Experts say that the UK remains the most cost-prohibitive place in the EU when it comes to dermatology, with average annual spending of £26,000 for the profession, according to the Association of Dermatologists.
The UK is followed by Denmark, Sweden and Finland.
But the figures were published today by the Association for Dermatology Education and Research (ADER).
The study was conducted by ADER’s UK membership body, the Society of Dermopathology, and it revealed that in 2015/16, England and Wales had the highest average annual expenditure for dermatology in the UK.
This equates to £2,084, which is more than the next highest spenders, Scotland, which had an average of £1,566, and Wales, which spent £1.2 million.
The study also found that Scotland spent less on their dermatologists than England and in England, Wales and Northern Ireland.
The researchers said that this discrepancy was likely due to the fact that the NHS in Scotland provides some of the best dermatological care in the country.
They said that the average annual cost of treating a UK patient with a skin condition was £2.20, which was considerably less than the average £4.85 in England and £6.90 in Northern Ireland, the three most expensive countries in the survey.
The cost of a visit to a dermatologist is the first step in treatment and the cost of treatment can be influenced by many factors, including the level of the condition and the type of skin.
The average annual annual cost per treatment in England was £11,726, while in Northern England it was £6,957.
The figures are based on the NHS’s annual costings.
However, these figures include costs incurred during visits to specialist clinics.
In England, the cost to treat a patient with melanoma was $14,099, while for a skin cancer it was $26,879.
In Wales, melanoma treatment was £3,857, while it cost for skin cancer was £9,979.
The research also found there were differences in the types of skin conditions treated in England between different regions.
For melanoma, the NHS had the lowest average annual costs for a melanoma skin cancer in the South East at £3.83, while melanoma in Scotland was £4,897.
In the North East, the average was £1 in England while in Wales it was just £3 in England.
But there were some differences in skin conditions between the three regions.
In Scotland, the most common skin condition for a patient was eczema, while eczemas were more common in Wales and the South-East.
This could be due to an increased awareness of the disease among the wider population.
In Northern Ireland the average for a non-skin condition was for a facial eczemic was £12,958, while dermatological conditions such as rosacea, psoriasis and acne were more prevalent.
In 2014, England had the most cases of psorosis and eczemia, while Scotland had the fewest.
This led the ADER report to say that there is an urgent need for a more detailed picture of the cost effectiveness of UK dermatology.
‘The picture needs to be much more comprehensive, and a deeper look into the impact of treatments for different skin conditions on patient costs,’ said Dr Richard Wilson, chief executive of ADER.
‘While we can all agree that the current figures are out of step with what we know about skin disease, it is clear that the figures are still far from adequate.’
Dr Joanne Kelly, president of the Association, said: ‘The NHS is the most affordable of the NHS, but there is still a significant gap between the most-expensive countries and the least expensive.’
The latest figures are just the tip of the iceberg when it is applied to the full range of skin diseases, and as the new Government continues to look for more savings, we need to make sure we are protecting our patients and their finances.’
The study comes amid growing pressure on the government to fund more specialist dermatology services, with a growing number of patients having to wait for a dermatology referral to a specialist clinic.
Dr Kelly added: ‘We must also ensure that dermatology is accessible to everyone, especially those with less than a tertiary education.’
We have to be careful not to allow the NHS to become a tax haven for specialist treatments, as this could be used to fund less-efficient treatments for more expensive skin conditions.’