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Our Story | DermNet New Zealand

Our Story

 Founded in 1995

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.

Like us on facebook, follow us on twitter and sign up to our email newsletter.

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.


Watch Dr Amanda Oakley's presentation 'The History of DermNet NZ' presented on 16th June 2016 at The International Society Of Teledermatology conference in London.



Timeline DermNet

DermNet NZ Trust

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.

Our people

Board members

Amanda Oakley

Dr Amanda Oakley

Founder and Editor in Chief

Adjunct Associate Professor, Department of Medicine, Waikato Clinical Campus, University of Auckland, and Dermatologist, Waikato District Health Board. Author of 'Dermatology Made Easy'.

More about Dr Oakley...

Marius Rademaker4

Dr Marius Rademaker

Chairman of the Board of Trustees

Honorary Associate Professor, Department of Medicine, Waikato Clinical Campus, University of Auckland, Clinical Director, Dermatology, Waikato District Health Board

More about Dr Rademaker...

Anthony Yung6

Dr Anthony Yung

Honorary Secretary

Dermatologist, Waikato District Health Board

More about Dr Yung...

Victoria ScottLang3

Dr Victoria Scott-Lang

Treasurer and Social Media Manager

Dermatologist at KM Surgical
Head of The Dermatology Department and Clinical Senior Lecturer, Christchurch Hospital

More about Dr Scott-Lang...

Other team members

Emily Oakley7

Emily Oakley

Development Manager

Emily has been part of DermNet for over 15 years. Initially working on image processing and html coding, she is now managing the expansion of the organisation as a charitable educational resource.
More about Emily...


Carolyn Atkinson

Image Processing Technician

More about Carolyn ... 

Maria Macgivern3

Maria McGivern

Copy Editor

Maria has a passion for medical education and communications, having worked in the field over 17 years. 

More about Maria...

Noor Seyd5

Noor Syed

Website Content Manager

Coming from a background in Cisco-based network engineering and human resource management, Noor has now brought those skills to the website content management of Dermnet NZ. She is dedicated to supporting the development of Dermnet NZ.

Patrick Emanuel

Dr Patrick Emanuel

Dermatopathology Section co-editor

 More about Dr Emanuel...



Dr Ben Tallon

Dermatopathology Section co-editor

More about Dr Tallon...

Tom Middelburg10

Dr Tom Middelburg

Skin cancer and surgery Section co-editor

More about Dr Middelburg... 

Gus mitchell

Gus Mitchell

Assistant Editor


Our story

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 rashand 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?


Clinicians Award3IntAlliance Award3 ExperianHitwise 1 HON 2018 Top10Hitwise2 TUANZ Award4 

Awards to Amanda Oakley for her work on DermNet New Zealand

KudosAwardsWomenOfInfluenceCommunityWomenOfInfluenceInnovationAndScienceDennisPickupTechsoup Award3SkinCancerCollege Award 3WomensDermSociety2AADerm Award4ADAssocation9

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. 

Editorial Policy

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:

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.

For in-depth information about individual skin diseases, refer to Medscape Reference Dermatology Articles or one of the major conventional published references. 


DermNet NZ is funded by donationsadvertisingAmazon book sales, non-directed sponsorship and image licensing.

Partners and sponsors

DermNet NZ may access content from other organisations, when these are consistent with our editorial policy. Our major partners are:

For more about our partners and commercial sponsors and advertisers, visit our sponsors’ page.


Images have been supplied by Assoc Prof Amanda Oakley, Waikato District Health Board, Dr Professor Raimo Suhonen (Finland), members of the NZDSI, or as otherwise noted.

Contact us if you would like to donate images.


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