The Irish Skin Foundation (ISF) is a national charity dedicated to improving quality of life for people living with skin conditions. We promote skin health and the prevention of skin disease by offering support, independent information, engaging in advocacy, and raising awareness.
The ISF was formed in 2011 when people living with psoriasis and atopic eczema, skin-cancer prevention advocates, dermatology healthcare professionals, carers, family, and others affected by skin disease, agreed to join forces to improve quality of life for people living with skin conditions in Ireland. We strive to reflect this diversity on our board of charity trustees.
Since that time, the ISF’s work has been made possible by the philanthropic support of the City of Dublin Skin and Cancer Hospital Charity, our Foundation Partners, and project specific donations from advocates and supporters.
Following our public launch in 2013 we moved operations to UCD’s Charles Institute of Dermatology, where we are based today.
Our work today
We operate a free Ask-a-Nurse Helpline providing direct, accessible and specialist guidance about skin conditions on an appointment model. Throughout the year we run events, including public information meetings and community outreach.
There are many forms of skin disease, which include inflammatory conditions such as eczema, psoriasis, and hidradenitis suppurativa (HS); skin cancers, including melanoma, basal and squamous cell carcinomas; autoimmune conditions such as lupus and vitiligo; and hereditary diseases such as ichthyosis.
The impact of skin diseases on quality of life can be far-reaching and profound. Many conditions are chronic in nature with treatment focusing on reducing and controlling symptoms. Rashes, flare-ups, and lesions are often very visible to others. People living with a skin condition not only have to cope with how it affects them personally but also with the reaction of those around them.
In recent years, we have created a trusted suite of independent information on the most common skin conditions for nationwide distribution to GPs and hospitals, hosted meetings for different patient communities around the country, and have led awareness campaigns.
We also contribute and collaborate on research projects, advocate for better public services and access to new therapies, hosts education days and events to broaden access to first-line dermatology education, and many other health promotion activities in communities and hospitals.
ISF Vision, Mission, and Values
Many skin conditions are chronic and recurring in nature, often highly visible, and some people may carry the heavy burden of management along with negative past experiences of distress and stigmatisation. Recognising the reality of people’s different lived experiences, while emphasising hope for the future, we have set our Vision, Values and Mission accordingly.
Our Vision is for everyone in Ireland to lead healthy, productive lives, as unburdened as possible by skin conditions.
Our Mission is to promote skin health and the prevention of skin disease by providing support, independent information, by engaging in advocacy, and raising awareness.
The Values that guide our work and culture are compassion, care, integrity, accessibility, respect, and empowerment.
Charity Regulatory Authority number 20078706
Kenneth McKenzie is an advertising strategist. He obtained his BA in psychology from Trinity College Dublin (TCD) and his PhD from the School of Law & Government, Dublin City University (DCU). Ken has worked as a social psychologist across a range of research projects in University College Dublin (UCD) and TCD. He has worked with organisations across the profit, not-for-profit and state sectors in areas of behaviour change, brand strategy, consumer behaviour, and programme development & evaluation. Ken has held an adjunct teaching fellowship in the School of Psychology, TCD and has been a Visiting Professor in Burgundy School of Business. Ken was elected Chairperson of the ISF in 2022.
Appointed CEO in 2017, David’s background includes health advisory, government relations, and public affairs, having worked in Diabetes Ireland, the Department of Health, and in Dáil Éireann. David has been a member of the board of Global Skin (the International Association of Dermatology Patient Organisations /IADPO) since 2015, chairperson of Irish Platform for Patient Organisations, Science and Industry (IPPOSI) since 2021, and holds a BA in history and politics from the University of Limerick (UL), an MA in history from UCD, and an MSc in business leadership & management practice from UCD Smurfit Business School.
Professor Anne-Marie Tobin is a consultant dermatologist at Tallaght Hospital, Dublin and a Clinical Senior Lecturer in TCD. Dr Tobin is dual qualified in Pharmacy and Medicine from TCD and holds a PhD in Translational Medicine from University UCD.
Her clinical interests are inflammatory skin disease: psoriasis, HS, eczema and skin cancer. Her research interests are in innate immunology in inflammatory skin disease and clinical trials. Anne-Marie joined the board in 2017 and was elected Vice-Chairperosn in 2022.
Kathryn Lambe, PhD is a graduate of the School of Psychology, TCD, and is a Research Officer with the Health Research Board Evidence Centre. Her expertise is in patient safety, human factors, health systems research, and evidence synthesis. Kathryn joined the Board in 2023.
Sara Eslami is a director at RED C Research & Marketing. She holds a BA in Food Science and a MA in Public Health from UCD. Sara has been working in the research industry since 2013, including roles in both academia and research agencies. She focuses on understanding consumer needs, attitudes, challenges and behaviours. Throughout her career, Sara has worked on a vast array of products and services, across a variety of industries, utilising her background in academia to bring richness and depth to her market research.
Paul Herriott is best known as a broadcaster on RTE Lyric FM for programmes. Paul has been a long term sufferer of Atopic Eczema. Over the years, and like many patients who suffer at the more extreme end of the spectrum, Paul has become vocal and began advocating with the ISF and Global Skin in 2017, speaking as both a patient and MC at two Eczema Awareness Days, and more recently as part of a panel at the very successful ‘Skin Side Out’ event at Trinity, Dublin in 2019. Paul joined the board in June 2019.
Steven McGovern is a Chartered Accountant (ACA) & Auditor. He obtained his BA in Accounting from Technological University Dublin (TUD). Steven has worked as an accountant in multinationals, after training in an audit practice. He currently works for Adobe managing a team in Adobes Shared Services Centre in Dublin. During his time training in Audit, Steven worked on a variety of SMES and large indigenous Irish companies. Stevens current focus is managing multiple entities within the global Adobe framework of companies.
Dr Catherine Wilkinson graduated from NUI Galway in 2005. During her 2 year BST in General Internal Medicine, she worked as a Dermatology SHO for 6 months at University College Hospital Galway (UCHG). Following completion of her MRCPI examinations, she commenced the Ballinalsoe Specialist Training Scheme in General Practice. During this time period, she completed a Diploma in Dermatology and subsequently a Certificate in Dermoscopy through Cardiff University. Since 2013, Dr Wilkinson si also a part-time GP Clinical Assistant in Dermatology ,at Tallaght Hospital. Since 2015, she has been based as a GP between Tallaght Cross and Jobstown.
Sheila works in the University Hospital Limerick as an advanced nurse practitioner in Dermatology. She has 25 years experience in dermatology practice in both the UK and Ireland. She has acted as dermatology nurse advisor to the National Clinical and National Skin Cancer Control Programmes. She has held senior executive roles in the Irish Dermatology Nurse’s Association and the British Dermatology Nursing Group (BDNG). Currently she is Treasurer of the Irish Dermatology Nurses Association and Secretary of the International Skin Care Nursing Group. She is winner of the 2017 BDNG’s Stone Award for her contribution to Dermatology Nursing. She has published articles on Psoriasis, Acne, Emollients, Cryotherapy and Toxic Epidermal Necrolysis.
Dr Asad Salim is a consultant dermatologist at Tallaght University Hospital since 2016. He currently leads the dermatology fellowship programme in Ireland run by the Royal College of Physicians of Ireland. Prior to that he was a consultant dermatologist in the UK. He has served as a member of the Therapy & Guidelines Sub-committee of the British Association of Dermatologists.
Consultant dermatologist and Moh’s Micrographic Surgeon Dr Rupert Barry is based in St. James’ Hospital, Dublin.
Dr Rosemarie Watson MD, FRCPI (retired), is a graduate of UCD. She trained in dermatology at the Johns Hopkins Medical Institution Baltimore USA where she was subsequently promoted to Associate Professor of Dermatology. She was appointed consultant in dermatology in Ireland in 1992 to Our Lady’s Children’s Hospital Crumlin (OLCHC) and St James’s Hospital Dublin. She is a past President of the Irish Association of Dermatology and is Director of the National Epidermolysis Bullosa Service for children at OLCHC. Her other special interest areas are connective tissue disease, and vascular tumours and malformations
Accounts and Financial Statements
The ISF is fully committed to openness, transparency and the highest standards of good governance in fundraising and financial reporting. Below you will find our accounts / financial statements for the past three years.
Our accounts are independently audited and prepared according to the Statement of Recommended Practice for Charities (SORP), which is recognised as best practice by the Financial Reporting Council (FRC).