Acne Express FAQs

Is Acne Express right for my child?

Acne Express is a virtual consult service that uses secure photograph submissions to assess your child’s acne. This service is provided through Pediatric Dermatology at Children's Hospital of Philadelphia for:

  • All kinds of acne (except neonatal and infantile acne)
  • Children ages 8 to 17 years
  • Children currently located in New Jersey or Pennsylvania

Please note Acne Express does not include a video interaction. Acne Express should NOT be used for children who have had the following symptoms in the past 24 hours:

  • Fever/chills
  • Extreme fatigue
  • Vomiting
  • Difficulty breathing
  • Blisters in or around the eyes
  • Swelling of the lips, tongue or mouth
  • Severe blistering or peeling of the skin

Are You Looking for Information about Video Visits?

If you are trying to upload images in preparation for a video visit with CHOP Dermatology, please do NOT use Acne Express, and instead use the "messages" icon in MyCHOP. If you're looking to schedule a video visit with one of our pediatric dermatologists, call 215-590-2169 and we will assist you.

How much does a consultation through Acne Express cost?

This service costs $50 per consult payable by credit card within the Acne Express app. In many cases you will be able to use a Healthcare Flexible Spending Account (FSA) credit card. Receipts for your E-Visit will be available in your MyCHOP account.

In some cases, the doctor may ask you to provide more photographs or information about your child's skin condition. You will not be charged for your consult until the final recommendations are provided.

In some cases, a paid consultation may result in a list of possible treatments and the doctor may recommend an in-person visit to best evaluate your child.

If an Acne Express consultation is not able to be completed (for any reason, e.g. lack of sufficient photos), it will be canceled by the doctor. At time of cancellation, you will be informed through MyCHOP and you will not be charged.

Will insurance cover an Acne Express consultation?

No. Care delivered through Acne Express will not be covered by most insurance plans. You will pay $50 for the E-Visit. Contact your plan for more information.

Why should I use Acne Express?

Getting an appointment with a pediatric dermatologist can involve long wait times. We want to be able to help you and your child sooner and in a way that it is both safe and convenient. Acne Express will allow you to send photographs and information about your child’s acne directly to a board-certified pediatric dermatologist. The doctor will carefully review the information and provide a response including acne advice and, if needed, a prescription sent to the pharmacy of your choice.

NOTE: Do not use Acne Express for any medical emergencies including swelling of the lips, tongue or throat; blistering in or around the eyes; severe rash with fever; difficulty breathing or anything causing severe pain. Please seek immediate medical care for these conditions. This service should also NOT be used to replace the full skin exam that is needed to screen for abnormal moles or skin cancers.

Who can use Acne Express?

Right now this service is available only in New Jersey and Pennsylvania. Children must be 8 years to 17 years old to receive care through this service. Acne Express is available to all patients who have a MyCHOP account from a past encounter with any CHOP provider. You do not have to be a CHOP Primary Care patient or have been seen by CHOP Dermatology in the past.

How do I use Acne Express?

Screenshot of MyCHOP app with Acne Express This service is easy to use. Log in to MyCHOP using your parent/guardian (proxy) account and click the Acne Express icon. You will then answer questions and upload photographs of your child’s skin condition. Please note Acne Express does not include a video interaction.

It is important to take photographs that are not blurry and include images of all affected areas (e.g. face, chest, back, shoulders). You can also include any relevant photographs that you have already taken with your phone.

Go ahead and collect any medications, lotions, soaps or over-the-counter products that you have been using for the skin condition because you will be asked about these treatments. You may choose to take photographs of the products you are using and upload them as well.

How do I take clear photographs for Acne Express?

When taking photographs please make sure your child is still, the skin is well-lit (no shadows) and all affected areas are photographed. For facial photographs please submit images of each side of the face and a head-on image. Photograph the chest, back and shoulders if needed. If photos are not recent, please indicate this by labeling.

How fast will I get a response from the doctor?

In many cases, you may receive a response within only a few hours. All cases will be answered within two business days. If you allow push notifications in MyCHOP, you will be notified when the case is answered. You will also always be notified by email. You may be notified if the doctor or nurse needs to ask you for more information or photographs. The response will be found under "Appointments" in MyCHOP.

Where do I find the response from the dermatologist?

MyCHOP Acne Express Screen shot appointments As the parent/guardian (proxy), log in to your MyCHOP account. 

In the MyCHOP app:

  • Select “Appointments”
  • Under “Past Visits,” select your E-Visit to review the dermatologist's response

On the desktop version of MyCHOP:

  • Select “Visit” then select “Appointments and Visits”
  • Under “Past Visits,” select your E-Visit to review the dermatologist's response

What if the doctor thinks the skin condition is serious?

After reviewing your case information and photographs, the doctor may decide that the skin condition is serious and needs immediate attention. If this is the case, they will call the phone number(s) you provided. In some cases, they may recommend that you see your pediatrician or go to the emergency room. Or if needed, they may offer an urgent appointment to see them in their office for an in-person evaluation.

Who is the doctor reviewing my case?

The doctor reviewing the images and information that you provide will be one of the board-certified pediatric dermatologists at Children's Hospital of Philadelphia. These dermatologists are experts in skin conditions for children and adolescents. They have found that using photographs to give initial advice and safe treatment options can be an effective way to help you in a faster, more convenient way.

Is sending medical information and images through Acne Express secure?

Acne Express is HIPAA-compliant and all of your information will be encrypted. The information will be stored in your child's medical record at CHOP and will only be accessible to the doctors using Acne Express or other medical providers at CHOP. Your privacy is our priority.

Can a skin condition be diagnosed using a photograph taken on a smartphone?

The quality of the photographs taken by smartphones has dramatically improved over the past several years. Medical studies have shown that using photographs to diagnose and skin conditions is reliable. It is important, however, to try to take the best possible photograph of the skin condition and to include several images.

Will I be able to ask the doctor questions after I get my initial response?

Yes. Sometimes you may need to ask a question so that you fully understand the information provided or how best to use a medication. You will be able to ask the doctor a question by calling CHOP Dermatology at 215-590-2169.

Will I get an appointment to see the doctor in their office after using Acne Express?

Following your Acne Express consult, if needed, you can make an appointment with CHOP Dermatology by calling 215-590-2169. If the doctor does not recommend a dermatology appointment initially and you would still like to make an appointment, you can do so by calling CHOP Dermatology at 215-590-2169. The wait time for a follow-up visit is typically shorter than the wait time for a new patient appointment.

Will my child's primary care provider have access to this consultation?

If your child sees a CHOP primary care provider, then they will be alerted to the information immediately through your child's electronic medical record at CHOP. 

All other non-CHOP primary care providers will receive a copy of this consultation by electronic fax or mail just as if they were seen in the dermatology clinic. You will also have a copy of the Acne Express consultation summary that you can share with any other provider or caretakers. 

What devices can I use to access Acne Express?

Acne Express can be used on your mobile device (Apple or Android devices) or your tablet or desktop. For the best experience, submit your request through the MyCHOP app on your mobile device.

What if I have a problem when trying to use Acne Express?

For any issues with Acne Express please call 267-426-8342 from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m.


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Dermatology Section

Our pediatric dermatologists treat a wide variety of conditions, from acne and eczema, to rare and complicated skin disorders.

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Acne Express Terms and Conditions

Review the terms of use for Acne Express.