause redness and swelling.
Hand dermatitis results from contact with household chemical and affects most women with children. The cosmetic problems for which dermatologists can provide assistance include wrinkles, age spots and other signs of aging, hair loss, and scars.
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Some dermatologists perform minor cosmetic procedures such as face lifts, liposuction, and blepharoplasty, a surgical modification of the eyelid. Cosmetics, industrial compounds, and pesticides continually present new dermatological problems. The increased outdoor work and leisure time of people today have increased their exposure to the sun and other hazards that can cause skin problems. It takes years of training and experience to learn how to distinguish the subtle differences in skin problems.
Different conditions often share similar symptoms. There is therefore a growing need for more doctors to understand dermatology. Family doctors might refer a patient to a dermatologist only after their treatment has failed, or if an unsuccessful treatment has caused complications.
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Because of this, it is often cost-effective to see a dermatologist in the first instance. Dermatologists are also better able to make an early diagnosis. Dermatology was once considered a "lightweight" specialty, but is now recognized as being critical to people's well-being.
Most skin conditions can be treated with topical therapy such as lotions and creams. The surgical procedures dermatologists must learn include the injection of fillers and botulinum toxin botox to give a patient a more youthful appearance at the expense of facial mobility, cryotherapy and other procedures to remove common skin growths such as warts, excision, and skin and nail biopsies where the patient is awake and small amounts of tissue are removed to facilitate diagnosis.
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Dermatologists have distinct personalities. They are curious, methodical, rational, analytical, and logical. Does this sound like you? Take our free career test to find out if dermatologist is one of your top career matches. Because of the increasing rate of skin-related diseases in recent years, dermatological therapies have been revolutionized by new drugs, laser treatment, photodynamic therapy, and ultraviolet light therapy.
That notwithstanding, dermatologists are still in high demand and their work environment can be very busy. At the hospital, they offer general consultation and treat in-patients who have various skin-related diseases. Dermatologists can decide to work in private practice or public hospitals.