Mole screening clinic
Skin cancer is the most common cancer in the UK. Melanoma (caused by too much sun or sun bed exposure) and other skin cancers that are found and removed early are almost always treatable.
Our mole screening clinic aims to put your mind at rest or provide an early diagnosis of skin cancer that can then be treated as quickly as possible. All screening is non-invasive and safe.
You’ll initially have a consultation with Mr M D Humzah, consultant plastic surgeon who will provide a full visual check of all your skin lesions, expert advice on skin care and sun awareness and, plan mole screening of any areas of concern.
We use the latest Dermoc mole analyser for skin cancer screening and body mapping. Dermoscopy magnifies and provides detailed images of a mole to detect the earliest signs of skin cancer. The mole is given a computerised score that signifies its statistical risk of skin cancer. The images of your moles are stored so that comparisons can be done in the future to identify any changes.
We also offer full body mapping of your moles, known as electronic mole mapping, that’s particularly beneficial if you’ve multiple moles. It checks whether and where new moles have developed and compares the images of the last examination with the new ones.
All results are reviewed by your consultant. If required, they’ll offer treatment recommendations.
Cryotherapy freezes skin lesions in order to remove them. We use liquid nitrogen, the most common type of cryotherapy.
Cryotherapy can be used to treat: actinic keratosis (sun-damaged skin), seborrheic keratosis (non-cancerous, often pigmented, skin growth), Bowen’s disease, viral warts and other benign and malignant lesions.
It’s an outpatient procedure whereby liquid nitrogen is placed onto your skin for a few seconds using either a cryoprobe, cotton-tipped applicator or cryospray. More than one treatment may be needed for some lesions, such as viral warts.
Excision of skin lesions (punch biopsy and curettage)
This minor surgical procedure called the excision of a skin lesion removes a skin lesion that is causing problems or may be cancerous. It can also be performed for aesthetic reasons although this is not available on the NHS but can be offered at Winfield Hospital.
Skin lesions can be removed in a number of ways and depending on where they are and their type. At Winfield Hospital we often carry out a punch biopsy and curettage of skin lesions.
- Punch biopsy
Under local anaesthetic and using a special circular blade, a small hole is “punched” in your skin and a cylindrical part of your skin lesion is removed. The sample is sent to the laboratory for further testing.
- Curettage of a skin lesion
A curette is often used to scoop away surface skin lesions. Cautery (heat treatment) or cryotherapy (freezing) may also be used in conjunction with the curette.
Steroid cream (topical corticosteroids)
Topical corticosteroids contain corticosteroid hormones that reduce inflammation and irritation of skin conditions. There are many formulations and strengths. They can be creams, gels, lotions, mousses and ointments. They’re regularly used to treat psoriasis, eczema and dermatitis.
Your prescribing dermatologist will advise on their usage. Typically, you’ll use them once or twice a day for a few days or weeks at a time.
Acne treatment with Isotretinoin (Roaccutane)
Severe acne is a serious skin condition. It can be painful and affect wellbeing and self-confidence. We offer Isotretinoin for patients with very troublesome acne. It’s a strong and very effective drug that works by addressing excess oil production, clogged pores, inflammation and too much P. acnes bacteria.
This prescription only medicine comes in a pill form. One or two pills are taken each day for around four to five months.
Mycology – fungal toes/hands
Mycology is the study of fungal diseases. Often to prescribe the correct antifungal treatment your dermatologist will need to find out the exact type of fungi affecting your toes and hands. They do this by taking tissue samples from your skin, nail or hair and sending them to the laboratory for microscopic examination and culture, a process that can take several weeks.
Athlete’s foot and toe and finger nail infections are common fungal toe and hand conditions.
Athletes foot often appears in between your toes and can cause red, itchy, flaky and cracking skin. It can usually be treated with anti-fungal cream.
Nail infections often affect toenails more than fingernails. Usually they start at the end of your nail, moving down gradually to the base of your nail. Your nail may discolour, become thick and crumbly. Wearing shoes may be painful. Nail infections can be due to a weak or injured nail or if athlete’s foot has spread to your nails. Antifungal tablets, nail paints or nail softening paste treat most nail infections.
We also offer preventative advice to reduce your risk of these conditions re-occurring.