If you scheduled your next dermatologist appointment before the onset of the coronavirus crisis, you may wonder whether it's safe to keep your appointment amid the shortages of personal protective equipment and the strain on the healthcare system at large. But whether this appointment was intended to be your annual checkup or a visit to address a specific issue or problem, there's no reason to cancel—instead, you may want to consider switching it to a video visit. Learn more about what you can expect from a video visit and the types of dermatological issues that can be addressed without an in-person appointment.
How Does a Video Appointment Work?
Dermatology lends itself particularly well to telemedicine, as most dermatologists don't need to take your vital signs (like blood pressure, weight, or pulse rate) in order to diagnose or treat you. Instead, during a video chat, you'll talk to your dermatologist about any concerns and the dermatologist can examine any problem areas more closely by asking you to focus the camera on those areas.
If the dermatologist determines that a spot, mole, or blemish needs further attention, such as a biopsy, they may call in a lab order for the procedure or procedures you'll need. This will generally just require you to go to an outpatient laboratory for your biopsy, instead of a hospital or the dermatologist's office, minimizing your risk of contracting any respiratory ailments.
What Types of Dermatological Issues Can Be Treated Over Video?
Video visits can facilitate the treatment of a wide range of dermatological issues, including acne, rosacea, psoriasis, eczema, contact dermatitis, and any unexplained rashes. Your dermatologist can also conduct a full-body mole check; those who have had a moderate amount of sun exposure in their life or who have a higher-than-average number of moles should generally have one of these full-body checks annually to help spot any moles or blemishes that could be an early sign of skin cancer.
Your dermatologist can give you tips to manage your skin symptoms or, based on your medical history, prescribe medications to help clear up a condition. With the advent of home pharmacy delivery and drive-through pharmacy services, you should be able to get your necessary prescriptions without leaving your house or car.
So don't let the coronavirus crisis keep you from keeping your next dermatologist appointment; just ask if you can make this appointment a virtual one instead.