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How Does Telemedicine Work?

Posted on: July 30th, 2020 by Dr. Christopher Crosby

Telemedicine — the practice of remotely evaluating, diagnosing and treating patients — is nothing new. Some doctors, particularly those who have a lot of out-of-town patients,  have been offering these virtual “house calls” for a long time. However, in the midst of the COVID-19 outbreak, more practices, including Grossmont Dermatology Medical Clinic, are now offering virtual visits as an alternative to in-person visits whenever appropriate.

Our team wants to assure you that the way we deliver patient care has changed, but the quality of that care has not faltered. We are as devoted as ever to serving you with compassion and addressing all of your dermatological concerns.

What We Can Treat During Virtual Appointments

Virtual telemedicine appointments are very similar to in-person visits, without the physical contact. You can use a phone, computer, tablet or smartphone for a virtual appointment. Although the telephone is fine for general questions, video chat on a computer, tablet or smartphone is usually preferred for diagnosis and treatment purposes. Video chat allows our team to watch your skin and tissue moving in real time as opposed to simply looking at static images. During a video chat, our providers  can see and hear you as if you were together in person.

We can diagnose and manage common skin problems such as acne, eczema, rashes and rosacea during virtual appointments. We can prescribe medications the same way we do during an in-person visit, and provide you a plan of action.

We can also discuss elective skin care treatments such as injectables and laser skin rejuvenation. If you are interested in a treatment to rejuvenate your skin, we can answer your questions and advise whether you could benefit from the procedure. This way, when you are ready to come into the office for the treatment, you will already know what to expect.

When Is an In-Person Visit Needed?

Virtual appointments are not ideal for the evaluation and diagnosis of potentially cancerous moles or lesions. Whenever possible, we encourage you to come into the office, where we have the tools to evaluate the lesion and collect a tissue sample if needed.

Tips for a Successful Virtual Appointment

As you get set up for a virtual consultation, make sure you are in a private environment where you feel comfortable discussing personal or sensitive information. Situate yourself in a well-lit area so your doctor can clearly see the area of your skin you will be discussing. Be sure to have our office number on hand in case a technical issue arises during the appointment.

If you are not familiar with video chat technology, you may want to do a trial run before your appointment to get comfortable with the microphone and camera on your phone, tablet or computer.

If you have a question about telemedicine or are interested in scheduling a virtual appointment with the team at Grossmont Dermatology Medical Clinic, please contact us today.

Coastal Skin & Eye Institute/Grossmont Dermatology