Please do have a look through this page , which I hope will help you to learn more about dermatology and what to expect from a consultation with a specialist Consultant Dermatologist, such as myself.
They range from inflammatory skin conditions such as eczema, psoriasis and acne to skin cancers.
Some can be itchy or flaky or may cause no problems at all, whilst others can make the skin quite sore and uncomfortable. Some conditions may be unsightly and cause significant psychosocial distress.
Some skin conditions can be life-threatening and require admission to hospital for treatment.
There are several different types of skin cancer. These are the most common:
Please do have a look at the detailed information pages on each of these conditions, which explain more about each of them, including who is at risk, what the treatment options are, what these involve and what you can expect afterwards.
Many of you will be familiar with the advice to beware of the strength of the sun, even in an English summer.
Those with naturally fair skin are most at risk.
Children and todddlers even more so.
Always use high factor sun creams.
Wear suitable protective clothing and a broad rim hat.
Avoiding the sun is better protection than any suncream;
sunsuits and sun-hats are perfect for children and toddlers.
A Consultant Dermatologist is the most highly trained skin specialist in the UK.
They are all doctors who have completed medical school and practised General Internal Medicine in order to pass a higher postgraduate exam and become a member of the Royal College of Physicians.
Once this has been completed, specialist training in dermatology for a minimum of 4 years is required.
As of 2009, doctors are also required to pass a further postgraduate exam (Speciality Certificate of the Royal College of Physicians), in order to become a Consultant Dermatologist.
Only then has a doctor satisfactorily completed full dermatology training, so they can be recognised as such by the General Medical Council, put on the Specialist Register of Dermatologists and called a Consultant Dermatologist.
Many Consultant Dermatologists also undertake further postgraduate research or study in order to sub-specialise further, as I am doing myself.
If you see wish to see a Consultant Dermatologist on the NHS, your GP will need to refer you.
This will help to give your Consultant Dermatologist an idea of what the problem is and help in prioritising the urgency or possibly the type of clinic in which you need to be seen. It is not often possible to choose which dermatologist will see you, but you may be able to choose which hospital you are seen in.
Benign skin lesions such as skin tags, benign moles and warts usually cannot be treated in an NHS clinic.
If you wish to see a Consultant Dermatologist privately, you can arrange this yourself (self-referral).
However, it is often helpful for your GP to refer you, as they can tell your Consultant Dermatologist of any other medical problems you may have and other medications you may be on.
If you want your consultation and treatments to be covered by your health insurance, a referral letter from your GP is often required.
A consultation will consist of a discussion of your skin problem, together with more questions about your general health or questions relevant to your skin condition. This is often followed by a skin examination, which may involve examination of ALL your skin. This is to ensure that no other lesions are missed, for example on your back and also to get a fuller picture of the amount of skin affected.
Once dressed, we will discuss the treatment(s) you need for your particular condition.