You may have heard of the term ‘Consultant Dermatologist’ but not really known exactly what they do or what the benefits of seeing one are. Here we will explain what dermatology is, what a Consultant Dermatologist is and how they may be able to help you.
What is Dermatology?
Dermatology is a medical speciality concerned with the diagnosis and treatment of skin conditions and diseases. These conditions can be of the skin, hair, nails and genitals. Examples of the (more than 3000) dermatological conditions which you may have heard of before include acne, eczema, psoriasis, alopecia, fungal nail infections, moles, warts and cysts, birthmarks, varicose veins and hyperhidrosis (excessive sweating). Dermatology also covers skin cancer in all its forms.
What is a Consultant Dermatologist?
A Consultant Dermatologist is a physician who specialises in the diagnosis and treatment of these skin, hair and nail conditions as part of a dermatology clinic. Often, dermatologists will have expertise in a chosen skin condition area, therefore, your dermatologist may vary depending on the type of skin condition you have. Training to become a Consultant Dermatologist takes many years and they spend their professional life exclusively treating skin disease, giving them the highest level of expertise and experience in the field of Dermatology.
Dermatologists Consultant Dermatologists are also skin surgeons and routinely treat skin cancers including basal cell carcinoma, squamous cell carcinoma and malignant melanoma. They are also able to diagnose skin cancer and examine suspicious moles, removing them if necessary. Many Consultant Dermatologists are also trained in paediatric dermatology which is skin disease in children. Some Consultant Dermatologists also practice cosmetic treatments to improve the condition and appearance of the skin including laser therapy, microdermabrasion and microneedling, chemical peels, various injectables and skin tightening.
When to see a Consultant Dermatologist?
If you think you may have a skin condition which is causing you discomfort, embarrassment or worry, Consultant Dermatologists can help. They can diagnose and treat a range of skin conditions, usually in many different ways, meaning treatment options can be tailored to your individual condition and circumstance. Sometimes your GP may not be able to diagnose you or may suspect you have a dermatological condition which needs quick assessment and treatment; this is where a Consultant Dermatologist can come in. As Consultant Dermatologists at our clinics work privately, you are able to see a professional very quickly. In many skin conditions, symptoms get worse the longer they are left, so getting a quick diagnosis and treatment, particularly in skin cancer, is vital. An accurate and early diagnosis is more likely to lead to an appropriate treatment and improve the quality of a patient’s life, so if you are suffering from a skin condition, don’t wait to get in touch.
How to see a Consultant Dermatologist?
There are a number of ways you can see a Consultant Dermatologist:
- You can fill in an enquiry form through our website or give us a call to discuss your condition and an appointment will be made for you. If you take this option you will need to pay for the treatment yourself.
- You can pay for your treatment using your private medical insurance plan. To do this you will first need to contact your private medical insurance company to clarify the referral process they will accept. Following this, you may need to ask your GP to refer you to a private consultant or you may be able to self-refer, depending on the guidance you are given. Once you have confirmed this, you can then get in contact with us to book your appointment, giving the relevant GP referral and insurance information when requested.
- You can see your GP and ask them to refer you to an NHS Dermatologist. This service will be free of charge but you will have to wait around two weeks for an emergency appointment and up to six weeks or longer, for a non-urgent appointment.