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Dermatology

Treatment for a wide range of skin conditions

At Bath Clinic, five highly experienced Consultant Dermatologists provide prompt assessment, diagnosis and treatment for a wide variety of skin conditions for people aged 18+.

If you have any concerns about your skin, hair or nails, they would be delighted to meet with you to help give you clarity about what is causing your symptoms and what treatment options would be most suitable for you.

Your skin is the largest organ in your body and plays a crucial role in your health and how well your body is able to function. More than just a covering for the body, your skin also:

  • Protects your body - from the elements and infection
  • Helps to regulate your internal temperature – blood vessels near the surface of the skin may dilate (widen) to help heat to escape from the body in warmer temperatures or constrict (narrow) in order to reduce heat loss in cooler temperatures.
  • Gives you your sense of touch – touch receptors in the skin generate electrical impulses that travel through the nervous system to the brain
  • Synthesises vitamin D – essential for healthy bones, teeth and muscles, vitamin D is produced by the body when the skin is exposed to direct sunlight.

It can be quite easy to pay little attention to our skin until something goes wrong with it. Common problems including acne, eczema and psoriasis can all have an effect on physical, mental and emotional health, sometimes significantly so.

If you develop a skin problem in a more visible area of your body, like your hands or face, you might find yourself becoming quite self-conscious about how it makes you look. You may even start trying to cover up the affected area with clothing or make-up. While this may be a short-term solution, it does not treat the underlying problem.

Unfortunately, skin can be damaged in a number of ways, including:

  • Irritants and allergens
  • Ultraviolet (UV) radiation – from the sun
  • Injury
  • Underlying disease
  • Genetic factors
  • Stress

A number of skin conditions may resolve themselves naturally over time or with simple changes to your daily skin care regime. Other skin complaints will need expert-led treatment to treat.

A Consultant Dermatologist is a medically qualified doctor who has undergone specialist training in the diagnosis and treatment of skin, hair and nail problems. While a GP may be helpful for some common skin complaints, a Consultant Dermatologist will always be the best person to see for expert advice about your skin, hair or nails.

Whether you have recently noticed that a mole has changed shape or colour, are frustrated by an itchy rash that isn’t going away or would appreciate advice about treating severe acne, seeing an expert in skin health is the simplest, quickest way of getting the most appropriate treatment for your condition.

Why not book your appointment today with one of the Consultant Dermatologists at Bath Clinic?

People from Bath and the surrounding areas visit the Dermatology team at Bath Clinic for a number of reasons, including:

  • Acne – Typically presents at puberty, but can occur at any age. Acne can range in severity from mild to severe and may cause permanent scarring on the skin. While mild acne can often be managed with over-the-counter treatments, severe acne may need antibiotics or other treatments that are only available on prescription from a Dermatology Consultant.
  • Eczema – A group of skin conditions that cause itchy, dry skin. While there is no cure for eczema, treatments can often help to successfully relieve symptoms.
  • Psoriasis – A long-lasting genetically inherited skin condition which can present in a variety of ways. Inflammation of the skin and overproduction of the surface cells lead to the development of patches of red scaly skin, which can be anywhere on the body.  Treatments can help resolve symptoms and to improve the appearance of the skin.
  • Contact dermatitis – When certain substances come into direct contact with the skin, they can cause a rash to develop. These substances include certain chemicals and fragrances and are known as allergens. Identification of the problem and appropriate investigations are required to accurately diagnose and treat this condition.
  • Rosacea – A facial rash, commonly seen in people who are prone to flushing and developing spots on the central face Good control is often achieved with a combination of topical and oral treatments.
  • Hives (urticaria) – Urticaria can be caused by a number of triggers, including food and medication allergies and underlying infections. However, a cause is often not identified. Identification of possible triggers and discussion of good symptom control with antihistamines is usually achieved.
  • Infections – Including athlete’s foot, ringworm and folliculitis (inflammation of hair follicles)
  • Hidradenitis suppurativa (HS) – A very painful skin condition that can cause skin abscesses and scarring in severe cases. It usually occurs around the groin, genitals, anus, armpits or below the breasts. This can a difficult condition to manage, and early diagnosis and treatment may help to prevent symptoms getting worse. This is usually a general medical issue.

Other people visit us for help with skin ‘lumps and bumps’ including:

  • Moles
  • New skin lumps
  • Growths caused by long-term sun damage
  • Suspected skin cancers

While all five Dermatologists at BMI Bath Clinic can see and treat all general dermatology problems, three of them have sub-specialised in vulval dermatology and one in patch testing for investigating allergies.

Whatever symptoms you have, our Dermatology team can offer expert assessment without delay. If treatment is needed, this will be easily and quickly arranged for you.

The first step in getting you the most appropriate treatment is to have a clear diagnosis. At your private Dermatology appointment, your consultant will talk with you in detail about your skin complaint. They may ask you questions like:

  • What symptoms do you have?
  • How long have you had these symptoms for?
  • Have they been getting worse over time?
  • Are you aware of any obvious triggers for your symptoms (e.g. certain foods or drinks, increased levels of stress etc.)?
  • Have you received any treatment already, such as prescribed medication?
  • Do you have any specific concerns about your symptoms (for example, are you worried about the possibility of skin cancer)?

They will carry out a detailed examination of your skin and may recommend a full skin check.

When reviewing skin lesions, a dermatoscope (a special handheld magnifying device) may be used. This can increase the diagnostic accuracy of lesion recognition and could lead to a diagnosis being made without the need for a skin biopsy.

Sometimes, treatment may not be needed at all (for example, a harmless mole can be left alone). However, a biopsy (either removing a small area to obtain the diagnosis OR excision or removal of a lesion) is sometimes recommended to obtain an accurate diagnosis.

 Additional investigations may sometimes be needed. These include:

  • Blood tests – can be helpful when testing for certain allergies
  • Skin scrapings – to test for fungal infection
  • Skin swabs – to test for bacterial or viral infection
  • Diagnostic skin biopsy – when something is seen that warrants investigation under a microscope, a biopsy is done to remove a small sample of tissue from the affected area. This sample is then sent for further analysis, which aids accurate diagnosis.
  • Patch testing –may be helpful when considering if an agent coming into contact with your skin is causing you a problem (e.g. fragrance, jewellery, nail products)

Your Dermatologist will arrange any of the tests that are needed. Some may be able to be done during your appointment while others, such as a diagnostic skin biopsy or patch testing, will need to be carried out at another time. Where this is needed, we will always book things in at the earliest date to ensure you receive a diagnosis as soon as possible.

Once the results of any investigations are back and a diagnosis has been made, your Dermatologist will talk you through the diagnosis and to explain treatment options to you.

Treatment for skin conditions may involve:

  • Advice about daily skin care
  • Prescribed topical (applied to the skin) medication - creams and ointments
  • Prescribed oral medication - tablets
  • Cryotherapy - uses liquid nitrogen to remove non-cancerous (benign) skin lesions by freezing them
  • Skin surgery

Types of skin surgery may include:

  • Excision of skin lesion
  • Mole removal
  • Skin cancer surgery

Due to the wide variety of problems that can affect the skin, some types of skin surgery may be carried out by specialists in other fields, like ENT (Ear, Nose and Throat) Surgeons, Oral and Maxillofacial Surgeons and Plastic Surgeons. If referral to another specialist is appropriate, this will be arranged for you.

Treatment will always be tailored to your specific requirements, and should you have any questions about treatment options at any stage, your Dermatologist will be very happy to talk through them with you.

If you live in and around Bath, we believe that Bath Clinic is the very best place to come for comprehensive investigation, diagnosis, treatment and after-care for any skin complaint.

You can self-refer to see a Consultant Dermatologist, although a medical referral from your GP may help to ensure you see the most appropriate specialist for your particular needs.

We treat people with private medical insurance and those who choose to self-pay.

When you visit Bath Clinic, you will benefit from:

  • Fast access to an expert in skin health – When a skin problem is causing you concern, the last thing you will want is to have to wait weeks (or even months!) for an initial appointment. With five experienced Consultant Dermatologists working at the hospital, we can book you a Dermatology appointment at a time that is convenient for you.
  • Consultant-led – Any appointment you have will always be with a Consultant Dermatologist, and you will see the same consultant each time you visit. They will oversee every stage of your care, from your very first appointment all the way through to post-treatment follow-up, ensuring excellent continuity of care.
  • Tailored treatment – Most skin problems will require a bespoke approach to treatment. If treatment needs to be tailored at any point, this is easily done.
  • Teamwork – Your Dermatologist is aided in their work by experts in other fields, including Rheumatology, Oral and Maxillofacial Surgery, Plastic Surgery and ENT. Complex cases can be discussed on-site with other specialists to formulate the very best treatment plan for you.
  • Recommended by patients – In an independent survey, 97.9% of the people we treated said they were likely or extremely likely to recommend BMI Bath Clinic to their family and friends.
  • Location – The hospital is located approximately two miles from the centre of historic Bath, set within beautifully landscaped grounds and just next to a National Trust property. It is easy to travel to us by private or public transport, and our 100-space car park is free for patients and visitors.

If a skin complaint is causing you concern, who not book your private Dermatology appointment? We look forward to welcoming you to Bath Clinic soon and helping you to access the help you need.

Specialists Offering Dermatology

Dr William George Phillips

Consultant Dermatologist

MA(Cantab) FRCP MRCGP DCH DipRCPath

BMI Bath Clinic

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