The skin is the largest organ in the body, representing almost 15% of a person’s total weight. In all its extension, the skin includes millions of cells, nerve endings, sebaceous and sweat glands, hair follicles, and blood vessels. Therefore, it is so important that it is always treated by a dermatologist. Dermatology is that medical specialty dedicated to the study, knowledge, diagnosis, and treatment of all those pathologies or conditions of the skin.
How Much Does a Dermatologist Visit Cost Without Insurance?
You should expect to pay around $230 for a dermatologist visit, but this cost will be affected by several factors such as the location of your provider, whether you need extra tests during your visit, the prescribed medication, and what are you treated for.
In case you don’t have health insurance, the cost of a dermatologist visit may be very high, especially if you have to take medication to keep your skin healthy. If you don’t want to have a surprise when you will be told how much you have to pay, it is recommended to call dermatologists in your area and ask for costs upfront.
Besides the cost of the initial dermatologist visit, you will have to pay for any other treatments and procedures you may receive. The costs may be covered by your health insurance, depending on the procedure. In the table below you will find the out-of-pocket costs for some of the most common dermatologist procedures.
|Common Procedure||Average Out-of-Pocket Cost Without Insurance|
|Mohs Micrographic Surgery||$2,100|
|Cryotherapy (of Seborrheic keratoses)||$185.99|
|Cryotherapy (of Actinic keratoses)||$390.99|
|Basal Cell Carcinoma Treatment||$320.99|
Once the initial screening is done, the dermatologist may prescribe you medication for various conditions. This medication can be used to treat skin conditions such as stubborn acne breakouts, psoriasis, eczema, or even skin cancers sometimes.
In the table below you will find the out-of-pocket costs for some of the most common prescription medications from the dermatologist.
|Prescription Medication||Average Out-of-Pocket Cost Without Insurance|
When to see a dermatologist?
You go to the dermatologist when suspicious signs or symptoms appear on the skin as well as for the annual screenings, which have the role of detecting, at an early stage, more serious conditions, such as skin cancer. Screening is indicated at the end of the warm season so that the doctor can assess the damage that exposure to UV radiation has had on the skin. The symptoms that should send you to the dermatologist are the following:
If a mole changes considerably in shape, appearance, or texture from one year to another or if it starts to bleed, it is necessary to see a dermatologist to make sure that it is not skin cancer. If you are diagnosed with this, it is important that the treatment is recommended as early as possible, not when the disease is already advanced.
Injuries that do not heal
Any suspicious lesion that does not heal on its own or with topical treatment within a few weeks should send you to a dermatologist. It can be due to a number of conditions, including skin cancer.
Skin irritations or rashes of unknown cause, with or without itching, should be seen by a doctor. Most of the time, these symptoms are associated with eczema, which is quite easy to treat, however, it is recommended that you see a doctor for diagnosis and treatment.
If you have problems with unbearable pimples and you can’t get rid of them with cosmetic dermatology, seek the help of a specialist. Your dermatologist can determine the cause of your acne and prescribe an appropriate treatment.
If you notice changes in the health of your scalp and/or hair, it’s also a good idea to see a doctor.
Nail fungus and similar problems are also treated by a dermatologist, so if you are facing such situations, it would be a good idea to make an appointment.
Regardless of the cause, scars can be completely removed or at least faded with the help of a dermatologist. Through depigmentation and chemical exfoliation, but also with the help of laser treatments, the doctor can help you get rid of unsightly marks on the skin.
Skin lesions and growths
Any suspicious skin lesion or growth should be seen by a doctor. He is able to determine the nature of the underlying injury as well as the appropriate treatment methods.
How often should you visit a dermatologist?
Specialists recommend a dermatological consultation at least once a year, even in the absence of obvious problems. In this way, some conditions could be detected at an early stage and treated much more easily. Of course, there are also specific situations, in which some symptoms should prompt you to urgently go to a dermatologist for a check-up.
Dermatologist visit vs. Urgent Care
As the costs are pretty high, you may want to make sure that the problems you may be facing with your skin are meant for a dermatologist visit. It is recommended to go to urgent care for basic, quick problems that may appear at odd hours during the evening or on weekends when you know that your dermatologist’s office is not open.
Also, common skin issues such as bug bites, poison ivy, or other rashes can be treated at an urgent care facility.
How does a dermatologist visit proceed?
First of all, before visiting the dermatologist, it is good to prepare properly. For a good analysis result, make sure you:
- avoid makeup products and cosmetics that could prevent the doctor from observing certain particularities of your skin;
- prepare some questions for the dermatologist, regarding the reason for the visit;
- make a list (should be made mentally) of suspicious symptoms, circumstances that could have favored the issue, or medications you are taking.
The dermatologist visit will start with the anamnesis – during this, the doctor will ask you a series of questions with the aim of establishing the correct diagnosis. These questions are related to personal and family medical history, the onset of symptoms as well as hygiene habits or daily skincare routine.
After the medical history, the doctor will continue with the physical examination. The dermatologist will carefully study the skin and, if necessary, recommend more thorough investigations – for example, a biopsy. In the end, the doctor will establish a diagnosis, as well as a course of treatment. Rarely, the dermatological problem that brought you to the doctor will be solved with a single consultation. Most of the time, you will need to return to the doctor for regular check-ups.
What are some tips to avoid possible skin problems?
Considering the skyrocketing number of people suffering from skin cancer, it is advisable to expose yourself to the sun in moderation. Because of ultraviolet rays, it is important to avoid exposure to the sun between 11:00 a.m. and 16:00 p.m., when UV rays are particularly harmful.
Specialists recommend using sunscreen lotions throughout the year, and in the summer, products with a protection factor of 50+.
Can I see a dermatologist online?
The online consultation service was of great help during the pandemic for hundreds of patients with dermatological problems, patients who benefited from specialist treatment recommendations in complete safety.
The online consultation offers you the opportunity to receive personalized medical treatment for dermatological and venereal diseases without going to the doctor’s office.
Online dermatologist consultations can take place at your choice via video call (Skype or WhatsApp) or by completing a medical form, accompanied by photos of the skin lesions.
After the consultation, you will receive a medical prescription (recipe) and recommendations for treatment and medical investigations.
Can I check my skin condition at home?
If you want to keep an eye on your skin health condition, but you have a hard time getting an appointment with a dermatologist, you can perform a self-skin examination. Take a full-length mirror so you can see and observe your whole body. In case you have growths keep an eye on these and use the ABCDE guidelines:
- Asymmetry: a sign of skin cancer may be an asymmetrical growth;
- Border: cancerous moles have unsmoothed and uneven edges;
- Color: cancerous spots have various colors;
- Diameter: usually cancerous growths are larger than benign spots;
- Evolving: also, a sign of skin cancer could be a change in size, color, or shape.
Visiting the dermatologist regularly is of particular importance for your safety. Each dermatological check-up allows the doctor to check the current state of skin health and detect possible early signs of problems. Taking into account the fact that it is easier to treat the symptoms the earlier they are detected, it is very important to go for a check-up in time.