How to Get a Skin Condition Treated Without an Office Visit

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While it may not be as easy as fixing a flaw in a picture, new advancements are making it easier for a dermatologist to address that rash, mark, or rough patch of skin.

Through virtual visits, you can talk with a dermatologist either through a video phone call or an audio-only phone call. Both involve taking pictures of the skin area of concern with your cell phone, and then sending them to a clinician for evaluation. Many skin conditions can be treated through these virtual paths.

What Skin Conditions Can Be Treated Through Virtual Visits?

Issues to address virtually could include:

Contact dermatitis  -- Symptoms often include inflammation of the skin, redness and swelling, blistering, itching and scaly skin. The list of possible irritants is long and includes, but is definitely not limited to: certain foods, latex, lotions, medications, perfumes and cosmetics, soaps, detergents and plants such as poison ivy. In fact, poison ivy (including poison oak and sumac) is one of the most common causes of a contact dermatitis reaction.

Psoriasis -- This conditionis characterized by red, itchy and scaly patches on the skin. It can also affect the scalp, hands, feet and nails.

Eczema or atopic dermatitis -- This chronic skin disorder causes dry, itchy and scaly patches on the skin. Common in infants and young children, symptoms may persist into the teens and adulthood. Eczema tends to run in families and also is associated with asthma and allergies. Treatments may include antihistamines, steroid creams and oral antibiotics as well as other more advanced therapies.

Athlete's foot -- This problem usually affects teenage boys and men. Symptoms may include whitening of the skin between the toes, scaling of the feet, itchy rash on the feet and blisters on the feet.

Acne -- Teens aren't the only ones affected by thisskin condition. Acne can affect people into their 20s, 30s, and beyond and is one of the most common skin conditions treated by dermatologists.

Seborrheic dermatitis -- Better known as dandruff in mild cases, this is a common type of rash. Symptoms can include skin that is bumpy, scaly, greasy and itchy. It most often occurs on skin that has oil glands, such as the face, scalp and upper chest. Seborrheic dermatitis is an ongoing condition. It can go away and then come back.

Warts -- These large bumps are common and are not cancer, although genital warts have been linked to cancer. All warts are caused by a virus, so they can spread to other parts of the body and to other people by contact.

If you are experiencing an emergency, such as active bleeding, rash with fever in an adult, redness head to toe, or other urgent concerns, please seek help from your primary care physician or an urgent care, or go to the nearest emergency room.

Related Links

UH virtual visits include online video appointments and telephone appointments. With virtual visits, you can access many of the same services you receive during a traditional in-person appointment, including remote symptom monitoring, diagnosis and treatment, prescriptions and other medical services. Learn more about virtual visits at UH.

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