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Telemedicine: How to get quality care

When you have a telemedicine appointment with your board-certified dermatologist or other board-certified medical doctor, you know that you’ll receive quality care.

The Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act (HIPAA) requires healthcare professionals to keep your health information and medical records secure during telemedicine appointments

They do this by using a secure platform, which HIPAA rules require.

Mother with young child using telemedicine to visit an online medical clinic about a skin concern

Thanks to online clinics, you can also have an online medical appointment 24/7. To help you get quality care during this appointment, dermatologists offer these tips:

  1. Find out who you’ll see. When you go to your doctor’s office, you usually know what type of doctor you’re seeing, and you often find their medical diplomas or other credentials framed and displayed where you can see them.

    When you have a telemedicine appointment with an online clinic, you don’t always know who you’re seeing. You may consult with someone other than a board-certified dermatologist or licensed medical doctor about a skin condition.

    To get the proper care for your skin, hair, or nail condition, the American Academy of Dermatology recommends that you consult a board-certified dermatologist who is licensed in your state. Ask for the provider’s credentials. If the online clinic won’t provide credentials, find an online clinic that will.

  2. Before you use the service, ask if you can submit photos. Some services don’t have the technology that allows you to upload photos. If you’re consulting an online clinic about your skin and you cannot send them photos, this makes it difficult for them to know what’s going on and to give an accurate diagnosis.

    If you cannot submit photos, look for an online clinic that allows you to do so.

  3. Find out whether you can see a dermatologist in person if necessary. Some patients who have a telemedicine appointment with an online clinic require an in-person follow-up visit. Not all online clinics offer in-person, follow-up visits.

    If you don’t have a dermatologist or cannot get in to see your dermatologist, make sure the service can arrange for an in-person visit with a dermatologist in your area. You also want to make sure this follow-up visit takes place in a doctor’s office, rather than an emergency room.

    If the online clinic cannot arrange for you to see a board-certified dermatologist, when necessary, find an online clinic that will.

  4. Share your medical history. A quality telemedicine service gives you the opportunity to share your medical history, which includes the medications you take or have taken, allergies to medications, and other essential information.

    You’ll also be able to get a record of your consultation to share with your primary care doctor or dermatologist.

    If you cannot share your medical history or receive a record of your consultation, find an online clinic that provides these.


When you have a telemedicine appointment with your board-certified dermatologist or another board-certified doctor, you receive quality medical care. If you visit an online clinic, be sure to ask questions so that you receive that same quality of care.

Getty Images

American Academy of Dermatology. “As virtual heath care visits soar amid the coronavirus outbreak, dermatologists share tips to help patients manage their appointment.” News release issued 4/16/2020. Last accessed 4/27/2023.

Written by:
Paula Ludmann, MS

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