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Leading Skin Experts Back Free new CPD - 'Scratching The Surface' - to Upskill Primary Care Practitioners in Dermatology

PRINCES RISBOROUGH, England, November 26, 2012 /PRNewswire/ --

New online resource launched today for sun induced skin lesions management

With up to 25% of consultations in Primary Care being skin related, dermatology represents a large part of the working life of most healthcare professionals.[1] To help keep skills fresh and provide educational support where needed, skin experts have partnered with LEO Pharma, a leading specialist dermatology company to develop a new online CPD resource, 'Scratching the Surface' (STS). Launched today, with a focus on sun induced skin lesions, the resource is provides tailored Continuing Professional Development for GPs; pharmacists and nurses linked to their respective national colleges.

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Highlighting the need for initiatives such as STS that provide education in dermatology, Charlotte Fionda, Development Director, Skcin, the UK's only national skin cancer specific charity commented, "With over a third of all cancers in the UK being skin cancers there is a real need for GPs to be upskilled in lesion recognition and to take early action to prevent the development of the disease."

"With increasing pressure on resources and the challenges faced by service redesign and commissioning, optimal referral management in dermatology is crucial. By supporting lesion recognition and management, STS may help to guide more appropriate referrals," added Consultant Dermatologist Dr Jonathan Bowling, Oxford.

Adrian Heagerty, Consultant Dermatologist, Solihull, who was a founding member of the project team commented, "We wanted to make STS an innovative practical tool that really encompasses holistic management and offers practical day to day advice using different media, including videos interactive elements, and of course lots of pictures which are key in dermatology education. The Visual Glossary, for example, is a really useful feature that can be left open on the users' desk top to refer to."

"Another innovation in STS is the use of images and commentary that show how sun induced skin lesions appear through a dermatoscope which can only help increase knowledge and understanding" added Dr Bowling.

After wide consultation STS has been structured to support interactive learning. "Continuing Professional Development (CPD) is central to STS; each section has clear learning objectives; reflection and personal action planning for improving patient care are included as separate CPD routes for doctors, nurses and pharmacists," commented Julie Van Onselen, Dermatology Nurse Specialist a key member the team who developed the resource.

Geraldine Murphy, Managing Director, LEO Pharma added, "At LEO we are passionate about education in dermatology so we are delighted to have developed the 'Scratching the Surface' (STS) online CPD resource. Our mission as an organisation is to help people achieve healthy skin and I am confident that STS will help achieve that goal."

Access to STS is free and the web based resource is mobile enabled so may be viewed on desktop as well as mobile devices such as tablets, iPad and iPhone. To register online go to

STS also features a module on psoriasis management from LEO Dermatology.

Notes for editors

About Scratching The Surface

Free to register for healthcare professionals, STS can help to optimise the way dermatology patients are managed. Most patients could be treated in primary care so a primary care team approach is essential to provide optimal care for patients and their families.

STS provides concise training and consultation tools, focused on practical and effective management.

Key features of STS include:

  • A visual glossary to help rapidly establish a differential diagnosis
  • Video case studies showing how all members of the healthcare team can contribute to optimal management
  • Knowledge tests to help increase confidence in identifying/managing skin conditions
  • An automatic tracker that records learning undertaken  to support each users' CPD portfolio

STS is designed to:

  • Enhance knowledge of key dermatological conditions linked to clear learning outcomes
  • Provide greater confidence for those caring for dermatology patients
  • Support more rewarding consultations with patients
  • Provide a stimulating way to enhance CPD

About LEO Pharma UK

LEO Pharma is a leading global pharmaceutical company specialising in dermatology (skin) and thromboembolic (blood clotting) care. Headquartered in Denmark, the Company has more than 5,000 employees in 61 countries and its products are sold in more than 100 countries.

LEO Pharma and its affiliates are independently owned by the LEO Foundation. This independent, private institution provides stability to plan and implement focused, long-term research and development programmes. It also allows LEO Pharma to make fast decisions, and respond quickly to great ideas. Thanks to the LEO Foundation, LEO Pharma is able to offer a long-term commitment to people with life-changing conditions, their healthcare professionals and associated patient support organisations.

LEO Pharma UK was established in 1960. Based in Princes Risborough, Buckinghamshire, the company employs approximately 240 people in Commercial, Sales, Marketing, Medical, Clinical Operations, Biometrics and Business Support Services. In the UK, LEO Pharma markets prescription only medicines with a focus on treating skin conditions such as psoriasis and infected eczema, as well as blood clots.

For more information visit:


(1) Schofield J et al. Skin conditions in the UK - A healthcare needs assessment (2009). Available from

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