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Healthcare Insights

What are the most common diagnoses by dermatologists?

Seborrheic keratosis, or a benign skin lesion, is one of the most common skin conditions in the United States. Benign skin tumors account for 1 in 14 of total diagnoses made by dermatologists. Dermatologists are in high demand not only for treating these noncancerous skin growths, but also for other skin diseases like acne, eczema, and skin cancer.

Using the Definitive Healthcare Atlas All-Payor Claims dataset, we’ve listed the most common skin conditions that dermatology specialists diagnosed in 2023 through November. Understanding the top dermatologic diagnoses is key for gaining visibility into the dermatology market and shaping effective healthcare commercialization strategies.

Top dermatologist diagnoses

Rank ICD-10 code ICD-10 description % total diagnoses Explore dataset
L821 Other seborrheic keratosis 7.1% Explore
L570 Actinic keratosis 6.6% Explore
L814 Other melanin hyperpigmentation 5.0% Explore
D485 Neoplasm of uncertain behavior of skin 4.6% Explore
D225 Melanocytic nevi of trunk 3.9% Explore
L578 Other skin changes due to chronic exposure to nonionizing radiation 3.2% Explore
Z85828 Personal history of other malignant neoplasm of skin 3.1% Explore
L700 Acne vulgaris 3.1% Explore
L820 Inflamed seborrheic keratosis 2.8% Explore
10 D1801 Hemangioma of skin and subcutaneous tissue 1.9% Explore
11 D229 Melanocytic nevi, unspecified 1.8% Explore
12 L853 Xerosis cutis 1.4% Explore
13 Z08 Encounter for follow-up examination after completed treatment for malignant neoplasm 1.3% Explore
14 Z1283 Encounter for screening for malignant neoplasm of skin 1.2% Explore
15 L538 Other specified erythematous conditions 1.2% Explore
16 L309 Dermatitis, unspecified 1.1% Explore
17 L905 Scar conditions and fibrosis of skin 1.1% Explore
18 Z79899 Other long term (current) drug therapy 1.1% Explore
19 L298 Other pruritus 1.1% Explore
20 L400 Psoriasis vulgaris 1.0% Explore

Fig. 1. Data is from the Definitive Healthcare Atlas All-Payor Claims dataset and represents the percentages of total dermatology diagnoses made in 2023 through November. Data accessed January 2024.

What is the most common dermatologic diagnosis?

Other seborrheic keratosis, a benign skin growth often associated with aging, is the most common dermatologic diagnosis, accounting for 7.1% of diagnoses tracked. These lesions usually surface on the face, chest, and shoulders, appearing as black or brown, slightly elevated skin lesions. Actinic keratosis, a precancerous skin condition linked to sun exposure, follows closely at 6.6% of total diagnosis. These often appear as reddish spots in areas most damaged by the sun. The third-most diagnosed condition was other melanin hyperpigmentation, with 5.0% of dermatology diagnoses. Hyperpigmentation, caused by excess melanin, describes patches of skin that are darker than the surrounding skin.

What is the outlook for dermatology?

With skin conditions affecting 1.9 billion people globally, dermatologists are an essential pillar of healthcare, providing specialist diagnosis and treatment for a broad range of skin diseases. Several trends fuel dermatology’s promising future:

  • An aging population driving medical dermatology use, particularly for managing age-related conditions like skin cancers (about 20% of people will develop one by age 70)
  • An out-of-pocket cosmetics segment, including minimally invasive procedures like laser treatments
  • An overall rise in skin health awareness, driven by media campaigns and social media influences
  • Innovations in medical devices, including lasers, light therapy devices, and other equipment used in a wide range of dermatological procedures

Beyond core services, dermatopathology and medical spas are unlocking avenues for diversification within the field. While a dermatologist shortage remains a challenge, the influx of non-physician nurse practitioners and physician assistants will allow practices to address underserved patient demand and create new opportunities for growth.

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Healthcare Insights are developed with healthcare commercial intelligence from the Definitive Healthcare platform. Want even more insights? Start a free trial now and get access to the highest quality data and intelligence on hospitals, physicians, and other healthcare providers.