Please note that the Helpline will be closed from noon on 21 December to 8 January 2018.
Have you got a question about your skin? Ask a dermatology clinical nurse specialist; we offer direct, accessible and specialist guidance about skin conditions.
The ISF operates a telephone and e-mail Helpline service for people affected by all types of skin disease in Ireland. The ISF Helpline is open Monday to Friday, 10am – 4:30pm, to answer general e-mail or phone queries. The service is completely free. You can also call us on (01) 486-6280.
How does the ISF Helpline work?
If you need assistance, we can answer general phone and e-mail queries or, when necessary, offer an appointment and call-back from an ISF dermatology nurse. All ISF nurses are dermatology clinical nurse specialists working in hospitals in Ireland. We will ask you and take note of some basic questions to help us understand your query, 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 can inform, guide and answer queries about hundreds of skin conditions and diseases
- We offer support and education to people with skin disease and their families
- We direct callers to appropriate information and services
- The ISF Helpline 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 diseases
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 a 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 2017
We are very grateful to our sponsors for their support of our 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.