This post is sponsored by YoDerm. I wasn’t compensated monetarily, but received a complimentary consultation with a dermatologist (a $59 value) in exchange for my honest review. I value integrity and will accept sponsored posts sparingly. I was asked to write my own thoughts, with no suggestions about what to say, even if I was dissatisfied. For that reason, I accepted. Be prepared for a very in-depth post! I have a YoDerm coupon code for you at the bottom, should you decide to try it.
I was actually really excited when YoDerm contacted me! I stumbled upon them several months ago on my own and I’d intended to try it out at some point. I’m 28 and I’ve struggled with moderate acne since I was about 14-15. Being a very fair redhead, even small pimples make red marks that seem to last ages. All the years of acne have also left me with indented scars. My skin is my biggest beauty concern. Anyone who has struggled with acne gets that. I’ve never seen a dermatologist before, so I was looking forward to the experience.
How It Worked
I filled out a questionnaire detailing my age, skin type, how long I’ve dealt with the acne, ALL the medications I’ve tried (prescription and over-the-counter, so it was a long list), and any additional information. You tell them if you’d prefer mild, medium, or strong treatment…whatever you’re comfortable with. Then you attach photos of your face/back/anywhere else you have issues, and you should get a response within 24 hours.
I received a response in 10 minutes. I was pretty surprised! I had been assigned Dr. Bradley Beckman, who was very friendly, and confident that he could help me. I’d been really nervous, because I’ve already tried so many things that I felt my options were limited. Additionally (I haven’t mentioned this before) I suffer from Bipolar Disorder, Generalized Anxiety Disorder, Interstitial Cystitis, and Pelvic Floor Dysfunction. With that complicated mix of both physical and mental illness, I take a lot of medications already. I was concerned that because of that, my options would be so limited that it would all have been a waste.
I was relieved when Dr. Beckman had a plan. He prescribed me low doses of Spironolactone and Doxycycline, which don’t interfere (miraculously) with any of my other 7 medications, and don’t have many side effects. He also prescribed Differin gel. I will be reviewing all of these in time, and will keep you updated on my progress, but for now I’ll just focus on the YoDerm experience.
The user dashboard on the website is well-designed and easy to navigate (always a sign of professionalism in my book). I was sent a message with the phone number of my chosen pharmacy in case I wanted to call first and check whether the meds were covered. Being on a budget, I’d planned to do that. It’s small things like that which set a company apart. Sure, it’s only saving me 3 minutes of Googling time. But now I have 3 minutes to go listen to a song on Spotify. Woo!
The oral medications were covered, and the Differin probably will be, but it requires prior authorization from my insurance. While I’m waiting on that, I’m very happy to be trying out the spiro and doxy. I’ve always been interested in trying them. Fortunately, even if the Differin isn’t covered, YoDerm offers options to help pay for it, or I can talk to my derm about adjusting my treatment plan.
My pharmacy filled the prescriptions pretty quickly and I was on my way to get them. Within the space of one hour I’d consulted with a doctor, received a treatment plan, and picked up my medication. All while wearing sweats. I didn’t even need to shower first. My fellow Spoonies know that it’s always a score when you don’t need to shower and leave the house.
At this point, I was a little concerned by how fantastic the experience was. Why? I don’t want this to sound like an advertisement. I want you to trust me when I promote something. But this is my truthful opinion: I am really happy with my experience.
Pros and Cons
Let’s touch on some of the cons, though. I can’t comment on the fee, since I didn’t need to pay it. What if I had? Would it be worth it? My insurance covers doctor visits with no co-pays. I could reason that I’d get the same results without paying. But then I had to reflect on my actual experience with that. I begged my old primary doctor several times to let me try spiro, because I knew my acne was hormonal. He never listened to me. More than that, he refused to refer me to a dermatologist. I had wanted to see a derm not just for acne, but because skin cancer (melanoma, the deadly kind) runs in my family and I just wanted someone to keep an eye on my moles. He still refused.
I like that I’m speaking with a doctor whose entire speciality is skin. I see a psychiatrist for mental illness. I see a physical therapist for pelvic floor dysfunction. I see a speciality urologist for my bladder condition. So, why not see a skin doctor for my skin? I love that I didn’t need to unnecessarily fight my doctor to see a derm. Additionally, it is so, so easy. Going to the doctor is tiring. I hate it. The convenience of YoDerm could be a big selling point for a lot of you.
Here’s another con. You aren’t speaking to someone in person. You aren’t building that immediate, personal connection. When it comes to dermatology, that’s somewhere I basically feel comfortable not seeing someone in person for. But I am very complicated. I take a lot of medication, I have a lot of illnesses already. Was one hour too fast? I’m not sure. Truthfully, if you don’t have many issues like I do, it’s probably not a huge deal.
When they send over the prescription information in your dashboard, they do include an information sheet about the meds and their side effects/interactions. But the doctor himself never said, “Here’s some really common ones,” or, “Because you have xyz illness, maybe this specific thing could happen.”
I’m the sort of person who reads up on all medications and treatments I undertake anyway. I don’t have a choice. There’s a fine balance when you’re in my situation. I have to stay safe. I do this even with doctors I know in person. I read the packet of information that comes with my meds each time I refill them, even ones I’ve been on for years, because it’s easy to forget certain side effects, or perhaps some of it has been updated.
When I went to the pharmacy, I brought a list of my current meds so she could double-check everything. She confirmed everything Dr. Beckman said. Neither of them told me, though, to not eat bananas when taking spiro. Okay, that’s a bit of a joke. You do need to avoid too much potassium, which the pharmacist mentioned, but the derm didn’t. You also need to be careful with NSAID’s which I really needed to know, having chronic pain.
If I had any feedback to give YoDerm, that would be it. Ask your doctors to interact with the users a little more immediately following their consultation. Find out if they have any big questions. Tell them what the most common side effects are, what side effects are not normal, and what medication interactions there might be. These are things many of my doctors in person don’t do, unless I ask them. But I feel that when you’re using a service like this, it needs to be held to a way higher standard.
The Final Word
Overall, I’m happy with the whole thing. It was a good fit for me. For those interested in it, I’d say continue researching it. When it comes to medical care (and dermatology is medical!) everyone is very unique. What’s right for one person isn’t right for another. I hope my honest opinion has been helpful. I look forward to seeing YoDerm continue to grow and improve. A great experience and a very pleasant company!
Have any of you tried YoDerm, or something similar? Would you ever? Let me know what you think!
November Update: I just wanted to check in and say that I’m still taking the spiro and doxy, and that they’ve been helping me tremendously!
Use my YoDerm coupon code to receive $10 off your consultation! Click here.