Boots UK is trialling a new, private Skin Scanning Service in 50 stores nationwide. This is the first of its kind available nationally from a high street pharmacy chain, to help customers gain a better understanding of, and solution to, their skin condition.
The new private service at Boots can help customers with a skin condition seeking further advice and dermatological care, giving them the option to have a ScreenCancer Consultant Dermatologist review the skin condition, provide advice and recommend further treatment options, including prescription medication if appropriate.
The Skin Scanning Service works in two steps:
- Private consultation with a Boots Pharmacist: This involves a discussion with the pharmacist about the skin condition.The pharmacist will ask some questions about their skin, medical history and any previous treatments they may have tried, to give the ScreenCancer consultant dermatologist the information they need for the analysis and medical assessment. Once the customer has specified the area of skin to be scanned the Boots pharmacist will scan the area(s) of skin by placing a dermatoscopic imaging device over the skin to take the image. The consultation takes around 30 minutes, and the pharmacist then sends the images and information electronically and securely for review by the Consultant Dermatologist at Screen Cancer.
- Scan analysis, advice and treatment (if appropriate): A ScreenCancer Consultant Dermatologist analyses the images in conjunction with the questionnaire responses the customer provides and will send a report direct to the customer within two working days. This can include a diagnosis, advice, suitable over-the-counter product recommendations and, if appropriate, a private prescription which can then be dispensed and collected at the Boots pharmacy at which the consultation took place.
Asif Aziz, Director of Pharmacy Services, Boots UK, said: “We’re continually developing our pharmacy services offer in the UK and, after a successful roll out of the mole scanning service, we are trialling a Skin Scanning service for customers.
“The service can provide customers with a diagnosis and self-management advice and education on various skin conditions including acne, eczema, rosacea and psoriasis. It is also a fantastic example of how community pharmacists can use their clinical skills to support patients’ health in locations and at times that are convenient to them.
“The service is another example of how we are offering end to end skincare – from clinical consultations to tailored advice on the right cosmetic products for our customers.”
Dr Kurt Ayerst, Consultant Dermatologist FRCP and Medical Director, ScreenCancer, said: “The aim of the ScreenCancer skin scanning service is to provide the convenience of patient-initiated assessment of skin concerns with rapid access to an opinion from a GMC specialist list registered consultant dermatologist for advice.
“There is a global drive to deliver high-quality, patient-orientated healthcare in novel ways, and technological advancements in our field have allowed this to progress. The combination of advanced equipment accessible within Boots pharmacies and utilising dermatologists with years of experience gained while undertaking busy NHS clinics provides a high level of service for the customer.”
The Skin Scanning Service is operated by ScreenCancer and costs £65 per consultation. One skin concern may be assessed per consultation.
The service uses a ScreenCancer dermatoscope, which magnifies and illuminates the area of skin to be assessed. The Consultant Dermatologist from Screen Cancer will use the images taken with the dermatoscope, as well as the information obtained by a Boots Pharmacist during the consultation with the customer, to assess the skin condition presented. This can all be done remotely due to the dermatoscope and associated software provided by ScreenCancer.
The Boots Pharmacists receive training on how to use the dermatoscope effectively and each person who completes the training gains competence in capturing high quality images through practise testing and feedback from an expert dermatology nurse at ScreenCancer. The training also includes additional clinical training about the different types of common skin conditions and appropriate advice.