Dermatology is a branch of medicine which will evaluate, diagnose, and treat skin disorders. Professionals within this industry are trained to work with children and adults to evaluate various disorders that appear on the skin, nails, hair, or mucus membranes. These conditions may be benign or malignant.
Dermatologists are trained to recognize moles, melanomas, and other tumors which may grow on the skin. They can help to manage inflammatory skin disorders and recognize the signs and symptoms of an infectious disease. They can interpret a biopsy of the skin and are familiar with industry-related surgical techniques.
A dermatologist should not be confused with a dermatopathologist, which specializes in diagnosing skin diseases through microscopic evaluations.
Interesting Dermatology Industry Statistics
#1. About 50 million people in the United States are affected by acne each year, making it the most common skin condition evaluated by the dermatology industry. (American Academy of Dermatology)
#2. About 85% of people between the ages of 12-24 will experience at least a minor issue with acne at least once. It can also occur at any stage in life, including into one’s 40s. (American Academy of Dermatology)
#3. Around 15% of women will continue to experience issues with acne during their adult years. The cost associated with the treatment of acne by dermatologists in the United States is about $1.2 billion. (American Academy of Dermatology)
#4. More than 5.1 million people seek medical treatment for their acne each year, with most of them being either children or young adults. About $400 million in lost productivity occurs because of acne-related issues each year. (American Academy of Dermatology)
#5. The overall dermatology industry in the United States is valued at $10.1 billion, according to latest figures released from 2013. About 9,600 dermatologists are currently employed in 7,800 medical practices right now. (IMS Health)
#6. General dermatology is the most common form of service offered in the United States, accounting for 60% of service locations. Cosmetic dermatology accounts for 20% of the services registered, while outpatient surgery accounts for 12% of services. (Harris and William)
#7. 42% of dermatology patients are above the age of 60. 68% of patients are above the age of 40. (Harris and William)
#8. There are more than 2 million cases of squamous cell and basal skin cancer diagnosed in the United States each year. In 2000, there were 47,700 cases of melanoma diagnosed as well. In 2009, there were 75,000 cases of melanoma. (Harris and William)
#9. In 2012, there were only 32 residency positions offered within the field of dermatology in the United States. (Harris and William)
#10. Just 30% of dermatology complaints that patients have in the United States are actually evaluated by a dermatologist. Most people see their primary care provider or an urgent care clinic to deal with issues they discover on their skin. (American Academy of Dermatology)
#11. Atopic dermatitis is an issue that affects up to 28 million people in the United States each year. This issue may affect up to 25% of children. (American Academy of Dermatology)
#12. About 60% of people who develop atopic dermatitis will see the condition develop before their first birthday. 90% of cases develop before the age of 5. (American Academy of Dermatology)
#13. The cost of dealing with atopic dermatitis includes medical costs of $314 million and lost productivity costs of $442 million. The average cost per treatment session within the industry is $101.42. (American Academy of Dermatology)
#14. About 7.5 million people in the U.S. struggle with psoriasis each year. About 40% of people who have a psoriasis diagnosis will also experience joint inflammation, which produces symptoms that are similar to arthritis. (American Academy of Dermatology)
#15. 80% of people who are diagnosed by their dermatologist with psoriasis have a case that would be classified as being either mild or moderate. For a case to be classified as moderate-to-severe, psoriasis would need to be present over more than 5% of the skin. (American Academy of Dermatology)
#16. About 16 million people deal with rosacea each year as well. The cost of treating this condition in the United States is around $243 million annually. Just 10% of people who have rosacea will actually seek help for their condition from a dermatologist. (American Academy of Dermatology)
#17. From 2013-2018, the dermatology industry in the United States has been growing at an annualized rate of 2.9%. (IBIS World)
#18. When all employees that work in the industry are considered, including support and administrative staff, the dermatology industry employs about 65,000 people with direct opportunities each year. (IBIS World)
#19. In the U.S., about 9,500 people are diagnosed, on average, with skin cancer each day. About 1 person will died from their melanoma diagnosis each hour. (American Academy of Dermatology)
#20. The 5-year survival rate for melanoma is 99% if it is caught before it spreads to the lymph nodes. Once melanoma begins to spread, the 5-year survival rate drops to just 20%. (American Academy of Dermatology)
#21. The cost of treating skin cancers in the United States is estimated to be about $8 billion. About 45% of that cost is directly associated with the treatment of melanoma. (American Academy of Dermatology)
#22. From 2014-2016, there were over 200 deals that involved physician practices being purchased by private equity firms. About 30 of those deals involved dermatology practices. (Business Insider)
#23. Harvest Partners, based in New York State, purchased Advanced Dermatology and Cosmetic Surgery in Florida for more than $600 million in 2016. (Business Insider)
Dermatology Industry Trends and Analysis
The number of dermatologists who practice independently has been steadily rising over the past years, with an average increase of 2% each year. At the same time, however, only 5% of dermatology residents actually play to practice on their own. Even after 8 years of residency, that figure only climbs to 13%.
There is a vast shortage of dermatologists in the United States. Many patients are settling for care from a general practitioner because of access or cost issues. For those in the 65+ age demographic in the United States, 100% Medicare coverage generates about 33% of total industry revenues.
With reforms to the industry that include improved reimbursement adjustments, uncertainty could be taken out of this industry. Increased access to schooling options could help to trim industry shortages. Improved residency options may encourage more medical students to specialize in dermatology.
As the population ages, with up to 80 million people in the 65+ category in the U.S. possible by 2050, the time to expand this industry is now.