Dermatology Procedures

What is Fine Wire Diathermy?
Fine wire diathermy is often used in the treatment of dilated blood vessels on the face and any fine vessels on the upper limbs or trunk. It also has a major role in the treatment of minor skin blemishes such as small skin tags, milia, syringomas, seborrhoeic warts and sunspots. It is also used effectively as part of epilation in the treatment for removal of unwanted hair.

The procedure
A small electric charge is passed down a hair-like needle into an unwanted spot. This causes the spot to shrivel and disappear in the following few days or weeks, depending on the body part treated and the amount of current used.

The healing process
After the procedure a scab forms after an initial sore. Usually this wound is inconsequential, however, if a large area has been treated, then the sore may be more significant and require a night-time topical antibiotic or antiseptic ointment for seven to ten days.

It is important to protect this treated area from the sun whilst the area is healing, as it may preferentially tan. Therefore sunscreen is recommended and makeup is usually permissible after the procedure.

Scarring and other side effects are very unusual.

Liquid nitrogen is commonly used to remove lesions, especially sunspots and seborrhoeic keratosis, and to treat brown age spots on the backs of hands and faces.

Once nitrogen is made into a liquid, it has an incredibly low temperature of close to -200ºC that can be selectively applied to the skin to burn the top layer. If correctly applied this treatment can successfully treat large surface spots without scarring.

The procedure
The liquid nitrogen is either applied with a swab or is sprayed on. The application of liquid nitrogen can cause some discomfort, however, it is temporary.

The healing process
The frozen area forms a thick blister that may break or remain intact and slowly evolve into a scab. This scab sheds in a week on the face or longer if applied elsewhere or for a lengthier time.

There is a minimal risk of hypopigmentation to the area. After the healing time, the treated area is often temporarily red then white and finally, in most cases, returns to your normal skin colour.

Extremely simple but very effective techniques, skin shaving is an effective technique for skin lesions such as acrochordans, seborrhoeic warts, while snipping is an effective technique for moles and skin tags.

The procedure
Skin shaving is a technique in which the skin is inflated a little with local anaesthetic and the very sharp razor bowed so that it takes off the spot with a minimum surround of normal skin. This technique is particularly effective on the concave areas of the face such as the temples, around the nose, eyes and ears.

Snipping is done with extremely sharp, specially designed scissors, often without local anaesthetic, as the snip is so swift that it is not felt.

Using a curette to remove tissue by scraping or scooping is very versatile technique for both cancerous and non-cancerous conditions. Curettage can be used to remove acne cysts, lipoma and seborrhoeic warts.