DermNet NZ has become a world renowned resource all about the skin. The website is owned by the DermNet New Zealand Trust. It has been HON (Health-on-The-Net) certified since 1996 and is in continuous development to provide information about the skin over any standard desktop or mobile web browser.
Our mission is to make authoritative information about the skin accessible to anyone in the world with an internet connection.
Dr Oakley, DermNet's founder, was awarded the Google Technology Service in the Charitable Sector's Lifetime Service Award at the New Zealand Charities Technology Awards hosted by Tech Soup in March 2017.
The DermNet New Zealand Trust is incorporated by New Zealand Companies Office, Certificate of Incorporation number 2591483. It is a registered charity, Registration Number CC50036. The affairs of the DermNet New Zealand Trust are run by its Trustees.
Do you love DermNet NZ? Please consider making a donation.
Supported by the New Zealand Dermatological Society, DermNet New Zealand was launched over 20 years ago by Dr Amanda Oakley and a small team of New Zealand dermatologists.
In a world where Wikipedia and Google hadn’t yet been invented, the doctors pooled their resources to provide a completely free and trustworthy online dermatological library certified by Health on the Net.
In 1996, a summer student was employed to upload information sheets written for patients by DermNet's inaugural Chairperson, Dr Mark Duffill, and to scan hundreds of transparency slides. Over time, it became clear that DermNet NZ should also focus on health professionals, researchers and students looking for up-to-date summaries about skin conditions and treatments.
20 years later, DermNet New Zealand is a Charitable Trust led by a Board of Trustees. Its website is the world's most popular dermatology resource, loved by dermatologists, primary care physicians, students and patients. Every day, the website hosts up to 80,000 visitors asking, What’s this rash? and How do I treat it? Google provides translations in over a hundred languages. Our thousands of clinical images appear worldwide in presentations, journal articles, posters, smartphone apps, websites and blogs.
DermNet NZ has more than 2,300 topic pages and 25,000 clinical and dermatopathology images. More than 100 new topics and 500 clinical images are added every year.
All pages are written and reviewed by dermatologists, other health professionals, medical writers and students. Many writers are based in New Zealand, but others have contributed from UK, USA, Canada, Australia, Mexico, Indonesia, Sri Lanka and elsewhere.
In mid-2016 the website was completely redeveloped by Room9 to provide a mobile responsive, content-management driven, optimised platform, using SilverStripe. This makes the editorial team's work easier, with a responsive system to please our mobile readers (and Google's algorithms). Technical development of DermNet NZ is now supported by Toast.
Social media has been enhanced on Twitter and Facebook, with the help of New Zealand dermatologist, Dr Victoria Scott-Lang.
Today DermNet NZ has a staff of 6, and regular contributors to content. The website is heavily reliant on volunteers to write up-to-date pages; and on corporate supporters to fund website hosting, development, writers, and editors.
Volunteers and sponsors help to keep DermNet free and accessible by anyone with an internet connection. Do you want to help?
Awards to Amanda Oakley for her work on DermNet New Zealand
The future for DermNet NZ
So what's next? Watch out for:
Research on artificial intelligence and big data
DermDiag, a differential diagnosis tool
A dermatoscopy atlas
An online image shop, to streamline purchases of thousands of unwatermarked clinical images at various resolutions.
Sadly, developing the site costs money. You may see from time-to-time donation drives—please give generously—and we'll be expanding our advertising portfolio.
DermNet NZ aims:
To provide authoritative information about the skin
To have all content written or reviewed by dermatologists
To record dates of authorship and updates
To be readily accessible and easy to navigate
To include low resolution images for fast downloads
To use uniform formatting throughout site
To minimise internal and external link errors and other miscoding
To write in plain English to accommodate a variety of health literacy levels
For its search facility to access the entire site (Google Custom Search)
To comply with the recommendations of:
Criteria for Assessing the Quality of Health Information on the Internet, 1997
We use a British English dictionary. Often, we add American spelling to key words and phrases for clarity.
Despite the best of intentions, we may include content that is incorrect, out of date, or inappropriate for the individual concerned. Our information should not be used to replace consultation with a dermatologist or other experienced health provider. We use Google's translation service to broaden access to non-English readers, but we are conscious that it's not always accurate.