Research Outline

Cosmetic Teledermatology


Gain information on cosmetic teledermatology, specifically as it relates to skincare products like prescription retinoids and lash growth, with a focus on underlying consumer trends driving this growth and with the goal of illustrating changes in prescription-grade or natural skincare products.

Early Findings

  • In recent years, teledermatology became the one of the fastest growing fields in the telemedicine space.
  • Most recently, growth was due to advancements in mobile teledermoscopy in which teledermatology was delivered via smartphone.
  • The use of teledermatology has reduced wait times, cost, and referrals, some of the most common barriers to receiving dermatological care.
  • Teledermatology apps like Musely Face-Rx and Curology focus primarily on prescription skin care for minor conditions such as acne or rosacea.
  • Some of the key barriers to use of teledermatology include legal responsibility issues, reimbursement challenges, and privacy and security around patient records.
  • Some of these challenges can be addressed by offering a hybrid option where teleconsultants refer to standard practitioners when uncertainty arises.
  • Direct-to-consumer and branded platforms have also increased, without standards for regulation to ensure consumers receive certain standards of care.
  • There are typically two categories of teledermatological consultation: live-interactive and store-and-forward (STF).
  • STF options are typically preferred by both consumers and physicians, as they allow for the most accurate diagnosis with less wait time, with dermatologists able to access patient files without a scheduled appointment.
  • Ability to override wait time is one of the most attractive features of teledermatology for consumers.
  • The most treatable group of diseases by teledermatology was superficial infections (92%)
  • There have also been recent expansions in reimbursement policies for teledermatology that are likely to create more prominent use of the technology.