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Dermatology

Expert assessment and treatment for skin conditions

Persistent visible rashes, lesions and skin concerns often need specialist care by consultant dermatologists, who focus on diseases of the skin, hair, and nails.

A large percentage of patients seen at BMI Ridgeway in our Dermatology department will be seeking advice related to skin cancer concerns. If you’ve noticed a changing or new skin lesion (such as a mole changing shape/size/colour or a new mole emerging), you’ll need an expert assessment to determine whether or not there is any potential for skin cancer, requiring the specialist diagnostics on offer at Ridgeway.

Other reasons you may wish to see a dermatologist include:

  • Acne (especially in young adults)
  • Inflammatory conditions, resulting in rashes, scaling, or itching
  • Eczema, Psoriasis, and fungal infections
  • General skin changes, either localised (i.e. just your scalp) or generalised all over your body

Patients with acne will often have been referred to us by their GP when their acne is persistent and has proved resistant to other treatments.

Self-referrals are increasingly popular, enabling you to seek out an expert opinion in the first instance, rather than having to be referred by a GP or other specialist. Other patients may have chronic (long-term) conditions which come and go, requiring treatment for a flare-up or new ‘event’.

Whether you need management of an existing condition or you are worried about new changes, our consultants can offer you the most appropriate form of treatment for your needs, bringing relief to patients aged 18+ around Wiltshire and the South West.

Very often, patients have tried various over-the-counter remedies and treatments beforehand, but this may be your first time seeking professional treatment. Whatever stage you find yourself at, our consultants will find the most suitable treatment to help manage your symptoms.

Inflammatory conditions (such as eczema or psoriasis) may be effectively managed with topical treatments like emollients, topical steroids, and immunomodulators.

For those with more severe skin disease, systemic treatment may be recommended including immunosuppressants for conditions such as eczema and psoriasis.

Phototherapy can be offered for more severe cases of psoriasis and persistent eczema, exposing you to ultraviolet B light (UVB) for short bursts in order to slow the growth of the affected cells and helping to reduce inflammation. Access to the UVB phototherapy machines can be booked through your consultant at BMI Ridgeway when needed.

A majority of skin cancers can be treated with surgical management, and both dermatology and plastic surgeons work collaboratively in the removal of your cancer. This also applies to other patients who may have advanced diseases which require an element of plastic or reconstructive surgery in order to maintain function. Our teams at Ridgeway have close working relationships, employing this multi-disciplinary approach throughout your journey with us whenever appropriate.

During your first appointment with us, your consultant will take a detailed medical history from you. This is especially important for those who have made a self-referral, allowing your consultant to get some background information on your condition and how it’s evolved, as well as the concerns you’ve been having. They may ask you questions such as:

  • What symptoms have you been experiencing?
  • How long have you had these symptoms?
  • Have you had flare-ups in the past?
  • What treatments have you tried so far? Have they been effective?
  • How have your symptoms been affecting you and your lifestyle?

This is also a good point to set out realistic expectations. For example, a chronic condition may not be able to be cured, but your consultant can outline effective management pathways to reduce your symptoms and bring you some relief.

This will be followed by a full skin examination, usually from top to toe. When presenting with moles or skin lesions, this is particularly vital to ensure an all-over review is carried out, allowing your consultant to get a complete picture.

This examination is carried out during your initial consultation, and many patients would undergo the same examination at each follow-up appointment, when relevant, so your consultant can track the progress of any lesions.

For certain conditions, blood tests may be needed. Occasionally, a skin lesion may need to be removed for further analysis, or a biopsy (small tissue sample) taken from a rash. These samples are then sent to the laboratory to help make a full diagnosis. Biopsies are carried out in one of our Treatment rooms during a separate visit, as these rooms need to be pre-booked.

Once all results are back and a full diagnosis has been made, your consultant will meet with you again to discuss your treatment plan. You are normally given a range of options, and your consultant can explain the expected outcomes as well as offering an opinion on which may be the most appropriate. Ultimately, it will be your choice to proceed with treatment, so you will be given plenty of time to ask any questions you may have in order to make an informed decision.

Choosing to have your dermatological care at BMI Ridgeway comes with a host of benefits, such as:

Assessments ASAP – Skin conditions and lesions are often best treated at the earliest possible stage, and when you’ve noticed that something is wrong, you won’t want to wait for an appointment. Our consultants prioritise seeing you rapidly, getting a prompt diagnosis and treatment plan for you without delay.

Patient Satisfaction – 96.4% of patients in 2020 said they would happily recommend Ridgeway Hospital to friends and family in an independent report, and we’re confident that you’ll agree. 96.3% also said that the quality of care here at Ridgeway Hospital was either ‘very good’ or ‘excellent’. We aim to make your stay with us as comfortable as possible, and these results highlight our continued efforts to ensure this is achieved.

Personalised Dermatological Care – We believe in a bespoke approach to treatment, tailoring each experience to our patients’ needs and whatever may be best for you. This is regularly reviewed, ensuring you get the necessary treatment at every stage of your patient journey. With well set-up treatment rooms in the only dedicated private facility in the local area, BMI Ridgeway offers exclusive care for your dermatological needs.

Consultant-led, Consultant-delivered – Once you have chosen your consultant, you will see them right the way through your journey at BMI Ridgeway. From the initial consultation to follow-ups, explaining any necessary procedures and carrying out surgeries themselves, you are assured the highest level of care and top-quality service from specialists with a wealth of experience in the dermatology field.

A Multidisciplinary Approach – Our teams at Ridgeway work in tandem with each other to provide you with the best possible care from start to finish. Working closely with colleagues in a range of specialties such as Plastics & Cosmetics, alongside specialist radiographers, anaesthetists, and nurses, your consultants have access to a wide network for complex issues, ensuring you have expert support every step of the way during your treatment.

Convenient Appointments – With appointments available at dedicated clinics throughout the week, you are sure to find an appointment slot that suits your needs and availability.

Ease of Access - Situated just along from Swindon bus station, Ridgeway Hospital is easily accessible by public transport, with ample parking should you visit us by car.

For peace of mind and expert care, please contact Ridgeway to book an appointment now.

Specialists Offering Dermatology

Mr Rod Alexander

Consultant Colorectal and Laparoscopic Surgeon

BM (Hons), MSc, FRCS (Gen Surg)

BMI The Ridgeway Hospital

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Dr Lindsay Rosanne Whittam

Consultant Dermatologist

BSc, MBBS, FRCP

BMI The Ridgeway Hospital

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Mr Nathan John Coombs

Consultant General Surgeon

BSc(Hons), B.M, FRCS(Eng), FRCS(Gen Surg)

BMI The Ridgeway Hospital

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