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We can't treat you for that. Here's why.

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We can't treat you for that. Here's why.
We can't treat you for that. Here's why.

by Kathleen Morrison, Lead Writer

March 5th, 2019

Apostrophe aims to be a diverse and inclusive dermatology service that caters to a variety of patient needs, but you may have noticed that there are a few treatments other companies offer that we don’t. Here’s why.

Female Pattern Hair Loss: If we treat for male pattern hair loss, why don’t we treat women for the same? Women can experience the same type of hair loss commonly experienced by men as they age but there are many other potential causes for a woman’s hair loss, some of which can be quite serious. like autoimmune disorders, thyroid disorders, and anemia are all conditions that could underlie a patient’s hair loss and are not diagnosable over an online platform like Apostrophe. Additionally, inflammatory conditions that cause permanent scarring and hair loss can only be diagnosed by a dermatologist in person. We always support gender equity, but in this case it is safer for women to visit a doctor’s office in order to rule out any serious health concerns.

Psoriasis and eczema: Both of these conditions often appear as patches of persistently dry, flaky, and/or scaly skin which means they are easily misdiagnosed as one another, and can also be misdiagnosed as dandruff or ringworm. Additionally, the appropriate medications for psoriasis and eczema carry more risks and therefore should be closely monitored by a healthcare professional. The limitations of an online platform make this type of monitoring difficult and limits the ability of the doctor to properly judge a patient’s improvement. Apostrophe Medical Director Dr. Aimee Paik notes, “A dermatologist knows where to look when examining your skin. The distribution of lesions provides important clues to pinpoint the correct diagnosis. Unfortunately, a series of photos is sometimes not the same as a thorough skin examination.”

Nail health: Nail health is not as straightforward as you may think. While nail fungus is the most common diagnosis for nail concerns, the treatment for nail fungus can require lab monitoring which can’t be done through an online platform. “Treatment for nail fungus is difficult to do online because of the lack of efficacy of treatments (the best medicine only has a 70% cure rate) and the need for lab monitoring,” Dr. Paik says. “Newer topical anti-fungal medicines are very expensive but only have a 50% cure rate.” More serious diagnoses like an autoimmune condition, may require injections or riskier treatments that must be monitored or performed in-person. Like with psoriasis and eczema, differentiating between nail conditions can be difficult through photos and the treatments carry varying risks.

At the end of the day, our Apostrophe dermatologists pride themselves on providing safe and effective care. Dr. Paik reiterates, “Our goal is to meet or even exceed the level of care provided by a dermatologist in person. Here at Apostrophe, we only treat the medical conditions where we can confidently meet that goal.” We take your health and safety as seriously as you do. Sometimes an in-person visit is still the best option!

Do you have any other concerns you want us to address, or treatments we should offer? Tweet us at @hi_apostrophe!

Welcome to the fine print! Just so you know, this article is not, nor is it intended to be, a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment, and should never be relied upon for specific medical advice. It’s always best to talk to a doctor for that stuff.

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