Our dermatology team provides friendly, timely and high-quality care for children who have problems with their skin, hair or nails.
Our department is recognised as a centre of excellence in paediatric dermatology, and we receive requests for clinical opinions and educational placements from all over the world. For at least 20 years, the British Society for Paediatric Dermatology has had at least one of our consultants as Chairman or member of the Executive Board. We contribute to the major UK and US textbooks of dermatology and paediatric dermatology and run an annual course on paediatric dermatology attended by most UK dermatologists who have been appointed as consultants in the past 15 years. We host one of only two accredited post-certificate of completion clinical fellowships in paediatric dermatology.
Our comprehensive inpatient and outpatient service covers diagnosis, treatment, further consultations and holistic care.
Usually, we know what is wrong just by listening to the patient and examining the skin, but sometimes we need to do blood tests, urine tests, X-rays or special tests including:
- Dermoscopy - looking closely with a special magnifying lens
- Hair sample - where a few hairs are removed to examine under a microscope
- Skin swab or nail clippings to test for infection
- Skin biopsy - where a tiny sample is taken and examined under a microscope
- Patch testing - to see if the skin is allergic to things in contact with it
We may prescribe medicines, creams, lotions or dressings, and our nurses demonstrate how to apply them and advise on general skin care. In addition we can provide:
- Cryotherapy - a treatment that freezes abnormal cells or warts
- Iontophoresis - a treatment for excessive sweating
- Laser therapy - which is sometimes needed for birthmarks
- Ultra-violet light treatment - this is provided at a different hospital
Some children have a problem that affects more than just their skin. We work closely with other specialists in the hospital such as paediatricians, rheumatologists, ophthalmologists, dentists, plastic surgeons, dietitians, physiotherapists and clinical psychologists to ensure we are always providing the best possible care.
Our doctors and specialist nurses aim to support patients and families with the emotional aspects of their condition, helping them to understand it and empowering them to deal with it effectively. Our nurses provide a telephone and email support service for our patients and give advice to schools and community nurses. We liaise with several national patient support groups, often jointly hosting social and educational events to enable affected families to meet others with similar problems.
Education and training
We teach undergraduates, postgraduates, nurses and doctors both locally and nationally and take part in research into skin disease. With a particular interest in genetic skin disorders, we have provided diagnostic expertise and clinical material for numerous collaborative studies internationally.
Annual paediatric dermatology course
Together with Great Ormond Street Hospital (GOSH) we run a national service for children with the rare disorder epidermolysisbullosa (EB or 'butterfly children').