Staying healthy and beautiful in L.A. can be hard; the constant sun endangers your epidermis with ultraviolet rays, the dry air dehydrates your pores, and if you happen to be the oily type, you have both of those problems plus pimples. L.A. is the epicenter of all things beautiful, and when time begins taking its toll on one’s appearance, now there are hundreds of practitioners on hand to help. And now, thanks to Santa Monica dermatologist Dr. Ben Behnam, M.D., people can doctor-shop in a fraction of the time, from home, rather than just blindly searching on Google or taking a recommendation from someone they may not trust.
The free app DermDash, which just launched in May, allows for quick comparison doctor shopping in Los Angeles not only for dermatology, but also for plastic surgery in procedures like Botox, filler, laser, CoolSculpt, chemical peels and laser hair removal, among others.
Since doctors generally don’t give prices over the phone, the task is put on the consumer to visit several to obtain price comparisons, which can be very time consuming in this day and age. At the touch of a button on one’s smartphone, DermDash offers a list of local qualified specialists in their area, as well as their Yelp reviews, pricing and distance from the prospective patient’s home.
“Our patients have, for years, expressed frustration that they cannot get pricing over the phone when it comes to procedures,” said Benham. “It dawned on me that offering an app would be a great way for folks to shop without leaving the comfort of their homes. They enter which procedures they want and instantly, the names and prices of several qualified specialists in their immediate area are given, along with their Yelp reviews. You can get all of the info you want immediately no matter where you are.”
Benham also helped create another app, Dermcheck, which can help a person self diagnose a skin condition. There are fewer than 10,000 dermatologists in the U.S. serving more than 320 million Americans, according to Benham. In some areas of the country, trying to schedule an appointment is anything but convenient.
Behnam said that he was inspired to develop this app after the death of a 17-year-old boy. The boy had a skin irregularity that his mother wanted a dermatologist to examine. There was a several week wait to get into the dermatologist’s office and by the time he made it in, it was too late. The growth was a melanoma and the boy died shortly after. Dermcheck offers patients their diagnoses, treatment plans and all necessary prescriptions sent to the pharmacy within 24 hours by simply uploading photos of their problem areas/concerns_.The app can be used to help diagnose such conditions as acne, cold sores, eczema, and many others. The app is free and the cost for each evaluation, doctor consultation, and one month of follow-up is $39.95. For more information on Dermdash, visit dermdash.com. For information on dermcheck, visit dermcheckapp.com. Both apps can be found in the app store for both iOS and Android.