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Dermatology

dermatology patient

Our dermatology service provides care for a population of approximately 900,000 people spanning County Durham and Darlington and South of Tyne.

We work on a 'hub and spoke' model with the main 'hub' being the Outpatient Department of Dermatology at University Hospital of North Durham. We also provide beds at University Hospital of North Durham.for patients with severe dermatological conditions requiring hospital admission.

Our peripheral services are located at Barnard Castle, Bishop Auckland, Darlington, Shotley Bridge and the Sunderland Royal Hospital.

Our dedicated team consists of experienced Consultant Dermatologists, supported by Senior Associate Specialists in Dermatology, Specialty Doctors in Dermatology, GPs with a Special Interest in Dermatology and a team of highly skilled nurses. We are one of three recognised training departments in the North East for Dermatology Specialist Registrars seeking to become Consultant Dermatologists. 

We provide diagnosis, investigations and treatments for a wide range of dermatological conditions.

These include:

  • Skin cancers and pre-cancerous skin conditions
  • Eczema, psoriasis and acne
  • Contact allergies and occupational skin diseases
  • Common skin diseases in childhood
  • Vulval skin conditions
  • Rare and complex conditions related to other medical diseases.

Treatments provided include:

  • Dermatological surgery for skin cancer with 'one-stop' weekly Rapid Access Clinics for suspected skin cancers
  • Cryotherapy - treating pre-cancerous lesions with liquid nitrogen
  • Phototherapy - using Ultra-Violet light for a range of skin conditions including psoriasis and eczema
  • Oral PUVA, bath PUVA (the only service in the North East that offers this), hand and foot PUVA and NBUVB therapy
  • Dermajet treatment for alopecia areata
  • Diphencyperone treatment for alopecia areata (the only service in the North East that offers this)
  • Supervised outpatient topical treatments (i.e. day-care therapy); such as short-contact dithranol and topical steroid body-suits
  • Cosmetic camouflage clinics
  • Nurse-led paediatric dermatology clinics, alongside the Consultant
  • Community-based iontophoresis for hyperhidrosis
  • Community-based photodynamic therapy for some pre-cancerous lesions
  • Consultant-led paediatric dermatology clinics

Joint clinics are held with other specialties for complex medical problems involving the skin (e.g. Genito-Urinary Medicine).

The department has been involved in several collaborative multi-centre national research projects as well as own 'home-grown' research funded by the British Skin Foundation. The studies include observational, genetic and clinical trial 'interventional' studies in the fields of psoriasis, melanoma, eczema, acne, phototherapy, adverse drug reactions, cellulitis, blistering diseases, pyoderma gangrenosum and many more.

The department's successful management of psoriasis was highlighted on BBC Look North in 2010 by a satisfied patient. 

'In recent times, I have utilised admissions to Richardson for respite direct from my fracture clinic, even at weekends. I have never worked anywhere with this efficiency before - it is reassuring and invaluable for the patient.'

Patient, Lowson / Starling Wards, Richardson Hospital