Dermatology in practice - 2012

Comment: Getting it together
Neill Hepburn
pp 3-3
Last week I was invited to one of the practices in rural Lincolnshire to do a joint clinic with the GPs there. The idea was to see patients with psoriasis together. I was to share my expertise and help the GPs manage their patients better in primary care. I also hoped to understand more about the problems of providing care in a community setting. Of course, it did not quite go to plan – although the ‘learning outcomes’ were probably achieved.
How to run a liquid nitrogen clinic
Iain Henderson
pp 4-8
My first response to being asked to write an article on ‘How to run a liquid nitrogen clinic’ was: ‘That’s a cool subject’. This is because liquid nitrogen has a boiling point of -196oC. Cryotherapy comes from the Greek ‘cryo’ meaning cold and ‘therapy’ meaning cure. It is defined as the deliberate destruction of unwanted, abnormal or diseased tissue by local freezing in a controlled manner.
Quality of life scoring in dermatology
Francesca Sampogna
pp 9-12
Many dermatological conditions have a strong impact on the patient’s quality of life (QoL). It is well known that chronic dermatological diseases, such as psoriasis or vitiligo, even though they are not life-threatening, may greatly impair the QoL of patients. Nowadays, the measure of QoL is considered essential for a complete evaluation of the status of a dermatological patient, and it has a great value in evaluating outcomes in clinical trials and interventions.
Urea creams in skin conditions: composition and outcomes
David Voegeli
pp 13-16
Urea was the first organic compound to be synthesised in a laboratory from inorganic materials, and urea preparations were used in the late 19th and early 20th century for the topical treatment of infections. Interest in urea as a topical agent to treat dry skin disorders developed over 50 years ago, following the discovery that urea played an important role in moisture regulation, and was a key constituent of natural moisturising factor.
Monk's moment: Rhubarb, rhubarb
Barry Monk
pp 17-17
I would like to suggest to any of my loyal readers who may be reading this article while eating their breakfast that perhaps they should put it aside until they have finished. Thanks to my lovely, and long-suffering, wife, I have a portion of stewed rhubarb with my breakfast each morning. Apart from being quite delicious (and all the more so when it is homegrown) it keeps my digestive system in remarkably regular order.
The internet and dermatology: a personal viewpoint
John Ashworth
pp 18-20
The internet is indiscriminate; doctors and patients alike can benefit from it. Traditionally, we, as doctors, have always been much better informed than our patients about their disorders, and a well-informed patient can be perceived as quite a threat. An ill-informed patient can be even more disturbing. Not long ago, it was only Aran sweater-wearing, Guardian-reading, university lecturers who, when presenting as well-read patients, were able to give us skin experts the ‘heebie-jeebies’.
Look at Me: integrated care for people with skin conditions
Look at Me
pp 22-22
Changing Faces is a UK-wide charity for people and their families whose lives are affected by conditions (including skin conditions), marks or scars that alter their appearance. Over the past 20 years, Changing Faces has worked with politicians, policy-makers, healthcare and social care professionals and commissioners, at all levels, encouraging the integration of psychosocial care into hospital and clinical settings. We advocate the development of healthcare that comprehensively and routinely addresses patients' physical and psychosocial needs as part of the patient care pathway. Our Look at Me campaign is aimed at achieving this in dermatology.