Insights

How Much Does a Dermatologist Visit Cost Without Insurance?

Talor Bianchini30 Aug 2021

A doctor’s visit people often neglect is going to the dermatologist. While most think they only need to go if they are experiencing troubles with breakouts, the dermatologist provides full-body skin checkups to look for signs of skin cancer and other skin conditions. On average, a dermatologist visit will cost about $221 but will range depending on various factors.

Without insurance, the cost of visiting the dermatologist can be very daunting, especially if you need prescriptions to maintain healthy skin. Mira provides up to 80% off on over 1000 prescriptions for just $45/month. By signing up today, you’ll also receive access to low-cost urgent care visits and same-day lab testing. 

The Cost of a Dermatologist Visit 

Any initial visit to the dermatologist will be a separate cost from any treatments/procedures you have done. On average, a dermatologist visit will cost about $221. However, the cost will likely depend on the location of your provider, what you are being treated for, prescribed medications, and any additional tests that are done during your appointment. The best practice is to call doctors in your area and ask for prices upfront to avoid surprise medical bills.

Procedure Costs

In addition to the initial dermatologist visit cost, any procedures and treatments you may receive will have their own individual cost. Depending on the procedure, it may or may not be covered by insurance. If it’s not, your dermatologist will make this clear and discuss it with you before proceeding. 

Out-of-Pocket Costs of Common Dermatologist Procedures

Common Procedure 

Average Out of Pocket Cost Without Insurance

Basal Cell Carcinoma Treatment

$294.67

Cryotherapy (of Actinic keratoses)

$365.78

Cryotherapy (of Seborrheic keratoses)

$171.84

KOH Test

$9.89

Mohs Micrographic Surgery

$1902.18

Source: https://math.dartmouth.edu/~mjmusty/documents/cost_of_care.pdf 

Prescriptions

After an initial screening, a dermatologist may prescribe you medication for many conditions. Prescription skincare can be used to treat skin conditions like eczema or psoriasis, stubborn acne breakouts, and sometimes even skin cancers. 

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Out of Pocket Costs of Common Prescription Medications from the Dermatologist

Common Prescription Medication

Average Out of Pocket Cost Without Insurance

Acitretin

$680.82

Benzoyl Peroxide

$39.71

Methotrexate

$84.84

Solodyn

$475.28

Ziana

$423.38

Source: https://math.dartmouth.edu/~mjmusty/documents/cost_of_care.pdf

When to See the Dermatologist 

In 2018, only 16.04% of Americans aged 18 to 29 had visited a dermatologist in the last 12 months. Many people have never even been before in their life. 

We spoke to Dr. Anna Chacon, a board-certified dermatologist and author from Miami, Florida. She has been published in a wide variety of scientific journals and authored several book chapters. Dr. Chacon provided insight about when it’s time for you to schedule a dermatology appointment. 

Frequency of Visits

A normal, healthy adult may benefit from a skin check every 1-2 years, assuming they are healthy and do not have a family history of skin cancer or any active skin conditions themselves. If you have had skin cancer recently or notice changes in your skin, the number of visits will go up. Our skin can change greatly in just 12 months, so having it examined frequently is a necessity. Screenings can bring about potential areas of concern or identify cancerous or precancerous spots. 

Dermatologists can treat a wide range of conditions, and there may be several reasons you schedule an additional visit, including:

  • Stubborn acne/breakouts
  • Hair loss
  • Abnormal moles/patches of skin
  • Skin damage

Watching for changes in your skin should be a huge priority regarding your health. As the largest organ in your body, your skin protects your nerves, other organs, and blood vessels from the outside environment. It experiences many wear and tear, so it's always a good idea to check up on it. 

Urgent Care vs. Dermatologist 

Besides going for a yearly checkup, you may be unsure when else it is necessary to see the dermatologist. Because of the costs, you’ll want to make sure any issues you may be experiencing with your skin are meant for a dermatologist’s eyes. Dr. Chacon recommends going to urgent care for basic, quick issues that possibly come up at odd hours during the weekend or evenings when you know that your dermatologist is not working or open. 

Common skin problems like poison ivy, bug bites, or even other rashes can be treated at an urgent care as well. Mira provides easy access to urgent care for a low, up-front copay of $99. If your dermatologist can’t be reached and you need care immediately, this is a great alternative for urgent skin problems. 

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Dermatology Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs) 

Visiting the dermatologist is often a new experience for many people. Here we answer some questions you may have before scheduling your next visit. 

What does a full-body exam entail?

When arriving at the dermatologist, you will most likely be asked questions about your family history and past medical issues. The doctor will determine your level of comfort before you proceed with a full-body check-up. Moving from your scalp to your toes, the dermatologist will be on the lookout for suspicious spots. They will be monitored more closely depending on the shape, size, and color. 

Is there anything I can check for at home?

If you have a hard time getting an appointment or want to keep an eye on your skin, you can perform self-skin examinations yourself. Use a full-length mirror to examine your body front to back and left to right. A hand mirror can be used to look at your neck, scalp, and your back. If you have growths to keep an eye on, you can use the ABCDE guidelines:

  • Asymmetry: an asymmetrical growth could be a sign of skin cancer
  • Border: cancerous moles have uneven and not smooth edges
  • Color: cancerous spots will be a variety of colors
  • Diameter: cancerous growths are normally larger than benign spots
  • Evolving: a change in shape, color, or size could also be a sign of skin cancer

Can I see a dermatologist online?

A teledermatologist is a dermatologist that practices their medicine through technology, which allows patients to receive care from the comfort of their own home. Many doctors will review pictures of their patients’ skin and help diagnose/treat common conditions. Not only could this save you money, but also time. There are often long waiting lists to get in to see a doctor. Although full-body checkups cannot be conducted this way, it’s a great alternative to other potential derm visits. 

What are some tips to avoid potential skin problems? 

Dr. Anna Chacon says that to avoid skin problems, it is best to use gentle skincare by cleansing with lukewarm water and gentle soap and moisturizing regularly with emollients like vaseline petrolatum. Avoid trauma to the skin. Make sure to wear SPF every day, especially if you will be experiencing long-term sun exposure. 

Bottom Line 

If seeing the dermatologist regularly hasn’t been a priority for you in the past, consider setting up an appointment soon. Having a full-body exam is essential for your skin and your overall health to detect potentially life-threatening conditions. 

The cost of visiting the dermatologist can add up as you receive treatments and prescription medications, especially if you don’t have insurance. You can help offset this cost by looking for a teledermatologist, monitoring your skin at home frequently, and going to urgent care for common skin problems.