The Best Online Dermatologists to Treat Your Skin

Dermatologist On Call is accessible and hassle-free, with no appointment required

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As many as one in three Americans could be affected by a skin issue at some point in their lifetime. And yet, the first resource most people turn to for these issues is not a doctor, but rather at-home treatments like topical skincare products or health supplements. It's no wonder, because dermatologists are sometimes difficult to find and can have long waitlists in areas that are underserved.

This is where online dermatologists come in. These digital services are a form of telehealth that allows you to visit remotely with a doctor who will help diagnose common skin disorders, prescribe oral and topical medication, and dispense advice on getting the issue under control. Here, we rounded up the best online dermatologists, each with their own unique benefits and appeal. Just remember: These services don’t take the place of your annual full-body skin check. There’s no virtual substitute for that appointment, so make sure you schedule an in-office check to help protect yourself against skin cancer.

Best Online Dermatologists of 2023

The Best Online Dermatologists to Treat Your Skin
The Best Online Dermatologists to Treat Your Skin

Best Overall : Dermatologist On Call

Woman showing skin


Key Specs
  • Cost: $95 per visit
  • Membership Required?: No
  • Payment Accepted: Credit card, HSA, HRA, and FSA
Why We Chose It

Dermatologist On Call is the most accessible and easy-to-navigate option in more ways than one: It's available in all 50 states, charges a flat fee per visit, and doesn’t require an appointment, making it a hassle-free way to get a wide variety of skin issues diagnosed and treated.

Pros & Cons
  • Flat fee of $95 per visit

  • No appointments needed

  • Available in all 50 states and Washington D.C.

  • Doesn’t accept health insurance

  • No app

  • Doesn't consult with those who are pregnant or nursing


Dermatologist On Call is truly the best representation of online dermatology, offering low-cost, easy-access services to (almost) everyone.

Its board-certified dermatologists are available with no appointment necessary, and you pay a flat rate of about $95 per visit. This can be paid via credit card, your health savings account (HSA), health reimbursement arrangement (HRA), or flexible spending account (FSA), although it unfortunately does not accept health insurance. The doctors on call can offer diagnosis and treatment for more than 3,000 different skin conditions, including everything from acne and eczema to suspicious moles and hair loss.

To start your visit, you create an online health profile, then describe your skin concern and upload photos. You can then choose a dermatologist in your area (they are listed by proximity to your location) or request the next available dermatologist. Wait times for choosing a dermatologist average about three business days, while the next available appointment is within 24 hours. There is an option for a video call with the dermatologist if you live in a state where that is a requirement by law.

Once your dermatologist has diagnosed your issue, they’ll create a treatment plan for you and send a prescription for any medication you may need to the pharmacy of your choice. If you have questions after your appointment, you have the option to message your dermatologist up to 30 days after that first appointment for additional follow-up.

Unfortunately, those who are pregnant, nursing, or trying to become pregnant are not eligible for an online dermatology visit. In addition, you can only address a single skin condition per visit. This means that if you are dealing with, say, acne and melasma, you’ll have to make separate appointments to address each.

Best for Basics : First Derm

Key Specs
  • Cost: $35-$70 per consultation
  • Membership Required?: No
  • Payment Accepted: Credit card, iTunes, Google Checkout, PayPal, HSA, FSA
Why We Chose It

First Derm offers a simple process and an unbeatable price, and is perfect if you want to focus on one specific issue.

Pros & Cons
  • Visits start at about $35

  • Choose from app or website interface

  • No time-consuming setup process

  • No direct interactions with your dermatologist

  • No prescriptions

  • Doesn't accept insurance


If you’re looking for a fast, cheap, professional intervention for your skin-care 911, First Derm should be the first online derm on your list. This service offers a quick consult to help you get to the bottom of what’s ailing you and provides a professional suggestion on how to treat it.

It’s beyond easy to use: Download the app or go to the website and take two photos of your skin problem (one close-up and one farther away). Fill out your personal details and list your symptoms, pay your fee (roughly $35 for a response in 48 hours, around $50 for a 24-hour turnaround, or about $70 for an eight-hour one), and then wait for a dermatologist to review your case and send back a diagnosis. It will include a treatment plan and let you know what the potential causes may be, so you know what to avoid that may be causing your skin to freak out.

The trade-off for the price of this service is that the dermatologists don’t provide prescriptions, so if you wind up needing one, you’ll have to go to a doctor's office to get it—which might not save you any cash in the long run. That said, FirstDerm claims that 70% of the cases it sees can be treated with over-the-counter medication and products.

Best for Acne : Apostrophe


Courtesy of Apostrophe

Get $15 off your first visit with code BYRDIE15

Key Specs
  • Cost: $20 per visit
  • Membership Required?: Yes (but no subscription fee)
  • Payment Accepted: Credit card, PayPal, some HSA and FSA cards
Why We Chose It

Apostrophe has treating acne down to a science, with expert advice, time-tested prescription topicals, and oral medication for every step of your acne journey.

Pros & Cons
  • Specializes in acne

  • $20 consultation fee can be used toward product purchases

  • Get prescriptions directly from Apostrophe’s own pharmacy

  • Does not accept insurance 

  • Not available in North Carolina


Acne can often be difficult to manage on your own. But Apostrophe helps take some of the frustration out of this process with a service directed at patients who deal with the condition (although it also offers treatments for hair loss, rosacea, melasma, wrinkles, and eyelash growth).

Apostrophe's dermatologists are all trained in acne care and the company has done extensive research into which topical and oral medications have the best track records for helping control breakouts. Your visit will cost you about $20 (insurance is not accepted), but that fee can be used toward your prescription costs. Your skin and medical profile are then evaluated by a board-certified dermatologist, who prescribes a regimen of topical and/or oral medications for you that can be filled through Apostrophe’s in-house pharmacy and mailed directly to you.

Topical products cost about $75 for a three-month supply, while oral medication starts at $15 per month. You can plan ahead by subscribing to receive automatic refills. Apostrophe offers all of the most popular treatments, from tretinoin and clindamycin to spironolactone and doxycycline. Apostrophe is available in 49 states and Washington D.C.—it is not yet available in North Carolina.

Best for Multitaskers : PlushCare


PeopleImages / Getty Images

Key Specs
  • Cost: $15 monthly or $99 annually, plus visit fee
  • Membership Required?: Yes
  • Payment Accepted: Credit card, HSA, FSA, insurance
Why We Chose It

PlushCare is one of the most popular telehealth options available with an extremely high customer satisfaction rating. We love it because you can use it for pretty much all of your health needs, from dermatology appointments and online therapy to urgent medical issues like UTIs and colds.

Pros & Cons
  • Same-day appointments

  • Can address many health care needs in one place

  • App with direct messaging and video chat options

  • Expensive compared to other options

  • Must pay a membership fee on top of the visit fee 


For those that are comfortable with the concept of online health services and like the idea of having all of their basic health care needs in one place, PlushCare is a clear pick.

One of the most highly rated telehealth options on the market, PlushCare offers an array of services that practically put an end to in-office doctor’s visits for minor health concerns. From colds and UTIs to online therapy and acne, PlushCare does it all, with an intuitive interface that’s both personable and hassle-free.

Everything is done through the app, which allows you to choose your provider and make a same-day appointment via video visit. After your appointment, your doctor will prescribe any applicable medications and send them to your local pharmacy for pickup. They can also order labs or additional tests if needed, something that is exceptionally helpful if they suspect a more serious underlying issue for your skin condition, like a severe hormone imbalance.

The app makes everything beyond easy because it integrates with your insurance provider, pharmacy, and labs to ensure all of your information is readily accessible in one place. If you have additional problems or need follow-up, you also have the option of directly messaging the doctor and their team with additional questions. 

PlushCare is available in all 50 states and is in network with most major health plans. However, after a 30-day free trial, there is a membership fee in order to use it. You pay about $15 per month or roughly $99 a year, plus a fee for your visit with a doctor. If you have insurance through Aetna, Blue Cross Blue Shield, Anthem Blue Cross, Blue Shield of California, Humana, Medi-Cal, or UnitedHealthcare, the fee is your co-pay. If you don't have insurance, you'll have to pay $129 for a new visit and $99 for a repeat visit.

Most Convenient : DirectDerm


Science Photo Library / Getty Images

Key Specs
  • Cost: $95 per visit (without insurance)
  • Membership required?: No
  • Payment Accepted: Credit card, HSA, insurance
Why We Chose It

If you already have health insurance and are just looking for a faster way to see a dermatologist, DirectDerm gives you easy access without the wait time or fees.

Pros & Cons
  • Accepts most popular insurance plans, HSAs, and Medicare

  • Consultations available online or via phone

  • Responses within 48 hours

  • Offers retail locations

  • Only available in a handful of states

  • Pricey if you don’t have insurance

  • Photo-based, so you have to wait for a follow-up


If your number one hurdle for not seeing the dermatologist is lack of time or not having one nearby, DirectDerm solves that issue by offering a convenient consult with a dermatologist without a lengthy sign-up process.

Just snap a few pictures of your area of concern, add a quick description, and send it all off to one of the company's board-certified dermatologists to receive a diagnosis and treatment plan in 48 hours or less. If you have follow-up questions or the dermatologist needs more information, you can talk to them via the website or by phone. The doctors can write prescriptions and send them to your local pharmacy for pickup.

DirectDerm accepts most major insurances, Medicare, and health savings accounts. If you don’t have insurance, a consultation starts at around $95. Another perk we love is that the dermatologist will work with your insurance provider to identify lower-cost prescriptions.

DirectDerm is only available in a handful of states: California, Colorado, Florida, Hawaii, Nebraska, New Mexico, Oregon, and Washington. Retail locations are only available in California.

Final Verdict

With the average wait time for a dermatologist appointment sometimes stretching into weeks, online dermatologists offer a simple solution to help people address common skin care problems. While all of the online dermatologists on this list can make dermatology care more accessible, Dermatologist On Call is our top pick overall because it's available in all 50 states, charges a simple flat fee per visit, doesn’t require an appointment, and can diagnose and treat over 3,000 different skin conditions.

However, if you have health insurance and are simply seeking faster treatment compared to an in-office visit, DirectDerm is your best option, as it will send you a diagnosis and treatment plan in less than 48 hours.

Frequently Asked Questions

  • What Are Online Dermatologists?

    Online dermatologists are web- or app-based platforms that connect patients with board-certified dermatologists, physician’s assistants, or nurse practitioners who can evaluate and diagnose common skin problems, provide treatment options, and in many cases prescribe medication without the need for an in-office appointment. 

  • How Much Do Online Dermatologists Cost?

    Prices for online dermatologists vary depending on whether there's a membership fee and if they take insurance. In general, if you are uninsured, you can expect to pay a little more for some services. However, since some online dermatologists don’t accept insurance, the cost for those will be the same for everyone. The picks on our list range from roughly $20 per visit to $99 for a yearly membership.

  • Are Online Dermatologists Reliable?

    Yes, online dermatologists are certified doctors who can reliably diagnose and offer treatment for many common skin concerns, such as acne, eczema, and rosacea. However, it's still a good idea to schedule an in-person visit for a full-body skin check. Online dermatologists should not replace an annual screening for skin cancer.

  • Can Online Dermatologists Prescribe Medication?

    Yes, online dermatologists can prescribe medication, though their ability to do so can depend on your location and the site you're using. Some online dermatologists offer only over-the-counter treatment options, while others can either send a prescription to your pharmacy or fill it themselves and ship it to you.


Our top picks for online dermatologists all offer the convenience of “seeing” a doctor without having to wait months for an appointment or travel to a dermatologist’s office. Where they differ is in the type of experience they provide, with some offering full-service appointments through video chats and the ability to write prescriptions while others deliver a more basic approach with an emailed diagnosis, treatment plan, and over-the-counter suggestions. 

We looked for online dermatologists that cover a spectrum of budgets and needs, including minor skin concerns, specific problems like acne, and more comprehensive telehealth care. We also made sure that the majority offered options for the uninsured at affordable rates. 

Finally, we checked to ensure that the turnaround time from submission to diagnosis was within a five-day timeframe, as the point of online dermatology is to offer quick and convenient access to a professional.

Best Online Dermatologists

Byrdie / Designed by Amelia Manley

Article Sources
  1. National Center for Complementary and Integrative Health. Skin conditions at a glance.