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Dermatology

We treat patients with skin diseases and conditions.

Our Dermatology Department helps patients with routine and emergency conditions. We see patients at our main hospitals in Wycombe, Amersham and Stoke Mandeville, and in community settings across Buckinghamshire.

How do I access the service?

You’ll need a referral from your GP for all our dermatology services.

Our dermatology services and treatments

We assess, diagnose and treat a range of skin conditions and diseases including rashes, psoriasis, skin cancer, vulval problems and photosensitivity.

 

We diagnose and treat patients with inflammatory skin conditions. We also see patients in our outpatient (day) clinics for routine skin consultations or cosmetic concerns.

You may need blood tests or a skin biopsy which we take on the same day or at a separate scheduled appointment. We discharge most patients to their GP after we assess you with a plan on how to manage your condition

 

Your GP will refer you by a fast-track pathway if they suspect malignant skin cancer. We’ll see you within 2 weeks and you can expect to have initial treatment within 30 days of your diagnosis.

We work with departments across our hospitals to look after you including histopathology, radiology, plastics and reconstructive surgery, oral surgery, and oncology (cancer).

Buckinghamshire Healthcare Trust has recognition as a regional skin cancer centre. We offer a complete range of modern treatment options.

 

Our vulval clinic provides diagnosis and management of vulval problems. These include inflammatory conditions, which may produce itching or soreness, pre-cancerous conditions and pain affecting the vulval area including lichen sclerosus and vulvodynia (vulval pain).

 

We see patients with severe psoriasis, eczema and complex dermatology diseases who need systematic drugs. These include vitamin A derivatives, immunosuppressants and biologic drugs.

Our services include:

  • discussing suitable treatment options to manage your condition including their use, effects and side effects and dosage schedule
  • blood tests and scans before and during treatment
  • monitoring results and dose adjustment where needed
  • assessing the effectiveness of your treatment
  • helping you to decide to stop taking a drug where appropriate or switch to an alternative.

 

We see children up to the age of 16 with skin conditions including:

  • eczema, psoriasis and other inflammatory skin conditions
  • skin infections
  • moles
  • vitiligo
  • hair and nails disorders
  • vulval disorders
  • vascular malformations and other birthmarks
  • photosensitivity
  • rare skin conditions, for example autoimmune blistering diseases

We offer a large range of treatments including cryotherapy (freezing), immunotherapy, iontophoresis and phototherapy.

Children with severe skin disease may need inpatient treatment at Stoke Mandeville Hospital.

Pediatric clinics 

We also work with allergy services to find out if your child’s skin condition relates to an allergy.

Our nurse-led food challenge clinic can also help to determine if your child has outgrown a food allergy.

Our paediatric dermatology specialist nurse runs her own clinic and offers advice on the practical aspects of skin treatments. She also educates and supports children and their families.

 

We see patients who have been referred by their GP for advice and management on hard to heal leg wounds. A team of nurses lead the leg ulcer clinic at Amersham Hospital and Stoke Mandeville Hospital.

We do a full assessment to get a diagnosis. If we suspect arterial disease, we’ll refer you to our vascular team.

If we suspect venous disease, we’ll create a care plan including compression therapy. If your ulcers still don’t heal, you may need a biopsy or a referral to our vascular team.

We usually follow up with you every 3 months with care in the community or with our practice nurses in between.

 

A dermatology doctor will refer you, create a care plan and prescribe you with acne medication (isotretinoin).

We see female patients every 4 weeks to check their progress, discuss side effects and repeat pregnancy and blood tests if needed. If everything’s ok we’ll issue another 4-week prescription.

We see male patients every 8 weeks.

 

It uses ultraviolet light to treat skin diseases including:

  • psoriasis
  • eczema
  • vitiligo
  • polymorphic light eruption
  • mycosis fungoides.

We offer whole body and hand/foot phototherapy at Amersham Hospital and Stoke Mandeville Hospital, with extended evening and weekend hours available at Amersham Hospital.

Our unit belongs to the South East of England Phototherapy Network and ensures that we meet minimum treatment and safety standards. The network gives our phototherapists ongoing support, training and education to help improve clinical standards of care for our patients.

 

It’s a light-sensitive medicine and light source that helps to destroy abnormal cells. We use PDT to help treat:

We apply cream to the lesion and then shine a special type of light onto the area a few hours later.

 

You may need a biopsy, for example on a rash or large lesion (bump, lump or patch), so that we can take a small sample of tissue for further investigation. In some cases, you may need surgery to remove a lesion.

Types of skin surgery 

We use various surgical methods including complete excision (removal), shave excisions (slicing off), curettage (scraping off), cautery (burning off) or cryotherapy (freezing off). We usually perform these types of surgery under local anaesthetic which involves an injection.

Stitches and scarring 

We repair the skin to leave as neat a scar as possible but we can’t remove a lesion without leaving a mark or scar. Biopsies and excisions usually need stitches that your GP practice nurse can remove.

Where we treat our patients 

We see patients at Amersham Hospital, Wycombe Hospital and Stoke Mandeville Hospital for skin surgery.

 

It’s the most advanced and effective procedure for skin cancer and gives the highest cure rates of all available treatments.

Surgeons can identify and remove the entire tumour layer by layer while leaving the surrounding healthy tissue intact and unharmed. It’s the most precise way of removing a tumour and minimises the chances of regrowth.

MOHS is internationally recognised as gold standard treatment for complex, advanced skin cancers. 

 

Amerderm Research Trust (charity number 1114684) funds our research unit and helps further our understanding of dermatological diseases and cancer.

Our current research focuses on developing new ways to detect early stage skin cancer and increasing the chances of a complete recovery.

We also support the MOHS surgery service.

For more information, or if you wish to make a donation to the research charity, please contact:

Dr Carolyn Willis  

Research Director

01494 734618

carolyn.willis@buckshealthcare.nhs.uk

Dermatology patient information

Contact us 

Wycombe Hospital 
Amersham Hospital
Stoke Mandeville Hospital
Wycombe Hospital 

01494 734611 

Amersham Hospital

01494 734626

Stoke Mandeville Hospital

01296 315551  

dermappts@buckshealthcare.nhs.uk 

See also…