All about the role of a dermatologist

Written by: Dr Derrick Phillips
Edited by: Conor Lynch

In one of our latest articles here below, we take a slightly different approach, as we ask extremely well-regarded and skilled consultant dermatologist, Dr Derrick Phillips, all about the role of a dermatologist.

What does a dermatologist do, how do you become one, and what does it allow you to do? 

A dermatologist is a medical doctor that specialises in diagnosing and treating skin problems ranging from rashes, like eczema, psoriasis, or rosacea, to skin growths and skin cancers. Dermatologists have a range of tools at their disposal including creams, tablet medications, light therapy, and skin surgery.


To become a dermatologist, you must complete four years of general medical training after leaving medical school, followed by a further four years of specialist training and three exams. 


What do you see as the link between skin and mental health?

The skin is the biggest organ in the body and problems affecting the skin can have a negative impact on one’s self-perception, confidence, and can lead to anxiety and other mental health issues.


What advice would you give to someone who is struggling with their mental health due to a skin condition?

I would advise people who are struggling to speak to your GP or dermatologist and let them know exactly in what ways your skin condition is affecting you.


What can someone whose wellbeing is negatively impacted by their skin, expect from an appointment with you? 

A safe space to discuss all their concerns, skin, and beyond. I will ensure to discuss the patient’s skin concern at length, diagnose the problem, and work together to create a bespoke treatment plan. I will signpost online resources, support groups, and where appropriate, consider referral to a clinical psychologist trained in helping patients with skin concerns.  


To schedule an appointment today with Dr Derrick Phillips, simply head on over to his Top Doctors profile to do just that.

By Dr Derrick Phillips

Dr Derrick Phillips is an esteemed consultant dermatologist practising in London. Dr Phillips specialises in the treatment of skin problems, such as acne, psoriasis, rosacea, and acne scarring. He is also an expert in skin cancer and cosmetic dermatology and has a keen interest in anti-aging treatments.  

Dr Phillips graduated from University College London Medical School in 2011 with an intercalated BSc degree. He earned a double merit in Medical Physics and was awarded a first-class honour in Bioengineering. He undertook general medical training in London, during which he discovered his interest in dermatology, and won the prestigious dermatology registrar prize from the St John’s Institute of Dermatology in 2012. Dr Phillips trained further in general medicine for a year in New South Wales, Australia, before beginning specialised dermatology training in Liverpool.  

Since 2021, Dr Phillips has been treating patients privately as a consultant dermatologist at OneWelbeck and St Mary's Hospital, where he is also a clinical lead for psoriasis, in addition to practising for his NHS base, Imperial College Healthcare NHS Trust. 

Alongside his impressive clinical work, Dr Phillips holds many distinguished positions. He is involved in research and in addition to having numerous papers published in the Journal of American Academy of Dermatologists, British Journal of Dermatology, and British Journal of Hospital Medicine, he is also a principle investigator for the Spironolactone for Adult Female Acne (SAFA) study, a nationwide clinical trial for the treatment of hormonal acne. He is the undergraduate lead for medical students at St Mary's Hospital and is an honourary clinical teacher at Imperial College London. As a spokesperson for the British Skin Foundation, Dr Phillips has also contributed to national media outlets, such as The Guardian, The Sun, and The Daily Mail.  

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