About our dermatology service

Diagnosing and treating skin diseases


Our dermatology department is known as St John's Institute of  Dermatology.


John MiltonJohn Milton founded St John's Hospital for Diseases of the Skin in 1863. He was a surgeon who suffered from hand eczema so severe it ended his career. His personal experience with skin disease triggered his interest in dermatology.

The hospital was based in several different locations in Soho in the early 20th century. After World War II it occupied outpatient premises in Lisle Street, Leicester Square.

St John's Hospital for Diseases of the Skin moved to St Thomas' Hospital in the mid-1980s. Soon after, St John's was formally renamed St John's Institute of Dermatology.

St John's outpatients reception

St John’s remained at St Thomas’ until very recently when the newly refurbished Bermondsey Centre opened at Guy’s Hospital in November 2015. It now sees the institute’s 36 consultants and 25 clinical nurse specialists treating patients with the most challenging skin conditions who come from across the country and the globe.

Self check-in and an electronic patient calling system is now used at the dermatology reception. 

These were introduced as part of our programme of improvements within dermatology, lupus and rheumatology services at Guy’s Hospital. Read more in the April edition of the our newsletter (PDF 399Kb).

About us

St John's Institute of  Dermatology is one of the world's leading centres for patients with skin disease. We are the largest clinical dermatology department in the UK.


  • treat a wide range of skin diseases from common ones to rare and very severe conditions requiring treatments not available elsewhere in the UK
  • are an internationally recognised centre of research into skin diseases
  • are a postgraduate training centre in dermatology for other health professionals, including dermatologists from all over the world. 

Our facilities

  • outpatient departments at both Guy's and St Thomas' and the Guy's Cancer Centre
  • inpatient beds
  • intermediary care and outpatient day care suites
  • a dermatology surgery and laser treatment centre
  • a Rare Disease Centre for children and adults opening October 2017
  • a clinical research area and laboratories.

Dermatology services

See the specialties tab to see the services that our department offers.

SKIN, a history

St Johns bookA book telling the story of the world-renowned St John’s Institute of Dermatology has been published to mark its 150th anniversary.

SKIN, a history was written by esteemed health journalist Jeremy Laurance. It documents the first 150 years of St John’s and looks forward to even greater successes over the next 150 years as we lead the way at the forefront of modern medical care.

Community dermatology Southwark

As of 1 April 2018 Guy's and St Thomas’ NHS Foundation Trust, in partnership with King’s College Hospital NHS Foundation Trust and Improving Health Limited, will be providing community dermatology Southwark services. It will manage a wide range of dermatological conditions for patients living in Southwark.

It is a consultant and GPwER (GP with an extended role) led NHS service, commissioned by Southwark Clinical Commissioning Group (CCG).



Find out how to contact the dermatology department.

SKIN, a history

Read about the history of St John's using our page turning software or download chapter 1 (PDF 1.68Mb).