What is a Dermatologist?
A dermatologist is a medical consultant who specialises in diagnosing and treating conditions affecting your skin, hair and nails. Dermatologists can perform specialist tests and treatments that other doctors (like your GP) aren’t able to perform. Your dermatologist can even perform surgical procedures such as mole removal, when necessary. If you have any kind of problem with your skin, from an irritating rash to an unusual growth, a dermatologist will be able to help.
When to See a Dermatologist?
You can see a dermatologist if you have any concerns about your skin, hair or nails. You might want to find out what is causing your symptoms or to get expert advice after you’ve been diagnosed with a skin condition such as psoriasis or eczema. You can go to a dermatologist right away, or see your GP first. Some skin conditions can be treated by your usual family doctor, but if they can’t help then they will refer you to a dermatologist.
Common reasons for seeing a dermatologist include:
- Getting a mole checked or removed (for cosmetic or medical reasons)
- Allergy testing to find out what is triggering your symptoms
- Help with conditions such as eczema, acne and psoriasis
- Finding out the cause of symptoms that your GP can’t diagnose
- Specialist treatments like phototherapy or skin surgery
It is a good idea to consult a dermatologist if you have symptoms that are causing pain or discomfort, if you aren’t sure what is causing them, or if they have lasted for a long time. Seeing a doctor is particularly important if you have noticed changes in a mole or you have an unusual growth or patch on your skin. Although there won’t usually be any serious problems, there is a chance that these symptoms could be linked to skin cancer, which should be treated as soon as possible.
Finding Dermatologists in London
You can see a dermatologist through the NHS if your GP provides a referral, but you could be waiting for many weeks to get a dermatology appointment in London. You might also miss out on some of the extra services that a private dermatologist can provide, such as cosmetic mole removal. If you want to see an experienced doctor quickly, then you can choose a private clinic instead. You will then be able to decide which dermatologist is right for you. You will have complete control over who provides your treatment and where you will get it.
It’s easy to find dermatologists in your area by searching online. You should be able to find plenty of information about them on their websites. All skin clinics in London should also be registered with the Care Quality Commission (CQC), which ensures that they meet the right standards.
Choosing the Best Dermatologist
Finding the right dermatologist is important. You need an experienced doctor who can provide all the help that you need. Once you’ve identified a few options in London, you can compare them to find the best dermatologist for you.
Make a list of what you’re looking for and then compare how well each clinic meets them using the information on their websites. You might want to consider:
- How easy it will be for you to reach the clinic
- If you will be able to get an appointment at a time that suits you
- Whether the clinic provides any specialist services or treatments you need (such as counselling or phototherapy)
- The cost of consultations and treatments
- Do they have good reviews or testimonials on their website or elsewhere?
A clear way to compare the clinics is to make a table with a column for each of them. List the factors you’re considering in the first column and then put a tick, cross or short note to show how well each clinic meets these requirements. You should be able to look back at the end and see which clinic is best for you.
You should also consider how you feel about the clinic after looking at it’s website. You can tell a lot about the clinic and the quality of its services by the way they present themselves online. The right clinic will provide the highest quality of care in a comfortable environment. You should feel at ease when you visit the clinic and it should be easy to talk to your doctor.
You will usually be able to find out everything you need to know from the clinic website. However, if you still have any questions, then the clinic should be ready to provide the answers if you get in touch by phone, email or their online contact form.
Making an Appointment with a Dermatologist!
Once you’ve found the best private dermatologist in London, you can make your appointment right away. However, you might want to consider seeing your GP first. You don’t need to get a referral in order to see a dermatologist, but some health insurance providers require you to get one. Make sure that you check your insurance policy so that you know if a GP referral is needed.
Many of the conditions that are treated by dermatologists require long term treatment. Sometimes it can take weeks or months to see the effects of your medication. If you are diagnosed with a condition like psoriasis, then it could even be something that you need to manage for the rest of your life. Since you could be seeing your dermatologist regularly in the future, it’s important to take the time to choose the right doctor.
Do you have any more advice for others who are looking for a dermatologist in London? What factors are most important to you when you are comparing clinics?