The Barts Health dermatology service is one of the largest in the UK treating patients from Tower Hamlets, the City of London and Essex. We are proud of our excellent clinical results.
Treating every patient as an individual, we will work with you to devise a care package that fits your needs. Our experts are skilled in diagnosing and treating a wide range of skin diseases and conditions. We see patients of all ages, including children.
We have specialist experience in helping people with conditions including, eczema, photosensitivity, psoriasis, genetic skin diseases, skin allergies and skin cancer.
We recognise that patients receiving treatment for skin diseases require special attention before, during and after their treatment. Our team of experts is dedicated to helping you through this time, providing the best care that we can, and keeping you fully informed at each stage of your treatment.
Our services are based at:
- Newham University Hospital
- The Royal London Hospital
- Whipps Cross University Hospital
Dermatology: patient videos
Signs of skin cancer
Skin problems you may experience after a transplant if you have black and minority ethnic skin
Skin problems you may experience after an organ transplant
Why choose us
Many of our consultant dermatologists are leading experts and are internationally recognised in their fields. They are supported by a multidisciplinary team that includes nursing staff, clinical nurse specialists, and a homeopath (who offers a plant-derived treatment for warts). We all work together, to provide patients with a seamless service.
We have specialist knowledge of skin cancer, difficult eczema, psoriasis, hair loss, inherited skin diseases, paediatric dermatology, allergic reactions and skin problems with psychological influences.
Skin problems with If we need to, we can call on the services of additional specialists, including counsellors, and we maintain close links with other dermatology departments in the North East Thames region.
Cutting edge research
We conduct extensive research to ensure that we provide the most advanced and successful treatments for our patients. Working closely with Barts and The London Queen Mary’s School of Medicine and Dentistry, our team of clinicians and scientists investigate new therapies and novel approaches for the diagnosis, classification and treatment of a wide range of skin diseases.
The Royal London Hospital runs an active research programme into skin cancer and other skin conditions.
We also run clinical trials at Whipps Cross University Hospital including investigations into psoriasis, eczema, and rosacea. Whipps Cross is a member of the national dermatology clinical trials network – a prestigious accreditation that acknowledges the high quality research that we do.
As a patient, you will need a referral to our service from you GP. Patients with skin disease are usually treated in our outpatient clinics but occasionally you may need to be admitted for more intensive procedures. Children are always admitted to the paediatric wards.
The services we provide are:
- Female genital
- Genetic skin
- Patch testing/skin allergy
- Psoriasis care
- Botox for excessive sweating
- Photobiology and phototherapy
- Investigations and treatments
Dermatopathology (the study of skin disease, at a microscopic level) is crucial to the management of many skin diseases and mandatory in suspected skin cancer. Diagnosis, which determines how a disease is treated, is often confirmed and dependent on dermatopathology expertise.
Professor Rino Cerio at the Barts Health Skin Centre is the only professor of dermatopathology in the UK and has an international reputation. Our centre is extremely well known for our pioneering work in this area, and lead in the way in specialist fields including managing skin cancer in immunosuppressed patients.
Skin problems on the genitalia are common and can cause women to feel unhappy and embarrassed. Dr Karen Gibbon at the Barts Health Skin Centre has a special interest in this field, and works closely with gynaecologists to treat women with these disorders. She has over a decade of experience and is a nationally recognised expert in this field.
Dr Gibbon runs clinics four times each month at The Royal London Hospital for general skin problems of the vulva and specialist cancer clinics are held every monthly with our gynaecology specialists.
This is a new NHS clinic for patients with genetic skin disease. We receive referrals from GPs and hospitals from all over the UK and sometimes abroad. The clinic offers diagnosis and treatment for a range of inherited skin conditions.
Our leading expert, Professor Edel O’Toole, sees patients with different types of ichthyosis (inherited scaly, dry skin), keratodermas (thickened skin on the hands and feet), pachyonychia congenita (a condition that affects palms, soles, nails and sometimes the mouth) and other inherited skin disorders. We perform genetic analysis for many of these disorders and if necessary we can also liaise with other laboratories in the UK and abroad for specific tests.
We run dedicated clinics for patients with immunodeficiency. We hold a weekly specialist clinic to manage complex skin disorders linked to HIV infection and AIDS (the conditions, the medications used to treat them, can both cause skin problems). It is one of only two such specialist clinics in the UK and is consultant-led.
We also care for patients who have had an organ transplant. Their immune systems are impaired by the medication used to stop them rejecting the new organ, which can lead to skin problems. We run a special skin clinic for transplant patients - the first of its kind in the country. Read our information leaflet on skin care after an organ transplant.
Patch testing/skin allergy
Some skin diseases can be caused by an allergy. If we can identify an allergy, this offers the chance of a cure for the patient’s skin problem. We hold weekly clinics, where we can carry out diagnostic tests including patch testing, radioallergosorbent testing (RAST testing) and skin prick testing. Suitable patients for this clinic are those with long standing, difficult to manage eczema, facial or hand eczema, ano-genital eczema, patients having reactions to ear or eye drops, those with an acute onset of new eczema and people who have work-related skin problems. We can also investigate suspected latex allergy.
We have a dedicated specialist nurse-led phototherapy day centre for our patients and offer the very latest light treatments. We also provide the full range of topical and systemic (oral and injected) biological therapies.
Botox for excessive sweating
We provide Botox treatment for excessive sweating (hyperhidrosis) on the NHS, which is unique in London. This is a hugely popular service which results in high patient satisfaction.
Photobiology and phototherapy
Our skin centre is one of only two specialist centres in London that provide a specialist referral service for the diagnosis and management of patients with abnormal photosensitivity (sensitivity to sunlight causing an allergic reaction). The clinic also offers phototherapy (a treatment involving gradual increases of ultraviolet light to the skin in a precise controlled fashion) for inflammatory skin conditions. We use the latest light therapies to treat skin conditions, including psoriasis and eczema.
Psychodermatology is the branch of dermatology concerned with treating skin disorders using psychological and psychiatric techniques. We have particular expertise in this area and run a dedicated clinic for patients with skin disease and psychiatric problems. This clinic is unique in London as patients see both skin specialists and psychiatric experts in one setting. We help patients to manage conditions including delusional parasitosis, body dysmorphic disorder, dermatitis artefacta, delusions of body odour and other primarily psychiatric disorders. In addition, we see patients who have a dermatological disease with an underlying psychological component (such as a patient with psoriasis who is depressed). We are pleased to receive referrals from around the country.
Iontophoresis is a treatment for patients with excessively sweaty hands and feet. It involves placing your hands and feet in a water bath in a special machine where a very low electric current passes through the water. It is not dangerous or painful and can be very helpful. If it works for you we can give you details on how to buy your own home machine. The same technique is used to treat excessive underarm sweating.
Investigations and treatments
In addition to clinics, the service can also carry out skin biopsies (the removal of a small piece of skin to help make a diagnosis).
Dependant on the results of investigations, and your consultation with the doctor, the following therapies are available:
- Phototherapy (light therapy)
- Mohs’ micrographic surgery (a treatment for skin cancer)
- Systemic and biologic therapy
- Cosmetic camouflage
- Herbal therapy
- Iontophoresis (a treatment for increased sweating)
Please note: some treatments are not available on the NHS.
For all hospital sites, please use the eRS system to refer patients.
Clinics available on eRS:
- Dermatology (pigmented lesion clinic)
- Female dermatology vulval
- Family skin cancer clinic
- General dermatology
- Paediatric dermatology
- Paediatric dermatology 2- Paediatrics
- Transplant associated skin tumour clinic
The Barts Health Skin Centre is open from 9am and can be contact on:
Tel: 020 3594 2069 or 020 3594 2071
Referrals can be faxed to: 020 3594 2074
Switchboard: 020 3416 5000. A specialist registrar is available on call Monday to Friday until 7.30pm
There is a two week wait for patients with melanoma, squamous cell carcinoma, erythoderma and overwhelming skin infections.
If a patient is seen with a suspected malignant melanoma, then wherever possible, we will remove it immediately at the clinic. If this is not possible, we will ask the patient to come back within a few days to have it removed.
Please note: Testing for food and drug allergies should be directed to the Barts Health Allergy Centre at St Bartholomew’s Hospital - not the dermatology clinic.