Specialist diagnosis & treatment


Access expert treatment for conditions affecting the skin, hair and nails at Frontier Dermatology.

·      Skin checks for moles and skin cancer
·      Eczema (dermatitis)
·      Psoriasis
·      Acne
·      Rosacea
·      Hyperhidrosis (excessive sweating)
·      Skin infections
·      Pigmentation disorders
·      Alopecia (hair loss)
‍·      Rashes of all types

·      Vitiligo
·      Hyperpigmentation including melasma
·      Autoimmune skin conditions
·      Nail disorders
·      Allergic skin conditions
·      Birthmarks and other paediatric skin conditions
·      Pregnancy-related skin conditions
·      Female and male genital skin conditions
·      Genetic skin conditions
·      Cutaneous (skin) medication reactions


Skin cancers are extremely common in the Australian population. Your specialist is highly trained to identify and manage all skin cancers, either with surgical or non -surgical techniques, including but not limited to:

·      Actinic keratosis
·      Basal cell carcinoma (BCC)
·      Squamous cell carcinoma (SCC)
·      Melanoma
·      Merkel cell carcinoma
·      A range of other rarer benign and malignant skin tumours

Surgical procedures

Punch Biopsy
A small circle of skin is removed and closed with a stitch (suture).

Incisional biopsy
When a large lesion requires diagnosis, sometimes a larger elliptical biopsy is taken requiring more than one stitch.

Excision (or excisional biopsy)
The entire lesion is removed and the wound closed with stitches.

A skin flap involves moving healthy nearby skin to close a surgical wound with stiches. It is more complex than a simple closure and is only performed when necessary to optimise healing.

Some surgical wounds are too large to be sutured closed, and therefore a graft of skin from another body site, is used to close the wound. There are two wounds to heal – the graft site and the donor skin site.

Shave excision
A shallow lesion is removed using a blade and does not require stitches. The wound heals like a graze over 2-6 weeks depending on the body site.

Curettage and cautery (C&C)
A technique used to scrape away and remove the lesion. Stitches are not required. The wound heals like a graze over 2-6 weeks depending on the body site.

Incision and drainage
Cysts and abscesses sometimes require release of their contents such as pus for pain relief and infection control. A blade is used to make a small slit in the surface of the lesion to allow the contents to be removed.

Nail Biopsy
Some nail conditions require removal of the nail itself (the nail plate), or removing a small window in the nail, to visualise and biopsy an underlying lesion or nail condition.

Intralesional injection
Some conditions can be treated by direct delivery of a medication injected into the lesion.


Dermatologists at Frontier treat children of all ages. This includes treatment of eczema (atopic dermatitis), psoriasis, acne, birthmarks, rashes, alopecia (hair loss) and genetic skin conditions.
Dr Alicia Thornton has a special interest in paediatric dermatology, and conducts fortnightly paediatric dermatology clinics at John Hunter Children’s Hospital.

Allergy (patch) testing

Patch testing is a type of investigation to identify products responsible for causing allergic contact dermatitis.

Patch testing involves multiple chambers being taped to your back. The chambers and tape are removed after 48 hours by our nurses in the practice, and you are reviewed to assess for any sign of allergic contact dermatitis.  A second assessment takes place after a further 24-48 hours.  A total of three visits is required to complete the assessment.


Phototherapy is a type of ultraviolet light treatment used by dermatologists to treat a range of skin conditions disorders.

Phototherapy alters the activity of the immune system in the skin, and can be used to treat psoriasis, eczema, vitiligo and other inflammatory conditions.

Patients are required to stand for a short period in a chamber filled with panels of ultraviolet light. The treatment is delivered in a private room and the affected body site will be exposed to the light.
Eye googles will be provided for eye protection. Each treatment course involves multiple sessions, usually 3 per week for a period of 6-10 weeks, and the amount of ultraviolet light is carefully monitored by your dermatologist. Clinical review is usually required at the end of a course of treatment.

Phototherapy treatment is covered by Medicare.