Many of us care about our appearance and partake in morning and evening routines to maintain a sense of smoothness and beauty. Dermatology has come a long way in helping people all over the world with their skincare routines and overcome any lingering skin conditions. The United Kingdom benefits hugely from the work of one of its premier consultant dermatologists, Dr Faheem Latheef, recognised as a worthy winner in this years’ Private Healthcare Awards 2020. We put his practice under the microscope to examine every bit of success he has achieved thus far.
Dermatology often encompasses far more than just skincare, stretching to conditions involving the hair and nails. Amongst some of the most common conditions are acne and eczema, but certain skin conditions can indicate more dangerous things, such as skin cancer. Checking these moles and removing them where necessary is important, not just from a standpoint of biological health, but also from a cosmetic viewpoint. People want to look and feel their best, and a skilled dermatologist is an invaluable tool in achieving that. However, not just any skilled dermatologist will do for those who want their skin to shine. Instead, they can enlist the services of Dr Faheem Latheef, one of Britain’s foremost consultant dermatologists, specialising in skin and contact allergy, having frequently referred patients with suspected allergy from GPs, dermatology colleagues, and other specialities.
Bringing with him a wealth of medical and dermatological insight, Dr Latheef currently serves as consultant dermatologist and allergy specialist at the Leeds Centre for Dermatology, at the Leeds Teaching Hospitals NHS Trust. He also holds weekly private clinics for children and adults alike, from two of the largest hospitals in the UK, the Nuffield and Spire Hospitals in Leeds, ensuring everyone can come to him for advice on all things dermatology.
Conditions that can affect the skin are numerous, with the total stretching well over two thousand recognised in dermatology alone. Whilst it can be quite a challenge to get the diagnosis right, and therefore the treatment plan, Dr Latheef’s expertise has rarely let him down. After five years at medical school, two of foundation training, two years of general medical training, and then a further four years of dermatology training, Dr Latheef’s all-encompassing knowledge of the field as a consultant is unparalleled. In that time, he has also completed a business degree (MBA), and a research degree (MD/PHD).
In every case and patient that he sees, Dr Latheef strives to achieve his mission of delivering personalised, friendly, authentic, and excellent care to everyone he meets. Living with a skin condition can be a horrible experience and have no small impact on quality of life and men tal health. Dr Latheef’s mission is to relieve that suffering. He has remained squarely focused on this goal since entering the specialty and maintains his long-term vision of helping more patients on a larger and more global scale by using technology and new models of working for maximum impact.
Armed with a wealth of medical and dermatological understanding, Dr Latheef also treats conditions such as psoriasis, lupus, other inflammatory skin conditions, general itching and urticaria, alopecia, melasma, infections, excessive sweating, and a myriad of rashes amongst other things. Despite having more than two thousand potential diagnoses to distinguish between, Dr Latheef’s ability to get it right and achieve successful management of a skin condition is a shining testament to his academic prowess throughout his time spent studying.
Effectively treating each of these individual skin conditions requires a unique tact and a keen sense of perception. Whilst various conditions can now be treated through a variety of creams and tablets, Dr Latheef’s skillset also includes the ability to administer treatments that include tablets, injections, liquid nitrogen, and ultraviolet light. Not just an exceptional dermatologist, Dr Latheef also fills the role of advisor, offering patients advice about lifestyle factors, such as their diet, that can impact on the condition of their skin.
On top of his wide-ranging skills in dermatology, Dr Latheef also specialises in skin or contact allergy, relating to a particular type of allergy where people typically present with dermatitis, itching, or scaling of the skin which can affect any part of the body. Whilst commonly being seen on the face and hands, it can also be observed in patients already diagnosed with eczema that is getting worse and not responding to treatment. This type of allergy relates more to things that go in contact with the skin, rather than foods or consumables. Given the increasing use of cosmetics and personal care products, this type of allergy has greatly expanded over time, requiring the specialist knowledge of Dr Latheef.
Dr Latheef’s allergy testing at Leeds is incredibly comprehensive, and his centre in Leeds is one of the few in the country that can test to such a level that patients travel from all over the country and further afield to be seen by the best. Called ‘patch testing’, Dr Latheef sees a patient three times a week. Firstly, on Monday to apply patches on the back which have allergens in them. Then, the patches are removed on Wednesday, before a final analysis on Friday for any delayed reactions. Any reaction shows up as a red patch of skin. With an increase in allergies to more things than ever, Dr Latheef’s service is vital for hospitals referring patients due for surgery, and dentists about to perform oral surgery.
There is never a dull week in dermatology; a fact to which Dr Latheef can well attest. As part of his work, he is privileged to meet people from all walks of life, whilst being privy to the visible improvements in their skin through treatments. As part of his mission to treat people, Dr Latheef goes beyond the physical. There is also a significant improvement in their quality of life, mental health, and confidence levels; a factor sometimes underestimated when dealing with skin diseases. That is accomplished through Dr Latheef’s desire to break down the doctor-patient barrier and treat his patients like close friends or family members.
Building a strong relationship with the patient can not only lead to a more detailed and in-depth history for better diagnosis, but it can also empower patients who might otherwise be embarrassed to seek help because of the severity of their skin condition. Giving patients their confidence back is one thing but understanding the need for these people to be seen as human and normal again is just as important. That is where Dr Latheef excels, helping people get back to their best, in more ways than one.
However, keen to expand his work, Dr Latheef has his sights set squarely on accomplishing his mission of ensuring everyone in the world has the skin they want. As recently as the end of 2019, he had been invited to be a visiting consultant at the Kings College Hospital in Dubai, where he has set up acomprehensive patch testing service that had been lacking in the UAE previously. Going forward he is also looking at using the latest artificial intelligence technology and apps, to promote a more holistic approach by optimising nutrition and lifestyle factors in order to serve more people.
Ultimately, everyone wants to look and feel their best. Taking care of one’s own skin is an important part of caring for your mental health, as well as your physical. Dr Latheef’s dermatological knowledge and humane compassion has seen him emerge as one of the foremost leaders in the field across the United Kingdom, but his global ambitions for better skincare will surely elevate him to new levels of deserved success.