As the restrictions imposed by the COVID lockdown end, we can all look forward to enjoying the warmer weather in our beautiful part of the world. Soaking up the summer sun does come with its own risks to our skin and we spoke to a specialist clinical service based in Plymouth and Barnstaple for their view and on what they can offer our local residents.
Lee Grant is the Clinical Services Manager at Sentinel Private Healthcare and he answered our questions.
So the summer months do bring their own risks to people’s skin?
Yes absolutely, it’s in the summer months that we wear fewer clothes which would normally protect us from the potentially harmful UV rays. It’s important that any lesion on the skin that is new, has changed shape or size or just doesn’t look right is checked as soon as possible to rule out anything untoward.
How can Sentinel help?
We offer a photo assessment by one of our doctors or a face to face Lump and Bump check in our clinics in Plymouth and Barnstaple.
How much does that cost?
It’s a free service that we offer for photo assessments. The Lump and Bump check is just £35 and also guarantees a 10% discount if you book any procedures.
What sort of lesions do you treat?
The most common treatments are mole, keratosis, lipoma and cyst removals as well as skin tags and warts. We only provide treatment for benign (harmless) lesions and if we spot anything suspicious then we will direct patients to their GP for an NHS referral.
Can you tell us more about the removal process – is it painful?
Each procedure uses a slightly different technique. For example, warts and skins tags are usually frozen off whilst moles may be shaved whereby layers are carefully and gently removed back to skin level. You will be awake and the procedures need a small amount of local anaesthetic which is the only, and brief, discomfort that patients will be aware of.
Do I need a GP referral?
Not at all; patients can self-refer by emailing or calling us. If you have a procedure with us then we will let your GP know
Can I not have treatment on the NHS?
A lesion that is not a clinical risk is classed as cosmetic and will not usually be treated under the NHS. But we know that people still want the lesions removed for a whole range of reasons.
Are the procedures expensive?
Not compared to other providers! Up to 20 skin tags removed is £199 and a keratosis removal is typically £410 with the discount. Most of our prices are 50% less than other providers.
How quickly can I be seen?
We can usually offer an appointment within 2 weeks.
How do you know that a lesion isn’t a possible problem?
We send all moles, cysts and lipomas to the local hospital lab to be checked.
Is the service regulated?
Yes, we are audited and inspected by the Care Quality Commission (CQC).
How do I make contact with Sentinel?
You can call the dedicated number 0333 332 2105 or email us at: firstname.lastname@example.org
That is also the address to send the photos to.