The following are some of the skin conditions diagnosed and treated by Dr Martin Wade.
The term skin cancer refers to both non-melanoma skin cancer (NMSC) and melanoma, which are malignant growths originating in the skin. The two most common forms of NMSC are basal cell carcinoma (BCC) and squamous cell carcinoma (SCC). Both these tumours are related to cumulative sun exposure in most situations and most commonly present in an older population with a life-time’s history of sun exposure. With more of us spending an increasing amount of time outdoors and taking holidays abroad we are now seeing these tumours in patients in their 20’s and 30’s. Outdoor workers and people with fair complexions are particularly at risk.
NMSC presents as either a skin coloured lump, a scaling lesion, an erosion that will not heal or an ulcerated lesion. Any such lesion requires immediate assessment by a medical practitioner. Dermatologists are specifically trained to diagnose such lesions by looking at them and if there is any doubt by performing a biopsy.
Prevention is the best cure. Dr Wade utilizes full skin assessment for the detection of abnormal moles. Dermatologists are qualified to detect the clinical signs of moles which may have developed into a melanoma or look suspicious. The advent of the dermatoscope (an illuminated hand-held lens with magnification) increases the clinical diagnostic ability of the Dermatologist.
Once your skin has been assessed Dr Wade will then tell you of the most appropriate skin surveillance follow-up programme tailored to your skin type and clinical risk. Sun protection and avoidance advice will be given as well as discussing the role of sun screens.
Dr Wade uses clinical photography to monitor moles of concern, to provide a baseline for comparison in the future.
Acne is almost a universal condition affecting nearly every teenager at some stage. When it progresses from more than the occasional pimple or extends into later life we consider it a medical condition. There are many types of acne and so assessment by a Dermatologist ensures the appropriate treatment is prescribed and tailored specifically to your type of acne. Treatments include specialized face washes, gels and creams, systemic treatment (tablets) including antibiotics, hormonal treatment and Isotretinoin (which can only be prescribed by a Dermatologist).
Assessment by a Dermatologist is the first step to clearer skin.
There are a number of types of eczema. Atopic dermatitis is most common in children but can affect adults of all ages. Whilst many children grow out of eczema they may have a tendency to dry, sensitive skin in adulthood. Other types of eczema include allergic contact dermatitis and irritant contact dermatitis. Recognizing the correct type of eczema is crucial to an effective treatment plan.
Treatment of eczema can be complex and comprises of a maintenance skin care programme to reduce the incidence of flares as well as treatment for the acute episodes. Topical steroids have been the mainstay of treatment for eczema. These preparations have been in existence for over 40 years and so the safety profile and side effects are well known.
Dermatologists now also prescribe Calcineurin-inhibitor creams which are an alternative to topical steroids.
Psoriasis is a common condition affecting approximately 1% of the population. Psoriasis can be devastating especially when it covers a large area of the body. Whilst there is currently no cure for psoriasis, there are many treatments which can control the condition and vastly improve quality of life. Often a combination of topical treatments is required but when psoriasis is severe systemic treatment (tablets) may be necessary. There are many alternatives to topical steroids for psoriasis.
A newer class of drug called Biologics can be prescribed but these are very expensive at present.
The tendency for people to develop allergies is becoming increasingly common with our modern lifestyles and this is particularly prevalent in large cities such as London. Allergies may be responsible in some patients for various skin conditions. These include eczema, allergic contact dermatitis and urticaria.
Dr Wade can organise allergy testing that is most relevant to your condition. Patch testing is a specialised technique developed by Dermatologists and experience in reading the results is essential. He also offers allergy testing done via a blood test that may be relevant to your skin condition or asthma or hayfever sufferers.
Warts are caused by the human papilloma virus (HPV) of which there is several subtypes which affects humans. Common in children of school age, warts can also affect otherwise healthy adults. A wart has the ability to hide from an otherwise normal immune system. Dermatologists have a range of treatments to combat warts including newer treatment which encourages the immune system to recognize the virally infected cells and eradicate them.
Vitiligo affects 1% of the population and the incidence is the same in all races. Vitiligo is more noticeable the darker one’s skin. It is difficult to treat however treatment options do exist including topical treatment and light therapy.
Scars & Keloids
A keloid is an excessive production of scar tissue that can result from acne scarring, a surgical scar or from ear or body piercing. Keloids are more common in darker skin types and certain areas of the body. Keloids can also be itchy or painful. There are a number of treatment options for a keloid scar which includes injections into the scar, laser or intense pulsed light therapy, topical treatment in the form of creams, medical plasters or silicone-based plasters or occasionally re-excising the scar.
Traumatic scars can often be improved by scar revision surgery. This is because a neat surgical scar will heal better than tissue that has been injured, torn or crushed. Scars in some areas can undergo stretch and widen. Once again treatment options are sometimes available for this.