Dermatology in Kenya: The Advances of Medical Tourism


The internet is improving healthcare to the far reaches of the world, including Nairobi, Kenya. It has become the key to connecting doctors and patients throughout the world.

Kenya is becoming an increasingly popular dermatology destination thanks to skilled doctors like Pranav Mahendra Pancholi. His clinic, First Laser Skin Centre, located in the capital city of Nairobi, offers an array of advanced skin care treatments for both light and dark skin, ranging from laser removal treatments to Botox to facial contouring.

Dr. Pranav Mahendra Pancholi commits his Harvard Medical School education to improving dermatology in Kenya. While he specializes in cosmetic dermatology and skin cancer surgery, Dr. Pancholi most commonly sees patients needing treatment for acne, eczema, psoriasis, warts and vitiligo, demonstrating the demand for basic, as well as advanced dermatology treatments in Kenya.

Kenya’s magnificent scenery, diverse wildlife and warm year-round temperatures make it a leading travel destination today. What many Westerners don’t know is that with the advance of top quality dermatology care, Nairobi, Kenya has also become a key destination for medical tourism.

“The cosmetic boom has now hit Nairobi, with everyone wanting to enhance their looks. Botox, chemical peels, fillers, dermabrasion as just some of the options available,” Dr. Pancholi states.

Dr. Pancholi receives patients from all over Africa as well as from parts of Europe. In addition to his patients living in Africa, “dark skinned patients who live in Europe also make it a habit of passing by once a year for a regular check up as they find it hard to find a dermatologist greatly experienced in dark skin in Europe,” he explains. In addition, his clinics have “also become a hub for the local Expat community.”

With a country of 31 million people, Kenya is home to a large population. Kenya is about the same size as France, though 4,023 miles south. English as well as Kiswahili and local tribal dialects are the commonly spoken languages. As a result, there are a number of English speaking doctors available. The geography of Kenya could be considered a microcosm of Africa; the country includes the Pacific coast, low coastal plains, and high plateau and mountain regions. Due to its close proximity with the equator, Kenya’s tropical climate is hot and humid. Such a climate can be breeding grounds for common skin problems such as eczema and skin cancer. As a result, there is a high need for quality dermatology in Kenya.

By spreading awareness and advertisements, the internet helps to bridge the gap between Nairobi, Kenya, and the Western world. Websites foster doctor/patient relationships while empowering patients with the ability to research, compare, and learn more about doctors on a worldwide scale. With the dominance of web communication, doctors are becoming more available to patients through online discussion panels, forums and even online e-consultations.

Dr. Pancholi is just one example of how doctors utilize the internet to respond quickly and effectively to individual patient concerns.

First Laser Skin Centre works with several different insurance companies to make dermatology in Kenya an affordable solution.