Treating Multiple Sclerosis Early Is Worth It
August 25, 2016
I Have Crohn’s Disease & This Is How It Affects My Parenting
August 25, 2016
Show all

Dermatology by selfie: Does it work?

A photo of a skin blemish can be used to diagnose skin diseases.

Some people receive photos of friends’ pets or kids on their smartphones. Dr. Mark Oestreicher gets pictures of moles and rashes.

Oestreicher, chief of dermatology at Bridgeport Hospital, says he often gets smartphone pictures from patients who wonder if their skin condition needs immediate attention. “We have a lot of patients who send us stuff all the time,” he says. “They’ll ask, ‘Does this mole need to come off?’ ”

The pictures are often just good enough for Oestreicher to adequately determine whether, for instance, a patient needs to postpone a vacation to take care of a skin condition. But he’s skittish about using these two-dimensional images to make a formal diagnosis. “Sometimes the pictures just does not do the (condition) justice,” he says.

Yet, teledermatology — or the use of technology to diagnosis and treat skin conditions without an in-person visit — is becoming more common. The main appeal is similar to that of any form of telemedicine. It’s fast and easy. Though Oestreicher doesn’t formally practice teledermatology, he understands its appeal, and thinks it has some value. “It’s basic triage,” he says. “We can use it as a tool to determine whether people should come in” for a more detailed visit.

Other doctors agree, including Dr. Omar A. Ibrahimi, medical director of the Connecticut Skin Institute in Stamford. “Patients taking selfies to diagnose skin problems is definitely an increasing trend,” he says. “Pros include that it is convenient to the patient and that they can do it from the comfort of their own homes and on their schedule.”

There are two main types of teledermatology. One involves a live consultation with a doctor, via videoconferencing. The other, known as the “store-and-forward method,” involves taking a picture of the skin condition and sending it to the doctor. In its position paper on teledermatology, the American Academy of Dermatology calls the practice “a viable option to deliver high-quality care to patients in some circumstances,” but cites some limits. “There are some skin findings for which an in-person examination by a dermatologist provides addition information that may not otherwise be obtainable by teledermatology alone.”

Read Full Article: Dermatology by selfie: Does it work? – Connecticut Post

Read Full Article: Dermatology by selfie: Does it work? – Connecticut Posty

The health and medical information on our website is not intended to take the place of advice or treatment from health care professionals. It is also not intended to substitute for the users’ relationships with their own health care/pharmaceutical providers.

Comments are closed.