Internal Medicine

Dermatology Home

Department of DermatologyHead of Department

Professor J Aboobaker

The Department of Dermatology is the only tertiary dermatology unit in the province of KwaZulu-Natal. It is staffed by a full time Professor and Head, 2 principal specialists, 2 specialists, 5 part-time specialists, 10 registrars and 2 medical officers. Part-time consultants are invaluable for their teaching of both under and postgraduates specific areas being dermatopathology and dermatologic surgery

Clinical Service

We currently run daily clinics at King Edward VIII Hospital, Inkosi Albert Luthuli Central Hospital, RK Khan Hospital, Addington Hospital and Prince Mshiyeni Memorial Hospital, and a Wednesday clinic at Mahatma Gandhi Memorial Hospital. Undergraduate and postgraduate teaching takes place at the clinics with consultant supervision.

Our inpatient facilities comprise 12 adult and 6 paediatric beds at King Edward VIII Hospital and 4 adult beds at Inkosi Albert Luthuli Central Hospital.

Outreach Programmes 

Flying Doctor Service

All full time consultants and certain part time consultants participate. Each consultant “adopts” a district hospital and makes 4-5 visits per annum. This assists in training of medical officers at those district hospitals; once suitably trained, the consultant is able to adopt a further hospital. Some hospitals are now equipped for teleconferencing and this will allow monthly clinics using this method.

CANSA “Spot the Spot”

These are mobile beach clinics usually situated at North Beach and Umhlanga Beach to create awareness of skin cancers, which provide free assessment and advice to the public. The clinics are manned by dermatologists and registrars in the department as well as private dermatologists. It is held annually for 4 sundays over the festive period.


Videoconferencing is used to connect district hospitals to the our dermatologists at Medical School. Established sites are Port Shepstone and Manguzi Hospitals and we are in the process of linking to Church of Scotland (Tugela Ferry) and Newcastle Hospitals as well. This has resulted in decreased referrals, provides feedback to and empowers doctors in the periphery and is highly cost-effective.

Medical Officer Training

This is an initiative to increase the expertise in dermatology as far and wide as possible. This has been initiated by Stanger Hospital who identify a medical officer keen on learning dermatology. He or she is then sent to us for a period of 3 months for basic training, following which they maintain contact with the Department by attending our clinic and bringing with them problem cases once weekly. This has allowed us to set up a successful dermatology outpatient clinic at Stanger Hospital with the assistance of our consultants. Thus far 2 medical officers have been through this training.

E-mail Consultations

Medical officers at district hospitals are encouraged to contact our consultants on an ad hoc basis via email, with details of clinical problems.The case is assessed and an opinion offered electronically. This is an informal service provided to doctors both locally and even in other African countries, such as Uganda.

AIDS Atlas

A manual for healthcare professionals, Diagnosis and treatment of skin conditions in HIV, produced by the Department in association with SAMA and an educational grant from Bristol Myers Squibb has been distributed to all primary healthcare clinics in KwaZulu-Natal and the country. This will assist those in the periphery with no access to dermatologists to be able to diagnose and treat effectively skin conditions associated with HIV/AIDS. 



Undergraduate teaching includes formal lectures and hands-on tutorials to equip young doctors to be able to recognize, diagnose and treat common skin conditions. Teaching is done in the Medical School and in our metropolitan hospitals. 


Our registrars undertake a 4 year training be qualify as a specialist dermatologist. They train at King Edward VIII Hospital, Inkosi Albert Luthuli Central Hospital, RK Khan Hospital, Addington Hospital and Prince Mshiyeni Memorial Hospital. Our registrars register for the MMed (Dermatology)degree at UKZN, and are required to pass the College of Medicine exams in Dermatology, qualifying for Fellowship of the College of Dermatologists: FCDerm(SA). This is a two- part exam. Part 1 encompasses the following: general physiology and biochemistry with special reference to the skin, principles of pathology and anatomy and histochemistry of the skin. Part 2 tests the students on the principles and practice of dermatology, and includes clinical dermatology, therapeutics, internal medicine and dermatopathology.

We also teach aspects of the management of skin disease to the allied health disciplines and participate in the HIV Diploma courses offered by the Medical School.

We run a GP Continuing Professional Development course every two years where common skin conditions are discussed. A Nurses dermatology symposium was held in Durban, at the annual congress of the Dermatological Society of SA in Durban in 2006.


The Department of Dermatology have several ongoing research projects. Some of the areas of interest are:

  1. Skin Disease in KwaZulu Natal : Testing for workable solutions after measurement of burden of disease, assessment of resources and identification of problem.
  2. Autoimmune Bullous Diseases
  3. Pemphigus vulgaris : pulse therapy
  4. Bullous Pemphigoid
  5. Chronic Bullous disease of childhood
  6. Cosmetic Cultural habits of Black South Africans
  7. Management of HIV Kaposi’s Sarcoma
  8. Interventions for Cutaneous Sarcoid – a Review for the Cochrane Collaboration
  9. Epidemiology of HIV skin disease
  10. Quality of Life of Skin disease: HIV dermatoses, Psoriasis, Acne vulgaris and Kaposi’s sarcoma
  11. HTLVI Associated Infective Dermatitis in KwaZulu-Natal
  12. Dermatophytosis in HIV Infected and HIV Non Infected patients
  13. Stevens Johnson Syndrome: comparison of HIV positive and negative patients using the SCORTEN score


  1. Infectious Disease Unit, Massachusetts General Hospital and Harvard Medical School, PARTNERS AIDS Programme and contribution to web site “ AIDS in Africa
  2. AIDS Programme, Yale Medical School
  3. Department of Epidemiology and Infectious Diseases, UCSF
  4. National Skin Centre, Singapore
  5. Joint Clinical Research Centre: Entebbe, Uganda


Academic Staff 

  • Prof Jamila Aboobaker
  • Dr C Ncoza Dlova
  • Dr Anisa Mosam
  • Dr Avumile Mankahla

Support Staff 

  • Ms P Jika

Contact Details:

Physical Address Postal Address
Department of Dermatology, 
Room 327
3rd Floor
Nelson R Mandela School of Medicine
719 Umbilo Road

Department of Dermatology
Nelson R Mandela School of Medicine
Private Bag X 7

Tel: + 27 31 3603546/ 2604531
Fax: + 27 31 3603549/ 2604531

E-mail: Ms P Jika (