Tests and Treatments Available

Patch testing

Patch testing can help us to find out whether your skin condition is caused or worsened by an allergy to a substance that comes into contact with your skin. It is not possible to test for food allergies using this technique. Further details about patch testing are found here.

Photodynamic Therapy (PDT)

Photodynamic therapy is a simple, non-invasive treatment that uses a light sensitising cream to destroy abnormal cells. The cream and light source we use work together to target the abnormal cells, while leaving the healthy skin unaffected. Certain conditions including Bowen’s disease and superficial forms of basal cell carcinoma can be treated with PDT. Further details about PDT are found here.

Application of light sensitising cream (click to enlarge)

Exposure of cream to light (click to enlarge)








Cryotherapy and Surgery

Cryotherapy is a treatment using liquid nitrogen at a very low temperature. The liquid nitrogen is sprayed onto the lesion and can freeze and therefore destroy a variety of skin conditions including actinic keratoses, Bowen’s disease and superficial forms of skin cancer.

Cryotherapy using liquid nitrogen in a spray gun (click to enlarge)

We also have a number of skin surgery lists that run each week, some of which are undertaken by our specialist dermatology nurses.

Nurse-led skin surgery (click to enlarge)

 Paediatric dermatology

We run a specialised clinic for children with skin disease. This is at present held on a Thursday morning every fortnight. The most common condition we see in this clinic is eczema but a variety of other skin problems can be diagnosed and managed in this clinic. Please note that we do not run any allergy clinics except for the patch testing service. If a food allergy is identified or needs to be excluded, and a further assessment is needed, your child will be referred to the paediatric department at Blackpool Victoria Hospital.

Treatment of child with eczema with dressings (click to enlarge)

Systemic monitoring clinic

If your skin condition is not controlled with either creams or light therapy, you may decide, with your dermatologist, to try a tablet treatment for your skin. The main tablet treatments (systemic therapies) available at Clifton Hospital are Methotrexate, Ciclosporin, Mycophenolate Mofetil, Acitretin, Azathioprine and Fumaric acid esters. Because these tablets need careful review, and regular blood tests, we can provide these services at our nurse-led systemic monitoring service at Clifton Hospital. In addition, in conjunction with our dermatology doctors, our specialist nurses also run a biological therapy service for patients with severe psoriasis, eczema and hidradenitis suppurativa.


There are different types of light therapy for the treatment of certain skin conditions including psoriasis, eczema and vitiligo. These include TL01 narrow band ultraviolet B phototherapy and PUVA (Psoralen plus UVA).

PUVA treatment for hands and feet (click to enlarge)

Phototherapy booth (closed) (click to enlarge)

Phototherapy booth (open) (click to enlarge)











Idrionics (Iontophoresis) service

Iontophoresis to treat sweating of the hands or feet (click to enlarge)

Treatment of patients with excess sweating is undertaken through our monthly specialist clinic.  The idrionics (iontophoresis) treatments start with a three times a week schedule (Tuesday, Wednesday and Friday), reducing after this time to twice a week (Tuesday and Friday) and then once weekly (Friday).

Teledermatology of skin lesions

Teledermatology is the use of a special high quality camera to take photographs of skin lesions. After referral by the GP, the patient attends an appointment with a medical photographer who will photograph the skin lesion.

Teledermatology – taking a high resolution image of the lesion (click to enlarge)

The photographs are transferred electronically through a secure IT network and reviewed by a dermatologist. The doctor can then usually decide if the patient needs to be seen at a clinic at Clifton Hospital, for further assessment. This could involve a face to face consultation or a biopsy to help with the diagnosis. Alternatively, the patient might be able to be reassured and discharged back to their referring GP. The main benefit of this teledermatology service is a reduction in the time waited by patients to have their skin lesion assessed and managed by a dermatologist.​