We are trying to help Ms. Shankar who sent us the following questions through our ‘Ask a Question‘ Page.
We’re living in Canada and my grandfather has developed a rash. His family doctor has referred him to a dermatologist, but it’s taking months to get an appointment. We’re planning to visit Sri Lanka in two weeks and thought of seeing a skin specialist while we’re there. Can you recommend a good dermatologist practicing in Sri Lanka?Shankar
There are many good dermatologists in Sri Lanka. Dermatologists are doctors who have got post-graduate training in Skin Disease. They treat ailments in the skin. Most of the time skin diseases manifest as rashes. Family physicians or General Practitioners also treat dermatological illnesses but they may refer the patient to a specialist under the following circumstances.
- Diagnosis is doubtful
- Diagnosis needs special tests or treatments (for example – biopsy, Ultra Violet Light Therapy)
- Not responding to initial treatments
- Severe disease
Dermatology training in Sri Lanka is usually five years after the MBBS. This includes at least one year of training in a foreign country such as England, Australia, etc.
It is important that one visit their first contact doctor if there is any abnormality in the skin. Skin manifestations can be due to underlying physical illness. Your family physician will assess the condition and decide whether one needs a referral for opinion or further management.
Dermatologists are available in both government and private hospitals in Sri Lanka. Since you are visiting Sri Lanka for a brief period it is wise to channel a doctor in a private-sector hospital. Government hospitals’ skin clinics are usually crowded and may take some time to get an appointment and date for treatment.
At the time of this writing, we know the following doctors who are practicing as Skin specialists in Sri Lanka. We have recommended these doctors depending on our experiences and understanding of the way they practice.
Dr. Janaka Akarawita – Dr. Akarawita is one of the senior dermatologists practicing in Sri Lanka. He is in charge of one of the dermatology units at the National Hospital of Sri Lanka. He is available in the private hospitals in Colombo for consultation.
Dr. (Ms) Chalukya Gunasekara – Dr. Gunasekara is the other senior dermatologist working in the National Hospital of Sri Lanka. She is available for consultation in private-sector hospitals.
Dr. Kanchana Mallawaarachchi – Dr. Kanchana Mallawaarachchi is a young and talented dermatologist. He practices in a peripheral base hospital. However, he is available in the Winsetha Hospital on Sundays which will be a very convenient time for a person like you who is here for a brief period. Dr. Mallawaarachchi is also available at Kings Hospital – Colombo and Santa Dora Hospital – Battaramulla.
Dr. Indira Kahawita – Dr. Kahawita is one of the senior dermatologists in Sri Lanka. Currently, she works in the leprosy control unit. Dr. Kahawita is also available for private consultations.
Dr. Nayana Madarasinghe – Dr. (Ms) Madarasinghe is also practicing in both government and private sector hospitals as a dermatologist.
Medicines have become very expensive these days in Sri Lanka. Especially, dermatological treatments which include local applications are very expensive. Sometimes, dermatologists may prescribe medicines and vitamins for your ailment. Hence, it is very important to know the dermatologists who do rational prescribing considering the economical aspect as well.
A dermatologist’s other primary goal is to promote healthy skin and prevent skin problems. They diagnose skin conditions mainly by examining skin, nails, mucous membranes (inside the mouth), and hair. They also use specialized tools, such as dermoscopy and mole mapping, to help them better diagnose and monitor potential skin cancer.
In addition to treating skin conditions, dermatologists also offer a range of cosmetic services, such as botox injections, fillers, and chemical peels. These procedures can help improve the appearance of fine lines, wrinkles, and age spots, as well as address issues such as acne scars and uneven skin tone. These services can be quite expensive in the private-sector hospital.
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