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What is telemedicine?

What is telemedicine?

Telemedicine allows you to have an appointment with a doctor, including a dermatologist, from the comfort and safety of your home using your smartphone or computer. Patients with both new concerns and ones with chronic conditions can be treated through telemedicine.

Your telemedicine appointment could include:

  • A video conference with your dermatologist.

  • A telephone call with your dermatologist.

  • Sending your dermatologist information — such as pictures of your condition and written descriptions — securely through a patient portal or encrypted email.

During your telemedicine appointment, you can:

  • Have your dermatologist examine a skin, hair, or nail problem.

  • Have your dermatologist check suspicious spots on your skin. If your dermatologist thinks a spot, such as a potential melanoma (type of skin cancer), needs to be tested or removed, they may ask you to come into their office for an in-person appointment.

  • Maintain treatment for a chronic skin condition like psoriasis or eczema. It’s important to continue caring for your skin, even when you can’t get to your dermatologist’s office.

  • Be prescribed medication for your skin condition if necessary.

  • Receive dermatologic care when it is convenient for you. Through telemedicine, some patients can communicate back and forth with their dermatologist electronically, so you do not always need to be available to meet at the same time.

  • See a board-certified dermatologist even when you can’t leave your home, or if you live in a remote area.

While telemedicine can’t always replace an in-person visit with your dermatologist, it can help in times when you can’t get to their office.

Telemedicine works best for visible skin, hair, and nail conditions, including:

  • Rashes

  • Acne

  • Eczema

  • Psoriasis

  • Suspicious spots or moles

Depending on your condition, your dermatologist may want to see you in person instead of through telemedicine. For example, your dermatologist may require you to come into the office rather than meet by telemedicine if you have a suspicious spot or mole on your skin that needs to be examined.

To find out if telemedicine may be the right choice for your dermatology appointment, talk with your board-certified dermatologist.

Do you have an upcoming telemedicine appointment with an online clinic?

To get the best care, go to Telemedicine: How to get quality care.

How to find a dermatologist who offers telemedicine

Find a dermatologist near you

You can find a dermatologist who offers telemedicine by following the steps listed below:

  1. Go to Find a Dermatologist.

  2. Enter your location.

  3. Enter Teledermatology as "Practice focus".

  4. Click the Search button.

Related AAD resources

Reviewed by:
Hassan I. Galadari, MD, FAAD
Mona Gohara, MD, FAAD
Roopal Kundu, MD, FAAD
Ivy Lee, MD, FAAD
Jennifer G. Powers, MD, FAAD
Sanna Ronkainen, MD, FAAD

Last updated: 6/22/23