Most traditional dermatologists are bound by insurance requirements and, despite best intentions, the current healthcare construct doesn’t allow for the type of personal, in-depth care that people want when it comes to their skin health needs. On the other side of the spectrum, often the best cosmetic dermatologists don’t accept insurance and are financially out of reach for most.
Pore House was designed for patients, by patients. Alexa Lombardo and Amanda Kutner, both veterans of the beauty industry, experienced the very real challenges that come with dermatologic care, like creating an effective regimen out of retail and prescription products, self-diagnosing when appointments are impossible to get, feeling stuck and frustrated when no combination of topicals, ingestibles, or treatments seems to work, and limited access to top dermatologists.
Convinced there were only a few key pain points separating them from the dream dermatology experience, they set out to build a solution. Two years later, they have reimagined how dermatology is practiced by approaching skin health from the inside out, launching Pore House as the first-of-its-kind integrative dermatology practice. The concept is backed by a team of Physician Advisors led by prominent board-certified dermatologist and media personality Dr. Whitney Bowe and renowned double board-certified facial plastic surgeon Dr. Sarmela Sunder.
“Traditional dermatology can be inaccessible, impersonal and fragmented, forcing frustrated patients to stitch together routines encompassing prescriptions, in-office and at-home treatments, retail topicals, supplements, dietary decisions and more. Pore House is the first digitally-led, holistic dermatology practice to prioritize ease, enjoyment, and personalization,” said Alexa Lombardo, co-founder of Pore House. “Our providers are trained to examine concerns at the root cause and provide comprehensive treatment plans spanning medicine, lifestyle, and retail products. Our Well-Rounded Approach sits at the intersection of dermatology, wellness, and skincare—where the consumer actually lives.”
Their approach fosters an approachable and inclusive environment, partnering with consumers to create a treatment plan and providing the tools for consumers to be proactive about their skincare. Pore House pulls all the elements of skin health under one roof, providing expert medical, cosmetic, and topical recommendations, with no waiting and transparent pricing. Providers will discuss everything from prescriptions to retail products, diet and fitness, sleep, and stress, to develop a customized treatment plan for wellness-minded patients.
Dr. Whitney Bowe believes Pore House’s digital-first approach has the potential to be a game-changer for dermatology. “The skin, unlike most other organs, is one you can see with the naked eye,” says Dr. Bowe. “The field of dermatology, and skin health in general, has always been one of the most promising applications of telemedicine. I can diagnose most skin issues simply by looking at the skin, or at high-quality images of the skin.”
Pore House is insurance free. Every online appointment costs a flat fee of $85, which in most cases is less than the co-pay to see a specialist, and patients can message their doctor at any time and receive a response within 24 hours. The concept will strategically roll out in states where patients experience the longest wait times—Massachusetts, where the average wait in Boston is 52 days, and Colorado, where the average wait in Denver is 51 days, are the first beta markets.
“Pore House will be able to make healthy skin accessible to so many more individuals, especially at a time when people are concerned about their skin more than ever but who may not have access to a traditional dermatology appointment due to current circumstances,” says Dr. Sarmela Sunder. “Being able to tap into the personalized advice of skincare experts, from the comfort of one’s own home, has the potential to revolutionize people’s approach to skin health.”
Riding the wave of COVID, accelerated adoption of telehealth, coupled with the red-hot growth of the skincare category and consumer desire for real experts—the timing for Pore House couldn’t be better. Beginning in mid-October, Pore House will be operating virtually in Colorado, Connecticut, and Massachusetts—a beta phase during which they’ll rely heavily on patient feedback before rolling out nationally in 2021. As part of their national rollout, Pore House will also open physical locations that will offer a wider range of services including Botox and filler.
Speaking about the beta launch, Lombardo said, “This is our way of testing out a few key markets and optimizing our platform prior to our national expansion and rollout of brick and mortar locations. With so many people still at home and telemedicine becoming increasingly normalized, we felt this was the opportune time to gather meaningful insights to ensure we practice what we preach—an experience that puts people first, and truly meets the unmet market needs.”
Photo: Fleur Kaan via Unsplash