Our dermatology expert consultants will firstly establish details about your exact symptoms, to help them to formulate a list of possible diagnoses before requesting any tests.
Particular aspects of the history and symptoms which our consultants may examine in greater detail include:
- Area(s) of rashes and pain on the skin
- Timeline of your condition
- General health status
- Associated symptoms such as joint pain or fever
- Past medical history
- Family history of any dermatology or autoimmune conditions
Whether you have self-referred to our dermatology unit or you have been referred by another doctor or healthcare professional, our dermatologists will always conduct an in-depth physical examination at your initial consultation. Once completed, our consultant dermatologists will request a range of diagnostic tests.
State-of-the-art diagnostics available for you
Unlike the majority of specialist medical areas, standard imaging techniques such as X-ray, MRI and CT scans are not routinely requested. In some circumstances, dermatologists will conduct a more thorough visual examination of areas of skin using microscopy or specialist lighting. This can enable more accurate, visual analysis of symptoms associated with pigmented lesions or other occult changes beneath the superficial skin layer.
Allergy tests can be conducted under certain circumstances, and may be achieved in two ways:
- The skin may be pricked with a small dose of allergen and the skin monitored for any reaction.
- In other cases, a patch test may be considered. This involves placing a patch of allergen on the skin for forty-eight hours to observe any reaction.
Skin biopsies are performed as non-invasive procedures where the superficial layers of the skin may be shaved, or as small invasive procedures where the deeper layers of skin are removed by punching underneath the skin or by excising tissue manually.
Some dermatology conditions are related to wider immune system disorders or other general health problems. Depending on the exact medical problems needed to be screened our dermatologists may run blood tests including:
- Full blood count
- Markers of inflammation (ESR and CRP)
- Autoantibody blood tests
- Liver function tests
The right treatment for you
Depending on the nature of the condition our consultant dermatologists may recommend the following treatments:
- Creams and lotions
- Oral medications
- Courses of light therapies
- Surgery to remove particular cells and areas of the skin