Impact of the COVID-19 Pandemic on Dermatology Practice Worldwide: Results of a Survey Promoted by the International Dermoscopy Society (IDS)

Dermatol Pract Concept. 2021 Jan 29;11(1):e2021153. doi: 10.5826/dpc.1101a153. eCollection 2021 Jan.


INTRODUCTION: The International Dermoscopy Society (IDS) conducted an online survey to investigate the impact of coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) outbreak on the daily practice of dermatologists working with skin cancer patients, to collect data regarding the frequency of skin manifestations noticed by the members, and to obtain information about the use of teledermatology during the pandemic.

METHODS: All IDS members were asked to fill in a questionnaire, sent by email. A questionnaire available in English was sent to all IDS members (≈16.0000 members) by email. The questionnaire was anonymous, with a compiling time of less than 5 minutes. The survey was open for 30 days (from April 24, 2020 to May 24, 2020) and it could only be filled out once.

RESULTS: Overall, 678 dermatologists responded to the questionnaire; 334 members stated that there has been a reduction of more than 75% in daily work activity during the pandemic, 265 dermatologists worked fewer days per week, and 118 experienced telemedicine for the first time. Acrodermatitis was the most frequently observed skin manifestation (n = 80) followed by urticarial rash (n = 69), morbilliform rash (n = 53) and purpuric manifestation (n = 40). In regard to the role of teledermatology, 565 dermatologists reported an increased number of teleconsultations, and the number of melanomas diagnosed during the pandemic was practically 0 for 385 (56.78%) of respondents.

CONCLUSION: This survey highlights that the outbreak had a negative impact on most dermatology services, with a significant reduction in consultation time spent for chronic patients, and an increased risk of missed melanoma and nonmelanoma skin cancer (NMSC) diagnosis. Moreover, our study confirms earlier findings of a wide range of skin manifestations associated with COVID-19.

PMID:33614221 | PMC:PMC7875667 | DOI:10.5826/dpc.1101a153