Cryotherapy freezes and removes benign and malignant skin lesions (growth or patch of skin that doesn’t resemble the areas surrounding it) including: actinic keratosis (sun-damaged skin), viral warts, seborrhoeic keratosis (skin growth that can look like cancer) and Bowen’s disease (treatable early form of skin cancer).
Here at Berkshire Independent Hospital we use the most common type of cryotherapy, liquid nitrogen.
It’s an outpatient procedure that involves applying liquid nitrogen to your skin for a few seconds using a cryoprobe, cotton-tipped applicator or cryospray. Resistant skin lesions, such as viral warts, may require more than one treatment.
Excision of skin lesions (punch biopsy and curettage)
Sometimes it’s recommended that skin lesions are surgically removed, for example if they’re significantly troubling you of if they might be cancerous. Berkshire Independent Hospital will also remove these lesions for aesthetic reasons, a service unavailable on the NHS.
The excision of a skin lesion is minor surgery. We most commonly perform a punch biopsy and curettage of skin lesions depending on your type of skin lesion and where it is on your body.
- Punch biopsy
Under local anaesthetic a special circular blade is used to punch a small hole in your skin and, remove a cylindrical section of the skin lesion that is sent to the laboratory for further testing.
- Curettage of a skin lesion
A curette is used to scoop away the lesion. It can be combined with cautery (heat treatment) or cryotherapy (freezing). It’s performed mainly on outer layer skin lesions.
Steroid cream (topical corticosteroids)
Topical corticosteroids or steroids are used to treat many skin conditions including: psoriasis, eczema and dermatitis. They contain corticosteroid hormones to reduce inflammation and irritation.
Topical steroids come in creams, gels, lotions, mousses and ointments and vary in their potency and formulation. You must follow your dermatologist’s advice when using them. Usually it’s recommended to use them once or twice a day for a limited period of time such as a few days or weeks. They should only be applied to the affected areas of skin.
Acne treatment with Isotretinoin (Roaccutane)
Severe acne can not only be very painful and resilient but it can also be a source of embarrassment and lead to a decrease in self-confidence.
Here at Berkshire Independent Hospital we can offer the prescription only and very effective medicine, Isotretinoin for severe cases of acne. It works by attacking all causes of acne including: excess oil production, clogged skin pores, too much bacteria P. acnes and, inflammation. It reduces sebaceous glands and moisture at the affected akin area, inhibits acne bacteria growth and, has anti-inflammatory properties.
It comes in pill format. You must follow your dermatologists prescription which is normally one or two pills a day for about four to five months.
Mycology – fungal toes/hands
The study of fungi that causes human disease is known as mycology. It’s important to identify the fungal infection to enable the correct antifungal treatment. Tissues are normally taken from a patient’s nail, skin or hair and sent for culture that may take several weeks and require microscopic examination.
There are a variety of ways to obtain a tissue sample including: scraping scale from the edge of a rash, taking hair and root samples, scraping skin from under the nail (infected toe nail), a biopsy and using tape to strip the skin and transferring the sample on to a glass slide for testing
Dermatological infections that can be diagnosed by mycology include: athlete’s foot, nail infections, ringworm, intertrigo, tinea capitis (scalp hair loss), thrush and, pityriasis versicolor (scaly and discoloured skin). Treatment often involves antifungal treatment that you put directly onto your skin or can be in tablet form.