About Us/Meet the team

The Specialists Behind The London Scar Clinic

Get to know more about each of our scar specialists below.

Professor Firas Al-Niaimi

Consultant Dermatologist and Mohs Surgeon


An award-winning dermatologist with over 210 scientific publications in medical journals, 10 book chapters (and his own book) and over 400 scientific presentations in more than 55 countries around the globe Professor Firas Al-Niaimi is one of the UK’s most prolific and well-published dermatologists and one with a renowned international standing.

Professor Firas Al-Niaimi is a highly experienced and respected consultant dermatologist with nearly 20 years of medical experience and trained in some of the UK’s top hospitals including the largest dermatology department in Europe (Manchester) and the world-renowned St. John’s Institute of Dermatology at St. Thomas’ hospital where he completed a prestigious laser and Mohs surgical fellowship there and continued to work as an honorary consultant for several years.

Currently in addition to his private practice he is involved in academic research and international teaching and training of doctors and was awarded the Global Excellence Award for the title consultant dermatologist of the year 2019 in London given his services and commitment to dermatology. In 2021 he was appointed professor in dermatology and becomes the first and only professor in laser dermatology in the UK.

At The London Scar Clinic Professor Firas Al-Niaimi offers the full medical, surgical and laser services including treatments for acne.

Mr. Phil Briggs

Skin Camouflage Practitioner

Phil Briggs

Phil Briggs is a Skin Camouflage Practitioner and Professional Make-up Artist with over 21 years’ experience. He is a Committee member of The British Association of Skin Camouflage and is their Over-the-counter Product Information Officer. He is also Skin Camouflage adviser to The Katie Piper Foundation. Phil provides consultations in Skin Camouflage to private clients and as an Expert Witness, whilst also working in the television world as a Make-up Artist. He has provided make-up to a diverse range of people from politicians, pop stars and actors to HRH Prince William. As a skin camouflage practitioner, Phil is able to consult and assist patients with various conditions; from injury scarring, to vitiligo, rosacea, melasma scarring and many more.

Mr. Declan Collins

Consultant Plastic and Reconstructive Surgeon

Mr. Declan Collins

Mr. Declan Collins is a Consultant in Plastic and Reconstructive Surgery, with specialist interests in Burns, Laser and Scar management.

He trained in Plastic Surgery in London and joined the specialist register for Plastic Surgery in 2014 prior to his appointment as an NHS Consultant at the Chelsea and Westminster Hospital. In addition to his Plastic Surgery training, he has undertaken fellowships in Burns care and Aesthetic Surgery.

Declan’s interest in burns care led him to complete a PhD in sepsis and wound healing in burned patients. He is now an Honorary Senior Clinical Lecturer at Imperial College and the Clinical Lead for Research in the Burns Unit at Chelsea and Westminster Hospital. More recently, Declan has started the Laser service for scar management at Chelsea and Westminster Hospital and is a member of the British Medical Laser Association.

Declan uniquely combines an academic interest in new and emerging technologies in wound and scar management with surgical and non-surgical treatments. He is well positioned to provide the full spectrum of treatment options for effective and evidence-based scar management.

Ms. Rae Denman


Ms. Rae Denman

Rae Denman is a Medical Tattooist specialising in all forms of scarring in Harley Street and Surrey clinics. Before moving to London, she ran the Camouflage clinic for Burns and Scars, and Medical Tattoo clinic for Nipple Areola tattooing post mastectomy and breast reconstruction, in the specialist Burns and Plastics Unit at Morriston Hospital, Swansea – the only burns and plastics unit in Wales.

She is a member of The British Association of Skin Camouflage and has her own range of bespoke colours for Veil Cover cream offering a blend of pigments for asian, mixed race and middle eastern skin tones.

She was the first practitioner to offer Port Wine Stain birthmark tattooing in the UK and has patients travelling from all over the globe for her bespoke treatments for Port Wine Stains, Skin Grafts and Scarring.

She was awarded the 20 years of excellence, ‘Life Changing Procedure’ award, was featured on ITV ‘This Morning with Lorraine Kelly’ and collaborated with The Katie Piper Foundation and The Telegraph with a burns survivor to demonstrate the positive effects these treatments can have on physical and mental well-being.

Professor David Dunaway

Consultant Plastic and Reconstructive Surgeon

Professor David Dunaway

Professor David Dunaway is a plastic & reconstructive surgeon with a special interest in Craniofacial reconstruction, facial aesthetic surgery and paediatric plastic surgery. He is a co-founder and director of the specialist plastic surgery unit at 152 Harley Street.

His NHS practice is based at Great Ormond Street Hospital for Children where he leads the internationally acclaimed Craniofacial unit. He is also a member of the Craniofacial team at University College London Hospital.

He undertakes a wide variety of cosmetic procedures and has a special interest in facial rejuvenation, rhinoplasty and eyelid surgery.

David Dunaway’s Paediatric Plastic Surgery interests include the treatment of skin lesions, vascular anomalies and facial deformity.

Dr. RuthAnn Fanstone

Clinical scar specialist and Physiotherapist

RuthAnn Fanstone

RuthAnn has extensive and specialised experience as a physiotherapist in the area of burns and plastic surgery. She has worked in 4 of the biggest burn and plastics services in the UK, working as the lead physiotherapist in 3 of those units. She helped set up The London Scar Clinic, focusing on developing a multi-disciplined team to deliver optimum patient outcomes. RuthAnn has recently completed her PhD in the risk factors for burn scar contracture.

RuthAnn’s passion for burns and scars treatment has taken her extensively to learn, teach and work around the world; she has gained experience from some of the leading burn services in the world through internships at The Shriners, Galveston, Harborview, Seattle and Le Ster Centre for Rehabilitation of Burn Injuries in Lamalou France. She set up The Katie Piper Foundation Burn Rehabilitation service, which offers pioneering treatments and models of service delivery for burn survivors.

RuthAnn also has significant experience and interest in training and education in burns care. She has designed and delivered numerous courses in burns and scars treatment nationally and internationally. She, along with her colleagues, has pioneered Scar Academy UK; she has a track record of implementing new scar / burn rehabilitation treatments and models of education and service delivery. RuthAnn is an avid follower of recent publications in scar/burn management and is the Managing Editor of the medical journal Scars, Burns & Healing.

RuthAnn has an MSc in Health Service Management from the University of London (UCL) and further qualifications in international health consultancy; she has worked/trained in 14 countries throughout her career (so far!). Her main interest is the prevention and treatment of scars, burn rehabilitation and emerging and innovative strategies to improve outcomes for people with scars. She is a member of the British Burn Association and the International Society of Burn Injuries (ISBI), and she serves on the rehabilitation committee of the ISBI.

RuthAnn can treat scars that are very recent (including very recently healed wounds/incisions) and scars that are years old. Her skills include scar assessment, reduction of scar pain, scar massage, scar and burn rehabilitation, and advice on silicone, creams and pressure therapy.

Mr. David Gateley

Consultant Plastic and Reconstructive Surgeon

David Gately

David Gateley is among the leading Plastic and Reconstructive Surgeons operating in the UK today. He studied medicine at Downing College Cambridge and King’s College Hospital, London, qualifying in 1984.  He trained in General Surgery, Orthopaedics and Neurosurgery for five years before starting his career in Plastic Surgery.

As well as operating at Roehampton, The Lister and Guys and St. Thomas’s Hospitals, Mr Gateley gained a Hand and Microsurgery Fellowship in the USA, achieving certification of higher surgical training in plastic surgery in 1996. Since 1997, Mr Gateley has been Consultant Plastic Surgeon at St George’s Hospital in South London, Europe’s largest teaching hospital. Here, he has been training the country’s next generation of plastic surgeons as part of his continuing commitment to the NHS.

In addition to being a Fellow of the Royal College of Surgeons, Mr Gateley is a member of the British Association of Plastic Surgeons and British Society for Surgery of the Hand and the British Association of Aesthetic Plastic Surgeons.

Mr. Ioannis Goutos

Consultant Plastic and Reconstructive Surgeon

Mr Ioannis Goutos is an experienced Plastic Surgeon with a specialist interest in burn care and scar management. He trained in the London and Oxford regions, and following the award of a Fellowship in Plastic Surgery by the Royal College of Surgeons, his passion for burns, scar management and aesthetics took him further afield for advanced training in the Indian subcontinent, South America, and the Orient.

His special interests include the application of surgical and non-surgical treatments that make scars look and feel better and he works hard to give his patients a range of appropriate treatment options as part of shared decision making. Mr Goutos’ consultation philosophy places strong emphasis on psychodynamic principles to explore the impact of burn injuries and scars on an individual’s life and functionality.

Mr Goutos also currently works as an Honorary NHS Consultant at the Royal London Hospital where he is leading the development of an exciting and newly established burn facility service. With his lifelong commitment to research, education and evidence-based practice, he extends his surgical role through the position of a Clinical Senior Lecturer in Plastic, Reconstructive and Aesthetic Surgery at Queen Mary University of London. His academic role involves leading the distance learning Masters degree in Burn Care and being a key faculty member of the Aesthetic Medicine programmes.

Mr Goutos has hosted and delivered several national and international educational workshops on scar management and continues to express his vivid academic interest through numerous publications and his role as a peer reviewer for key medical, burn and scar related journals.

Dr. Esther Hansen

Clinical Psychologist

Esther Hansen

Dr Esther Hansen is a consultant clinical psychologist who specialises in the areas of reconstructive surgery, chronic health conditions and body image.

Her NHS practice is based at the plastic and reconstructive surgery department of the Royal Free Hospital, where she leads a small team of psychologists. She offers psychological treatment for individuals concerned about their appearance (including scars) or experience difficulties related to the event that may have led to an altered appearance, including anxiety, low mood and post-traumatic stress disorder.

Psychological intervention can also help manage some of the itching and pain associated with scarring. Dr Hansen also provides psychological evaluation to help other practitioners understand the expectations a person may have of a particular intervention and the psychological benefit they may derive. She also supports and provides treatment to individuals with chronic health conditions.

Dr Hansen sits on the London Cancer skin cancer board and frequently lectures both psychologists and other health professionals. She has also published in these areas.

Mr. Jorge Leon-Villapalos

Consultant Plastic and Reconstructive Surgeon

Mr. Jorge Leon-Villapalos

Mr Jorge Leon-Villapalos is a Consultant in Plastic Surgery and Burns at Chelsea and Westminster Hospital, appointed in 2009 and Paediatric Lead Clinician of the Burns Unit. Prior to this, he was a Consultant in Plastic Surgery and Burns at the St Andrew’s Centre for Plastic Surgery and Burns. This unit, part of the London and South East of England Burn Network, is also one of the leading Burns Units in the Country.

He was a fellow in Adult and Paediatric Burns and Adult and Paediatric Burns Intensive care at the Shriners Hospital for Burned Children in Galveston, Texas, one of the busiest and most recognized paediatric burns units in the world. He was a Fellow of the Royal College of Physicians and Surgeons in Glasgow in Plastic Surgery, and was entered in the GMC Specialist Register for Plastic Surgery in 2009.

He is a member of the British Burns Association and the International Society for Burn Injuries, specializing in Burns Surgery and other conditions with extensive skin loss and necrosis such as necrotizing fasciitis, meningococcal septicemia, and toxic epidermal necrolysis. He also specializes in General Plastic Surgery as well as the reconstruction and management of scars of all etiologies. His interests also include all aspects of aesthetic, cosmetic and reconstructive surgery.

Jorge regularly teaches “The Emergency Management of severe Burns” courses, the only recognised courses in the UK for acute management of burn injuries and burns care for allied health professionals.

Professor Linda Rafter

Tissue Viability Nurse Consultant

Linda Rafter

WoundDoc was established in 2010 by Professor Linda Rafter and her husband Mark. Linda has an International reputation in the treatment and healing of all types of Wounds. With over 39 years experience in wound care in both hospitals and in the community. Linda has expertise in healing complex, non healing wounds with minimal scarring. She can advise on trauma wounds, skin tears, pressure ulcers, diabetic foot wounds, leg ulcers, Lymphoedema and skin cancer, burns and radiotherapy wounds.

WoundDoc employ recognised methods and strategies for evaluating wound healing and infection, we are able to use continuums to measure and monitor the progress of the healing of the wound. Wound Care Solutions uses cutting edge techniques and the latest technology in wound care. Our many years of clinical experience with proven good patient outcomes give us an enviable reputation.

Professor Rafter is a member of the European Wound Management and European Pressure Ulcer Advisory panel and Tissue Viability Society. She has presented at European, National and local conferences and has 52 publications five of which are NICE Guidelines and one publication in the cochrane database. She has been lead investigator for wound care and pressure relieving bed trials. Linda completed her PhD at Wolverhampton University. In June 2006 she was made an Honorary Professor in Nursing Mary Seacole Research Centre De Montfort University Leicester.  Linda lectures on Pressure Ulcers, Diabetic Wounds, Leg Ulcers, Lymphoedema and care of the skin.

Professor Rafter is a compassionate and who is at the forefront of wound care advances and always aims for a “individualise” treatment that meets the needs of her patients holistically. She has a wealth of experience in all aspects of adult wound care.

Dr. Greg Williams

Consultant Hair Transplant Surgeon

Greg Williams

Dr Greg Williams is a Plastic Surgeon who specialises in Hair Restoration. He is the only member of the British Association of Aesthetic Plastic Surgeons (BAAPS) who performs Hair Transplant Surgery on a full time basis. He is one of the doctors on the surgical team at the world renowned Farjo Hair Institute and is the current Vice President of the British Association of Hair Restoration Surgery (BAHRS).

Prior to embarking on a full time private practice in Hair Restoration, Mr Williams was the Lead Clinician at London’s only Burn Service at the Chelsea and Westminster NHS Foundation Trust and was the Clinical Director of the London and South East of England Burn Care Network. He has an extensive experience in Hair Restoration both for genetic male and female hair loss and for reconstruction post trauma, burns and following dermatological scarring alopecias.

Mr. Richard Young

Consultant Plastic and Reconstructive Surgeon

Mr. Richard Young

Richard Young studied medicine at Oxford and Cambridge Universities.  After qualifying he returned to teach at Cambridge University and tutor at Downing College before starting his general surgical training at Frenchay Hospital in Bristol.

Mr Young went on to complete specialist training and higher surgical training in Hong Kong, London and Belgium working in some of the world’s most renowned hospital such as Great Ormond Street, The Royal Marsden and The University Hospital, Gent. He was awarded the specialist fellowship in Plastic Surgery, FRCS (Plast), in 2007 and gained his Certificate of Completion of Training (CCT) in 2008 with entry on to the GMC Specialist Plastic Surgery register.  The same year he was appointed as a Consultant in the Craniofacial Plastic Surgery Department at Chelsea and Westminster Hospital in London where his NHS practice is still based.

Mr Young undertakes facial and body cosmetic rejuvenation utilising non-surgical and surgical techniques in addition to adult and paediatric general plastic and reconstructive surgery.  He has a special interest in facial reconstruction from skin cancer and trauma. He is a core member of the Skin Cancer Team at Chelsea and Westminster Hospital and works closely with consultant colleagues in oculoplastic surgery, ENT, maxillofacial and neurosurgery.