Dermatologist Q&A: how can virtual care address skin concerns?

Virtual care · Apr 14, 2021

Skin concerns are one of the top three reasons that TELUS Health Virtual Care users initiate an on-demand consultation. Our in-house dermatologist supports our clinicians so that you can get expert care quickly. We asked Virtual Care's Dermatologist, Dr. Julia Carroll, five common skincare questions:

1. What kinds of dermatology issues can be addressed and treated virtually?

New rashes and inflammatory conditions such as acne and rosacea often lend themselves very well to virtual consults. Today’s camera-enabled devices tend to give us an excellent view of skin issues, so we can diagnose and treat many concerns as if the patient were in the same room.

2. April is rosacea awareness month: about three million Canadians experience its redness and inflammation chronically1. Can rosacea sufferers get help using Akira?

Absolutely. We see quite a number of rosacea patients using Akira by TELUS Health, and our clinicians support them with advice on skincare and avoiding things that trigger flare-ups. Our clinicians can also provide prescriptions for medication, which can help control rosacea in some patients.

3. Can an Akira clinician help me review and improve my skincare regimen?

Yes. Akira clinicians can give general skincare advice, and they can also leverage my dermatology advice to help patients bridge the often long wait times to see a dermatologist in person. Whether it be a minor skin irritation or a more complex issue, our clinicians can provide advice according to your personal medical history.

4. Some of us have cracked, sore hands following a winter of increased hand washing and sanitizing. What's the best treatment for this when regular hand cream isn't working?

It’s been a particularly tough winter on our hands with the extra emphasis on hand washing and sanitizing. I recommend washing the hands with a hydrating facial cleanser in lieu of traditional hand soap to add moisture, then immediately applying a thick hand cream. For added moisture, apply hand cream before bed and sleep with gloves on.

5. What is the current verdict on sunscreen? Is mineral sunscreen safer than chemical sunscreen? Should Canadians wear it year-round? Is a higher level of SPF always better?

Sunscreen is an important part of a sun protection strategy. I advise wearing at least an SPF 30 every day to help prevent skin cancer and mitigate the damaging effects of the sun’s ultraviolet light. Both mineral and chemical sunscreens currently sold in Canada are safe – it’s really a personal preference. And yes, higher SPF numbers do mean better protection.

TELUS Health Virtual Care supports your physical and mental health by giving you access to 24/7 on-demand healthcare. Available via smartphone or computer, in French and English, it immediately connects you or your family members to Canadian healthcare providers through encrypted text and video chat. Access care when you need medical advice, referrals to specialists, requests for new prescriptions or refills, wellness services and access to registered mental health specialists.

As part of TELUS’ continued investment in healthcare innovation and our commitment to making healthcare more accessible to all Canadians, TELUS Health has broadened its offering to include two Canadian virtual care services: Akira by TELUS Health and EQ Care. With both services working together, we will continue to provide employees the same service delivered with consistent compassionate care.

1Canadian Dermatology Association. (2016). “Rosacea: Living with Rosacea.”

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