Condition: Rare or Challenging Skin Conditions

In the UK, 60% of people are currently affected by a skin condition or have been in the past. 13 million GP attendances every year are thought to be for skin conditions, with over 2 million consultations taking place with a dermatologist (skin specialist).

These conditions and their treatment can vary according to the underlying condition affecting an individual. However, the impact of skin conditions on individuals is clear as up to 70% say that it affects their mental well-being.

Each skin condition can present differently with a wide range of symptoms. Some skin irregularities may indicate underlying disease elsewhere in the body or may be a result of our environment. Skin problems without an obvious cause often indicate a skin condition that requires treatment.

Some symptoms which may indicate a inflammatory skin disorder include:

  • Itching
  • Burning
  • Skin splitting
  • Blistering
  • Ulceration
  • Rash
  • Weeping
  • Scaly or rough skin
  • Skin peeling
  • Discoloration
  • Skin growths

There are a wide range of skin conditions, however at Sapphire we only treat selected dermatological conditions, specifically those that:

  1. Have not responded, or responded inadequately to conventional medical therapies
  2. Are rare conditions


  • Discoid lupus erythematosus
  • Generalised pruritus
  • Nodular prurigo
  • Lichen simplex
  • Genital dysesthesia
  • Genital psoriasis
  • Lichen planopilaris
  • Scarring alopecia (Cicatricial alopecia)
  • Hidradenitis suppurativa
  • Erythematotelangiectatic rosacea
  • Acne

Rare conditions (non-exhaustive list)

  • Cutaneous mastocytosis (Urticaria Pigmentosa)
  • Darier disease
  • Benign familial pemphigus (Hailey-Hailey disease)
  • Atrophoderma of Pasini and Pierini
  • Adipsosis dolorosa (Dercum’s disease)

These conditions are usually diagnosed using a combination of listening to the patient in full and performing an examination of the skin and related body systems.

However, in certain cases diagnosis can only be made after taking samples to exclude infection or by taking a skin sample and viewing skin cells under a microscope (biopsy).

Rare or Challenging Skin Conditions Treatment

A large proportion of skin conditions are treated in the community by pharmacists and general practitioners. However, dermatologists possess expert knowledge to treat those conditions which require specialist input.

Treatments for skin conditions depends on the underlying condition and requires a holistic approach but can include topical lotions, creams and ointments, in addition to surgery, phototherapy and systemic medications.

Medicinal cannabis can be considered in challenging skin conditions when first line therapies have not achieved adequate benefit.

Arrange an Appointment

If you are a patient or carer seeking an appointment to discuss treatment with medical cannabis, you can complete this form and we can assist you with this.

Eligible patients can provide us with their healthcare records or we can obtain these through your GP. This is to confirm that a patient’s condition has been fully assessed and all other treatment options have been attempted. We will ensure that the primary care provider receives all treatment communication to maintain the highest level of clinical governance.

We also accept referrals from healthcare professionals.

To refer a patient to us, please click here to fill and securely submit a referral form.