About Our Helpline
The ISF operates a telephone and e-mail Helpline service which provides direct, accessible and specialist guidance for people affected by all types of skin conditions in Ireland. The ISF Helpline is open Monday to Friday, 10am – 4:30pm, to call on (01) 486-6280. The service is completely free. You submit a question to an ISF dermatology clinical nurse specialist anytime by clicking the button below.
How does the ISF Helpline work?
If you need assistance, we answer general phone and e-mail queries during opening hours and where necessary, arrange a call-back appointment from an ISF nurse.
All ISF nurses are dermatology clinical nurse specialists working in hospitals in Ireland. In order to assist with your query, we will ask you some basic questions to help us understand your situation, such as whether you have a diagnosis from a GP or have seen a dermatologist. If you have a diagnosis in advance, we will be in a better position to assist you.
How can the ISF Helpline help me?
- We inform, guide and answer queries about hundreds of skin conditions and diseases
- We offer support and education to people with skin disease and their loved ones
- We direct callers to appropriate information and services
- We cannot diagnose or recommend specific treatments
“I have psoriasis, I got very helpful and practical advice from the ISF and it was great to speak to a dermatology nurse who really understood where I was coming from” – Seán (33).
“I’ve been living with HS for over twenty years, I didn’t know there was help or how to get in touch with other people in the same situation. I spent nearly an hour speaking to a nurse about my condition, it’s an incredible service and the ISF booklet really helped me speak with my GP” – Corena (38).
“My daughter has very bad eczema, she can’t sleep and I needed advice about how to use emollients properly. The ISF Helpline gave me excellent advice and tips” – Jane (Mother of 2-year-old).
“I suffer with rosacea and needed advice about a special sunscreen that suits my skin. The ISF had several helpful suggestions” – Susan (50).
The impact of skin conditions
At least one third of the population is affected by a skin condition¹ and between 15-20% of GP consultations specifically relate to the skin². This represents between 3.5 and 4.7 million GP consultations in Ireland each year ³. Waiting times for hospital dermatology appointments can be quite long; perhaps as much as a year. Skin diseases can be very distressing and cause over 180 deaths each year in Ireland, including 113 deaths due to malignant melanoma⁴. Conditions like psoriasis, eczema, acne, rosacea and hidradenitis suppurativa (HS) significantly impair quality of life, often to an extent that is as great as some life-threatening conditions such as cancer⁵.
Helpline Sponsors 2019
We are very grateful to our sponsors for their support of the ISF Helpline.
1: Hay et al, The Global Burden of Skin Disease in 2010: An Analysis of the Prevalence and Impact of Skin Conditions, Society for Investigative Dermatology, (2014) 134, 1527-1534.
2: Reported by the Primary Care Dermatology Society of Ireland (2015).
3: The Irish Medical Organisation estimates that there are 25 million GP consultations each year, www.imo.ie and the National Association of General Practitioners (NAGP) estimates that in 2014 23,308,910 GP consultations (comprising GMS patients and private patients) were held in Ireland (NAGP: Pre-Budget Submission 2016).
4: In Ireland between 2003-10 an average of 181 people died each year as a result of diseases of the skin and subcutaneous tissue (68) and melanoma (113); figures from the OECD.
5: Skin Conditions in the UK: a Health Care Needs Assessment, NHS, 2009.