If you suffer from itchy, irritable skin your first instinctive may be to go see a dermatologist.

However, unless you’re happy to empty your pockets, you should stick to seeing your usual doctor instead, as a new study has found specialists are three times more likely than a primary care provider to prescribe expensive brand products.

Research conducted by Ohio University Medical Center investigated prescription data for people with Medicare Part D drug benefits between 2008 and 2010, with costs adjusted per inflation.

Suggestions from experts in specialty fields, including dermatology, neurology and psychiatry, were also analysed and regardless of the strength of the medication, prescriptions cost more overall when patients visited dermatologists than they would when visiting other physicians.

On average, a 30-day supply of brand prescriptions came in at about $174 (£139) more in total and around $27 (£22) more for an out-of-pocket cost than generic products.

Furthermore, it was discovered that dermatologists prescribed drugs with a total yearly cost of $30 million (£24 million) to $32 million (£26 million).