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Has dermatology’s digital evolution killed 10-step skincare?

By Miraj Patel, Business Development Manager at Phlo Connect



Now that the use of filters to achieve a flawless complexion on screen has been normalised, members of the digital native generation are increasingly seeking to recreate their perfect online skin ‘IRL’ (in real life). 

However, unlike their parents’ generation, those seeking skin perfection today are turning their backs on expensive, time consuming, multi-product and often ineffective routines.

Instead, they are picking up their smartphones to consult with on-demand dermatologists, and receiving prescribed products delivered to their doors.

As NHS dermatology waiting times grow longer, those looking to find solutions for their skincare concerns are choosing to invest in private digital dermatology appointments rather than spending equivalent amounts on ‘miracle’ creams and serums.

This fact, coupled with the incredibly high quality of the average smartphone camera and the convenience of virtual doctors appointments, means that digital dermatology is now a flourishing industry.

Leading private digital providers include skindoc, The Dermatology Partnership, Derma Consult and DigiDerm.

 The end of trial and error skincare

Struggling with a skin issue, whether that be acne, psoriasis, rosacea or uneven pigmentation, can be a stressful experience that leaves a big dent in self-confidence.

Endlessly trying different combinations of products to see ‘what works’ is frustrating, expensive and slow, and there is a growing demand for dermatologist-led skincare provision.

On the beauty end of the spectrum, subscription services including Skin + Me are giving customers access to personalised, professional-quality treatments with just a few clicks..

At the medical end of the dermatology spectrum, people who are newly-comfortable with online GP and therapy services are now seeking out that same convenience.

This new cohort of digital dermatology users place a high value on accessible, discrete expert support, and look for a seamless user experience from first appointment to medication delivery.

Growing a user base: how the market leaders are winning and keeping customers

The most successful UK dermatology VIMPROs (vertically integrated micro providers) are meeting and exceeding these customer requirements.

They make it easy and cost-effective to book appointments with highly specialised and experienced clinicians, enable video consultations, and allow image sharing.

A growing number have also integrated AI image analysis technology into their platforms, so skin complaints can be detected with more accuracy and at an earlier stage.

These providers typically also integrate the pharmacy processes directly into their platform, so required prescriptions can be digitally generated, signed and filled quickly and conveniently.

This is typically achieved through partnership with a digital pharmacy API provider, such as Phlo Connect, whose technology provides the required backend infrastructure.

This partnership-led approach to digital dermatology provision has enabled the major providers to scale their prescribing operations compliantly and in line with CQC regulations, whilst also meeting customer expectations and soaring demand.

For the users of these platforms, they are paying for the peace of mind that comes when they know that their dermatologist-prescribed treatment will be quickly delivered, with all medication prices displayed up-front.

No more queuing at pharmacies, hidden costs or missing paperwork.

Across the rapidly-evolving landscape of dermatology, innovation led by skindoc and their cohort of VIMPROs is demonstrating a transformative impact.

The era of filling your bathroom cabinet with half-used, ineffective products is over.

As digital user adoption increases, the future of skincare will be one in which clinicians are supported to deliver the best care, and in which individuals are empowered with accessible, successful treatment.

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