What is Dermatology?

Dermatology is the science behind the pathophysiology of the skin, hair, nails and mucous membranes (such as the lining of the mouth, eyelids and genitals). In other words it’s the study of the normal workings of the skin and all the abnormal diseases associated with it. A dermatologist is concerned with the diagnosis and treatment of these diseases.

As we can develop skin concerns at any age, dermatologists see a wide variety of patients from newborns to the elderly and in every walk of life. At The London Dermatology CentreTM, we offer a comprehensive range of specialist skin care services for all from babies to adults, including diagnosis and management of all dermatological conditions and skin diseases. Within The London Dermatology CentreTM, we offer dermatology consultants who have trained further in paediatric dermatology which provides your child with the most qualified professional available. Paediatric dermatology is the branch of dermatology that specialises in the diagnosis and treatment of skin conditions in children.

The skin is the largest organ in the body, covering a total area of approximately 18 square feet for the average adult. It acts as a barrier to protect our body from the outside environment, prevent loss of water, control our temperature and fight off harmful bacteria. The skin often reflects the overall health of the body too and many dermatologists have instigated further diagnosis’s which the patient wouldn’t have otherwise discovered.

Dermatologists have extensive training including microbiology, pathology, biochemistry, physics, physiology, and endocrinology. They also must be knowledgeable of other medical specialties because of their diagnostic work and because skin diseases are frequently associated with other areas of the body. For example a female with hirsutism may visit a dermatologist to treat their excessive hair growth. This patient may then need to be referred to a gynaecologist and an endocrinologist should the hirsutism be an effect of polycystic ovarian disease. These consultants will liaise with each other forwarding patient results and treatment care plans, resulting in an extremely thorough and patient-centred care regime.

A dermatologist will usually have both medical and surgical capabilities within their professional role. The type of surgery they may be involved in varies. Some examples would be prevention of developing skin cancers by removing any abnormal moles; improvement of the skins appearance by removing growths, discolorations, and damage caused by ultraviolet exposure, and biopsies to confirm a definite diagnosis.

Dermatology is a vibrant area to practice in and is constantly adapting itself to meet the changing medical challenges it faces. Advances in technologies mean there are even more choices and treatment options for patients and this expansion of technology seems to still be growing fast. New drugs are continuously being trialled and researched; many of our consultants are actively involved in these.

Dermatologists diagnose and treat more than 3,000 different diseases. These diseases include skin cancer, eczema, acne, psoriasis, nail infections, warts, fungal and yeast infections and dermatitis. Dermatologists also improve the appearance of their patients' skin, hair, and nails. For example, a dermatologist can help patients reduce fine lines and wrinkles, laxity and age spots and also improve the appearance of scar tissue.

Some of the most common skin issues we deal with are:

Acne;

Acne is the most common skin disease and affects 80% of all people at some time between age 11-30 years. Acne often begins in childhood from age 10-13 at a time when a child is undergoing puberty. It therefore can have far-reaching psychological consequences as well as result in scarring and permanent disfigurement. Acne most commonly affects the face and can often affect the back and chest. There are many types of acne spots.

There are many available treatments for acne from specialized face washes to tables which can only be prescribed by a Dermatologist. Early treatment of acne is essential for the prevention of lasting cosmetic disfigurement associated with scarring and treatment depends on what type of acne is present. Acne scarring can be a result of any type and any severity of acne. Picking and squeezing spots can also damage surrounding skin and increase the risk of scarring. Acne scarring can be distressing for patients, leading to lack of self-confidence and even depression. Here at The London Dermatology CentreTM we offer a number of treatments to aid patients in improving their acne scars and becoming more confident in their appearance.

Moles;

A mole is a small, dark, round lesion that is commonly found on the skin. Most moles are harmless and do not cause any problems. Many moles are present from birth and others will develop during childhood and adult life. At The London Dermatology CentreTM we offer professional medical photography for mole surveillance as well as biopsy and treatments for moles that are deemed suspicious. Find out more about moles here.

Birthmarks;

It is very common for a person to have a pigmented mark on their body that has been present since birth. Birthmarks naturally vary significantly in size, depth, shape and colour. Here at the London Dermatology Centre we recognise that these marks can cause embarrassment and distress and that for some, removing or reducing the appearance of these marks may be the best option. Find out more about birthmarks here.

Eczema;

Is an itchy skin condition which is characterised by redness, itching and dryness. There are a number of types of eczema. Atopic dermatitis is the most common type of eczema and often begins in childhood. One in five children in the UK is affected by atopic dermatitis. It is most common in children but can affect people of all ages. Whilst many children grow out of eczema they may have a tendency to dry, sensitive skin in adulthood. Read more about our eczema treatment clinic here.

Psoriasis;

Psoriasis is a common condition that appears as a lasting and scaly rash. Psoriasis on the skin can manifest as just a few spots of dandruff-like scaling, or there may be major eruptions that cover large areas. There is no cure for psoriasis but treatments can make the disease easier to live with. Our dermatologists’ aim is to manage the disease so that there is as little discomfort as possible. Read more about psoriasis here.

Warts;

Warts are small lumps that often grow on the skin of the hands and feet. Warts can differ in appearance. Most often warts will be round or oval shaped and have a hard, scaly surface with a small black dot (called a seed) in the centre of each spot. Warts are most common in children but are also frequently found in adults. Read more about warts here.

A Comprehensive Service

Our team provides a complete service that responds to any dermatological complaint from aesthetic skincare to the treatment of diseases and infections. Our centre includes physicians with expertise in all areas of skin care, right from assessment to effective treatment.

We may prescribe therapies, topical creams or lotions, dressings, medicines, or a combination of these. Our nurses and dermatologists demonstrate to patients and parents how they should apply treatment at home and can advise on a general skin care regime to adopt. Our doctors can also offer advice on preventing recurring skin conditions and avoiding the spreading of warts and infections.

Among the modern technologies and treatments we offer to our patients are laser and IPL therapy, narrow band UVB therapy, cryotherapy, hyfrecator electrosurgery and surgical excision of lesions amongst many others.

Holistic Care

At the London Dermatology Centre, we recognise that dermatological conditions can result in considerable distress for individuals as well as their family. A main objective of our clinic is to help patients with warts, birthmarks, eczema, scars and so on to gain more confidence to deal with their skin condition in a positive way. There can be emotional aspects to any condition, and our doctors and nurses help families to understand a condition and support their loved ones. Through aesthetic and medical therapies as well as holistic care, we strive to improve the overall wellbeing of our patients.

Make an Appointment with a Dermatologist

Please contact our London clinic on +44 (020)7 467 3720 to book a consultation and assessment with a leading dermatologist. Alternatively, you can send an email to reception@the-dermatology-centre.co.uk and our management team will respond to you promptly.

Content by Dr Sunil Chopra and Dr Rebecca Perris.

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