Leading dermatologist in walk to save our skins

10 May 2007

Leading dermatologist Professor Chris Griffiths and his team are supporting the organization that supports them - by taking part in this year's Walk for Skin, a national sponsored walk to support 18 national charities fighting against skin disease.

Professor Griffiths, of the University of Manchester's School of Medicine, and many of his researchers and nurses from the Salford Royal NHS Foundation Trust will walk three miles around Tatton Park, Knutsford, on Sunday 20 May, as part of the Manchester leg of the event.

Professor Griffiths developed the "hub-and-spoke" model of dermatology services for Greater Manchester, instigated the North West Regional Dermatology Training Scheme and introduced the multidisciplinary Manchester Psoriasis Service, which was awarded Hospital Doctor Dermatology Team of the Year Award 2002.

More recently, his surprising test results that showed an over-the-counter anti-ageing cream could match the effectiveness of retinoic acid, a prescription drug used to treat severe sun damage of the skin, discussed on the BBC2 Horizon programme, led to stores selling out of the product.

He said: "We are supporting the Walk for Skin because 8 million people in the UK suffer from skin diseases, many of which have unsatisfactory treatment. The British Skin Foundation has been instrumental in supporting pioneering research work at The University of Manchester and this is our opportunity to support them in their fund-raising work.

"A staggering 160,000 was raised at the first ever Walk for Skin last year and more than a thousand people have already registered for this year, including TV presenter Graham Norton. Four new venues have been added, including Tatton Park, Manchester, where walkers can enjoy the 1,000 acres of stunning parkland surrounding the impressive 19th Century mansion."

Other celebrity supporters include comedian Ricky Tomlinson and TV legend, Sir Jimmy Savile, who both attended the Walk for Skin last year. Actors Richard E Grant and Nitin Ganatra, who starred in Charlie & the Chocolate Factory and Bride & Prejudice, are also in support of the Walk for Skin.

Walk for Skin, organised by the British Skin Foundation and sponsored by Sanex, hopes to raise awareness and money towards vital research into all skin diseases. Skin disease affects the young and the old, which is why the walk at Tatton Park is around three miles long to ensure that people of all ages can take part.

To join the Walk for Skin in Manchester on 20th May, simply register free of charge, online at www.walkforskin.org.uk or by phone, on 0207 391 6341. Once registered, entrants will receive a sponsorship form, walkers' pack and information about Tatton Park.

Ends

To arrange an interview with Professor Chris Griffiths or take a photograph of the team contact Media Relations Officer Mikaela Sitford on 0161 275 2111.

For photographs and quotes from last year's event, contact Indy Rihal, British Skin Foundation Press Officer, on 0207 391 6347 or indy@bad.org.uk.

Editor's Note: The University of Manchester School of Medicine is one of the largest in the country, with almost 2000 undergraduates, 700 postgraduates and 1300 staff. The University's four teaching hospitals, together with affiliated hospitals and community practices across the North West, provide excellent facilities for clinical training and research. The School is a major contributor to the University's research profile and external grant income, with annual expenditure on research amounting to 30-35 million. This funding is obtained from research councils, medical charities, the health services and industry. The School was rated 5 in both hospital-based and community-based clinical subjects in the last RAE. The Salford Royal NHS Foundation Trust has become the second Trust in England to receive a top accreditation for patient safety and quality. Earlier in the year, it was confirmed as being the best hospital in the North West and among the top 4% in England by the Healthcare Commission. As a Foundation Trust, it is also investing an additional 1 million in 480 new hi-tech beds and state-of-the-art neuro navigation equipment which supports the treatment of people with tumours. The Walk for Skin charities are the British Skin Foundation, National Eczema Society, Psoriasis Association, Scleroderma Society, Vitiligo Society, Ichthyosis Support Group, Acne Support Group, Herpes Virus Association, Hyperhidrosis Support Group, British Association of Skin Camouflage, Wessex Cancer Trust's MARC's Line, Pemphigus Vulgaris Network, Vulval Health Awareness Campaign, Birthmark Support Group, Alopecia Help and Advice Scotland, Psoriatic Arthropathy Alliance, Psoriasis Scotland Arthritis Link Volunteers and Changing Faces. The British Skin Foundation is the UK charity dedicated to raising money for research into all skin diseases. We aim to reduce the suffering of the eight million people in the UK whose lives are blighted by a skin disorder. For more information visit www.britishskinfoundation.org.uk