Should You See a 'Virtual' Dermatologist?

Dr. Oz has the answer.

The Claim: Smartphone apps let you skip the waiting room and visit a doctor virtually. You just snap a picture of your mystery bump or rash and upload it. A dermatologist affiliated with the app gives you a diagnosis in about 24 hours.

Oz Says: Save yourself the $45 that most apps charge for a virtual visit. While they may be OK for, say, a case of poison ivy, many skin issues, like rashes, suspicious moles, and what-the-heck-is-this bumps, need a closer look beyond what your phone's camera can deliver. Plus, there's no guarantee that the physicians being paid by these apps have good credentials, says David Bank, MD, an assistant clinical professor of dermatology at Columbia Presbyterian Medical Center — or that private details like your diagnosis or payment information will be safe. Don't risk being misdiagnosed; for now at least, stick to a real-life doc.

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The Verdict: SKIP IT

This story originally appeared in the January/February 2016 issue of Dr. Oz The Good Life.

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