Cryotherapy treatment freezes and removes cancerous and non-cancerous skin lesions. A skin lesion is an area of skin that doesn’t look like the skin surrounding it and includes: actinic keratosis (area of sun-damaged skin), viral warts, seborrhoeic keratosis (cancer-looking areas of skin) and, Bowen’s disease (early and treatable skin cancer).
Here at New Hall Hospital we use the effective liquid nitrogen cryotherapy in an outpatient setting. Using a cryoprobe, cotton-tipped applicator or cryospray, liquid nitrogen is put on the affected area of skin for a few seconds. For some lesions, such as viral warts, more than one treatment may be required.
Excision of skin lesions (punch biopsy and curettage)
Some skin lesions will need to be removed using minor surgery. It may be that they could be cancerous or that they are causing you substantial problems.
New Hall Hospital offers you the choice of removing a harmless skin lesion for aesthetic reasons, a service unavailable on the NHS.
The excision of skin lesions can be performed in a number of ways depending upon the type of skin lesion you have and where it is on your body. The procedures we most often perform are a punch biopsy and curettage of skin lesions.
- Punch biopsy
A cylindrical section of your skin is removed using a special circular blade that punches a small hole in your skin. This skin sample is then sent to the laboratory for further testing.
- Curettage of a skin lesion
Your lesion is scooped away using a curette. Sometimes it’s performed using heat (cautery) or by freezing (cryopreservation). It’s mainly used for superficial epidermal skin lesions.
Steroid cream (topical corticosteroids)
Topical corticosteroids are an effective and frequently used treatment for skin conditions such as: psoriasis, eczema and dermatitis. These steroids contain the hormones called corticosteroids that can lessen inflammation and irritation.
There are many topical steroids that vary in their potency and formulation. They include creams, gels, lotions, mousses and ointments. Your dermatologist will advise you on their use and it’s important to follow this. Generally, they are applied only once or twice a day directly to the affected skin area for a limited period.
Acne treatment with Isotretinoin (Roaccutane)
Severe acne can be difficult to treat yet it can be painful and effect a person’s self-confidence and wellbeing.
Here at New Hall Hospital we prescribe Isotretinoin, also known as Roaccutane, an effective medication that can produce dramatic clearing of severe acne. It’s the only acne treatment that deals with all the causes of acne. It has anti-inflammatory properties, it dramatically reduces the size of the sebaceous glands and the amount of oil these glands can produce, it reduces acne (P. acnes) bacteria growth and it slows down the skins production of skin cells inside the pore helping prevent clogging of these pores.
Isotretinoin is a strong drug produced in pill format. It is prescribed by a specialist doctor or dermatologist who will give advice on its use. One course of treatment normally takes about four to five months.
Mycology – fungal toes/hands
Mycology is the study of human disease causing fungi. This is done by taking a tissue sample from a patient’s nail, skin and hair and culturing it (may take weeks) and then examining under a microscope. The sample can be obtained by a number of options: scraping scale from the edge of a rash, taking hair samples with the hair root, scraping skin from under the nail, a biopsy or using tape to remove skin.
Mycology can diagnose many infections including: athlete’s foot, nail infections, ringworm, intertrigo, thrush, pityriasis versicolor (scaly and discoloured skin) and tinea capitis (scalp hair loss).
By determining the fungal infection type the correct antifungal treatment can be prescribed. Antifungal treatment is often applied directly onto your skin or sometimes it’s administered as a pill.