When should I visit the dermatologist?

Dr Jibu Varghese, Kingston Wing at Yeovil Hospital

Dr Jibu Varghese, Kingston Wing at Yeovil Hospital - Credit: Archant

Suffering with a skin condition but unsure whether it’s serious enough to visit the dermatologist? Dr Jibu Varghese, consultant dermatologist on the Kingston Wing, Yeovil Hospital’s private patient unit, explains when you should see a dermatologist about your skin condition (and the benefits of doing so privately)

Whilst it may seem minor, a skin condition can have a massive impact on your health and wellbeing. Irritated, inflamed or infected skin can not only be itchy and painful but its appearance can affect your confidence and mental health.

So...how can a dermatologist help with my skin condition?

To put it simply, a dermatologist is an expert in a whole range of skin conditions - over 3,000 in fact. If a skin condition persists after taking prescribed medication from your GP, it's advisable to book an appointment with a dermatologist.

A dermatologist can treat numerous skin conditions on the face and body from psoriasis, acne, rosacea and eczema through to benign skin lesions* that may have become infected. Hair loss (a growing bald spot or significant shedding) and thickening of nails or your nail lifting from its nail bed can also be treated.

Your dermatologist can also spot the early signs of skin cancer; a change in the size or shape of a mole, freckle or birthmark, or it itches or bleeds, should be checked by a dermatologist immediately. If a melanoma is spotted early it can be removed with surgery; however if it spreads, other more complex treatment options will need to be considered.

Dr Jibu Varghese, consultant dermatologist at the Kingston Wing, Yeovil Hospital's private patient unit, advises worried patients to book an appointment as early as they can. "It's better to act early and get a mole checked, rather than waiting and it potentially becoming malignant," says Dr Varghese. "Some skin conditions need investigating, for example hair loss could be attributed to iron deficiency and that's something we need time to look into. I work with each of my patients to find the treatment plan which is right for them."

Preparing for a dermatology appointment

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The most useful thing a patient can do prior to their appointment with a dermatologist is to provide a brief medical history of your skin condition, particularly the names of the creams and tablets that have been prescribed before.

Dr Varghese explains, "It's useful to know what's worked, what hasn't worked and a good description of your symptoms. We'll take the time to talk through how your skin condition started, how it may have worsened, the factors that make it more serious and what helps it improve."

Benefits of seeing a consultant dermatologist privately on the Kingston Wing, Yeovil Hospital

One of the most obvious benefits of opting for private healthcare is shorter waiting times. A dermatology appointment on the Kingston Wing will normally be booked in no more than two weeks following your initial referral. Dr Varghese, says the first step is to give patients reassurance; the sooner you're seen, the sooner you can receive a diagnosis and begin treatment.

The Kingston Wing prides itself on providing exemplary, bespoke care from the first consultation right through to treatment and aftercare. You can read more about the class-leading consultants, cutting-edge treatments and bespoke care at the Kingston Wing, Yeovil Hospital here.

The Kingston Wing provides private healthcare and medical services, including extensive dermatology services, to those with private medical insurance or those who are self-funding their treatment. The Kingston Wing is based in Yeovil Hospital in Higher Kingston, Yeovil. To find out more, visit the website or get in touch online.

kingstonwing.co.uk | 01935 384234 | kingston.wing@ydh.nhs.uk

- Subject to clinical criteria

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