Living in the midst of a pandemic is making us all more vigilant about protecting our health. That impacts the places we feel we can safely go and the people - friends and professionals - we feel we can safely see.
But if there’s a silver lining to glean from living “six feet apart” it’s that we discovered many of our friends and PHYSICIANS can be visited virtually … without leaving the comfort and safety of our own homes.
Telemedicine has Become Mainstream
Once reserved for underserved areas without easy access to dermatologists, telemedicine has become a safe and convenient alternative to routine, in-office dermatology appointments.
With a virtual visit there is no need to neglect your skin care while you feel it’s in your best interest to avoid public spaces.
A virtual appointment with your dermatologist is a proven method for diagnosing, treating, and following the progress of many common skin conditions.
Is a Virtual Visit right for You?
You may wonder if telemedicine - or “teledermatology” - is right for your next appointment.
According to the American Academy of Dermatology Association, telemedicine works best for visible skin, hair, and nail conditions, including:
- Suspicious spots or moles
When you call to make your appointment (or book online), be sure to explain clearly why you want to see a dermatologist. This will allow the office staff to determine if an in-office visit or a telemedicine appointment is best.
If a telemedicine appointment cannot meet the needs of your condition, you’ll need to come into the office. Sometimes a telemedicine visit will identify a skin condition that requires an in-office follow up for blookwork, biopsy, treatment, or procedure.
Some Pros and Cons of Teledermatology
Telemedicine offers many advantages, including:
- Increased access to the dermatologist (particularly where geographical or physical barriers limit a person’s ability to travel to the office)
- Comfort and convenience
- Reduced wait times to get an appointment
- Reduced exposure to infectious diseases in common areas
But it also has its limitations.
- Not everyone is savvy with video-call technology. In that case, a phone call and still images sent via secure email may suffice.
- You’ll need a smartphone or webcam with the ability to take high-resolution photos or video.
- Some body parts are more difficult to capture on camera, the back and scalp for example.
- Patients may feel uncomfortable revealing parts of their body on video or in still images.
- Some exams or procedures need specialized equipment available only in-office.
You may still have questions before you feel comfortable scheduling a telemedicine visit for your next appointment. If so, below are links to more information from professional, trusted sources.
American Academy of Dermatology
Book your virtual appointment
The role of virtual care in dermatology is expanding, so what’s holding you back from enjoying the ease and convenience of telemedicine?
Go to idtidewater.com or call (757) 461-1033 (Opt. 1) today and find out if a virtual visit is right for your next appointment.