There are a range of possible treatment options for the different types of dermatology conditions. The most common options are listed below with a brief description:
Medication: There are various types of medication used to treat skin conditions which include topical (creams & ointments) and oral drugs. Some of the more common types of treatment are corticosteroids, antibiotics, antifungal agents, antiviral agents and immunosuppressants. Your consultant will advise on the use of any medication to be used in the treatment of your condition.
Cryotherapy: The term ‘cryotherapy’ literally means ‘treatment using low temperatures’, and refers to the removal of skin lesions by freezing them. The most common agent used by dermatologists is liquid nitrogen.
Cryotherapy is done during the course of an out-patient consultation with your dermatologist, without any special preparation. Whilst liquid nitrogen is usually applied to the skin by using a spray gun, a metal probe or a cotton bud can sometimes be used.
Over the next few days, a scab will form on the treated area, and this will take one to two weeks to come away. The treated area will eventually look normal, although some slight scarring and discolouration is occasionally possible. Depending on the nature of the lesion, more than one treatment may be necessary, and should this be the case then it is usually repeated at regular intervals.
Curettage & Cautery: This technique is used to remove benign growths such as seborrhoeic warts, areas of sun damage (solar keratoses) and occasionally low risk skin cancers. It does not require the use of stitches.
The skin surrounding the lesion to be removed will be injected with local anaesthetic. Using a curette the lesion will be scraped off. Any bleeding will be cauterised using diathermy. A dressing will be applied which can be removed after 24 hours. If appropriate, the specimen removed will be sent for analysis under the microscope by a pathologist.
Surgical Excision: This procedure is used to treat many types of skin lesion especially if they are suspected of being malignant.
The consultant will administer a local anaesthetic, and then cut along the lines that have been marked on the skin. The entire procedure takes between twenty to thirty minutes on average. Wounds heal rapidly, usually in a week or two. Scarring depends on many factors, including the placement and size of the lesion that was removed and the patient’s care of the wound after the procedure. Most often the end result will be a linear scar.
Botox: Injections with Botox can be given to reduce wrinkling and also to decrease the amount of sweating in hyperhidrosis.
Laser Treatment: Lasers can be used to treat vascular lesions such as angiomas (collection of blood vessels) or thin blood vessels commonly found on facial skin. Laser hair removal has gained popularity. Lasers can also be used to treat scarring, particularly acne scarring.
Radiofrequency treatment: This has shown success in skin tightening but can also be used to reduce sweating in hyperhidrosis as an alternative to Botox.
Phototherapy: While sunlight can help to clear up or reduce the symptoms of certain conditions, artificial ultraviolet light can be used on specific areas of the body with more precision. Treatment involves exposing affected areas to ultraviolet light in specially designed cubicles for specific skin conditions. Usually, these treatments are delivered in a hospital out-patient department and we can provide appropriate advice.