What is Dermatology?
Dermatology is a speciality within medicine that deals with the health of skin and its related structures, including hair, nails and ‘mucous membranes’ (which are found inside the mouth and genitals). Consultant dermatologists are specialist doctors who are experienced in the examination, diagnosis and treatment of problems related to the skin and similar structures. Our expert dermatology specialists cover a wide array of special interests including:
Why is skin health so important?
Skin is an incredible structure and the largest organ in the body. It protects you from the outside world, regulates your temperature, helps you sense the world around you and is even able to heal itself! Skin plays a pivotal role in many of the essential functions of the human body. Here at Highgate Private Hospital, we understand how your skin and its health can have a significant impact on your general wellbeing, as well as the way you look and feel. The health of your skin can also be a good indicator for your overall physical wellbeing. So we are proud to offer you a full range of dermatology treatments with our experts who will support all of your skin’s healthcare needs.
What can you expect at an appointment with a dermatologist?
Our consultant-led outpatient clinics offer regular appointments, where we aim to provide patients with diagnosis and treatment on the same day where possible.
At your appointment, your dermatologist will ask you questions about your problem, your overall skin health, and general physical health. They will then carefully examine your skin as required for diagnosis. Our consultants are specially trained in ‘dermoscopy’; looking through a special magnifying glass (a ‘dermoscope’) to look at skin lesions in very close detail. Sometimes further tests such as imaging, blood tests or biopsies are required to make a diagnosis, after which your dermatologist will explain all of the available treatment options and answer any questions you might have before designing an individual, tailored treatment plan for you.
What treatments are available?
Here at Highgate Private Hospital, we offer a wide selection of dermatological therapies including:
- Surgical excision of benign skin lesions
- There are some skin lesions, such as skin tags, lipoma, moles and cysts that are not dangerous to your overall health but can be surgically removed for cosmetic reasons. This can usually be done under a local anaesthetic in an outpatient clinic, taking approximately 15-25 minutes. Most people can return to their normal daily activities the next day
- The risks of surgical excision include: bleeding, pain, unsightly scarring, wound infection, re-growth of the original lesion (particularly cysts and lipomas) and the need for a second operation
- Surgical and non-surgical treatments for skin cancer
- Skin cancer is the 5th most common cancer in the UK, and the majority of cases fall under three sub-types: basal cell carcinoma (BCC), squamous cell carcinoma (SCC) and melanoma. Of these three, melanoma-type cancers are the most aggressive and have the most potential to cause death from skin cancer. Our top specialists have extensive experience in managing cases of skin cancer, as well as answering any questions you might have about skin cancer
- Non-surgical treatments include cryotherapy, medications, phototherapy, radiotherapy and chemotherapy, depending on the type, size and location of the cancer
- Surgical treatment of skin cancers involves excision of the cancerous lesion, often with a margin of ‘normal’ skin around it
- This is a minor procedure that uses the very low temperatures of liquid nitrogen to remove lesions by freezing them. This can be used for conditions like actinic keratoses (areas of sun-damaged skin), warts and other benign conditions, as well as low-grade skin cancers
- Dermatological injections
- Steroid injections can be used for several conditions, including problems with scars, hair loss and psoriasis
- Immunological therapy injections can be used to effectively treat skin conditions associated with arthritis and autoimmune disease such as psoriasis