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Waitematā DHB Dermatology Service

Public Service


Dermatology is a branch of medicine dealing with the skin and its diseases.  A doctor who specialises in this is called a dermatologist.
Visit the DermNet NZ website for information about skin diseases and treatment.


Referral Expectations

Each month the Department receives more new referrals than can be seen at clinic.

The dermatologists review the referral letters to determine who should be seen first, based on the information provided by the GP.

When you come to the Dermatology Outpatient Department you will be seen by a Dermatologist who will ask questions about your illness and examine your skin to try to determine or confirm the diagnosis. Further tests may be ordered. These include, but are not limited to, blood tests, skin biopsy or skin scraping. A biopsy is a minor procedure using local anaesthetics to remove a small piece of the skin for examination under a microscope in the laboratory. A skin scraping involves scratching some of the top layer of skin from the affected area. Sometimes these tests can all be done during one clinic visit, but for some conditions the diagnosis will take several follow-up appointments.

Occasionally some tests can be arranged even before you are seen at the clinic to try to speed up the process.

Once a diagnosis has been made, the medical staff will discuss treatment with you. 

Common Conditions

  • Hand, Foot and Mouth Disease

    This is a mild viral illness that mostly affects children. The symptoms are: sudden development of a high temperature; a sore throat and small blisters on the mouth, palms of hands and soles of feet.… More

  • Scabies

    Scabies is a very common skin infection that is caused by a mite that burrows under the top layer of skin and lays its eggs.  … More

  • Acne

    Acne is a skin disorder that is characterised by pimples, blackheads, whiteheads and, in bad cases, cysts (deeper lumps). … More

  • Fungal Skin Infections

    Bacteria and a number of types of fungi live on the surface of the skin.… More

  • Bacterial Skin Infections

    Our skin is our body’s first defence mechanism and even though many types of bacteria live on its surface, we still need a healthy, intact skin surface to maintain its defence.… More

  • Eczema

    There are several different types of eczema but all have a number of common symptoms, the main feature being red, inflamed, itchy skin. … More

  • Psoriasis

    Psoriasis is a common, recurring (keeps coming back) skin condition that is hard to treat.… More

  • Shingles

    Shingles is caused by a virus called herpes zoster, this is the same virus that causes chickenpox. After the virus has caused chicken pox it remains dormant (inactive) in the nerve cells, but can then be reactivated in later life to cause shingles. It is not known why the virus… More

  • Warts

    There are three main types of wart infections that occur on our body: common warts, plantar warts and venereal warts (genital warts).… More

  • Skin Cancer

    New Zealand has a very high rate of skin cancer, when compared to other countries.… More

Contact Details

Waitakere Hospital

West Auckland

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North Shore Hospital

North Auckland

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This page was last updated at 6:38PM on August 8, 2019. This information is reviewed and edited by Waitematā DHB Dermatology Service.