A new study finds that atopic dermatitis, also known as eczema, patients who went online to connect with their dermatologists, or teledermatology, showed just as much improvement as those who saw their doctors in person.
The study compared the effectiveness of online treatment to in-office visits with 156 people in which, after an initial office visit with their dermatologist, half had office visits and the other had online communication. After one year, the differences between the two groups of patient were so small, statistically, it was considered nonexistent.
Through teledermatology the doctor is able to recommend and prescribe medications after receiving photos of skin issues for the patient.
However, as Reuters Health recently explained in summary of the report, dermatologists recommend that patients seek online care from qualified practitioners and board certified dermatologists. They should also inform their primary care physicians that they are going online for care and should share their findings with their primary physician.
The study was conducted with patients who had an existing relationship with the physicians.