Dermatology, Cosmetic Surgery, Mohs Micrographic Skin Cancer Surgery & Laser Surgery

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Monthly Archives: May 2012

The Doctor’s Show: Most Recent Episodes

Check out my most recent episodes on The Doctor’s Show. Learn more about removing a “fanny pack” with Tickle Lipo, treating age spots, treating an aggressive form of acne and The Scar Treatment Trifecta.

Removing the “fanny pack” with Tickle Lipo

Age Spot Treatments

Treating Aggressive Acne

The Scar Treatment Trifecta

Naked Cannibal Eating Man’s Face Shot Dead By Miami Police

This is grisly so you may not want to read it.

On Saturday, just off Miami’s MacArthur Causeway, Larry Vega was cycling along when saw a naked man eating another naked man’s face. Vega stopped and told him to get off the victim but “the other guy just kept eating the other guy away.” Vega spotted a Miami Police office nearby and waved him over to the scene.

The officer ordered the man to stop, but, Vega said, “The guy just stood, his head up like that with pieces of flesh in his mouth. And he growled.” The officer fired once, but the man showed no signs of stopping and the officer eventually killed him. The victim, miraculously, is alive but in critical condition.

Miami police officer Armando Aguilar told NBC 6: “Seventy-five to 80 percent of his face was missing, and he was actually swallowing pieces of the man’s face.”

The cannibal has been identified as 31-year-old Rudy Eugene, 31 is suspected to have been high on a drug known as “bath salts.” The dangerous drug, which is banned in many states, but so far has no specific federal ban, is available on the street and also at many tobacco and drug paraphernalia shops under names like Vanilla Sky, Ivory Wave, White China, Dynamite and Cloud 9.

Bath salts — a toxic cocktail of the amphetamines, Methylenedioxypyrovalerone (MDPV), mephedrone, and pyrovalerone. The Drug Enforcement Agency groups bath salts with mescaline and ephedrine, while dealers market the drug as a replacement for cocaine or a synthetic form of the hallucinogen LSD, according to CNN.


How To Protect Your Kids From The Sun This Summer

My daughter in her typical outdoor attire

The temperature is heating up, and your kids are spending more time outdoors. They’re sweating; they’re swimming. They need extra sun protection—and so do you!

The sun’s ultraviolet (UV) rays are at their strongest during the summer, and unprotected skin can be damaged in as little as 15 minutes. While applying a SPF (sun protection factor) 30 sunscreen is important throughout the year, taking extra sun-safety precautions during the summer is especially important.

Don’t pull a Tanning Mom on us. Try these tips on your next family trip to the beach, pool, playground, ballpark or amusement/water park.

1.  Sunscreen- Kids who are sweating or swimming need to reapply sunscreen more often. Remember that water, snow and sand can reflect UV rays and increase your child’s sun exposure and chance of getting a sunburn. A sunscreen with an SPF of at least 30 protects the skin from the sun. Apply one ounce of sunscreen (about the size of a ping pong ball) to all sun-exposed areas of the body. Don’t forget the ears, feet and behind the neck. Because sunscreen can take up to 30 minutes to go into full effect, it’s a good idea to apply it at home before you drive to the pool or beach.

2.  Lips and Eyes- Choosing the right sunglasses, hat and lip balm also can provide added UV protection for parents and kids. Apply a lip balm that offers SPF protection and reapply throughout the day. Choose wrap-around sunglasses that absorb at least 99% of UV rays to protect your eyes and the skin around your eyes. Choose a hat with a wide brim to give as much sun protection as possible.

3.  Wear sun-protective clothing- While most people usually know to use sunscreen and sunglasses, few are aware of the availability of sun-protective clothing. Many companies offer a variety of sun-protective clothing with as much as ultraviolet protection factor (UPF) 50. UPF indicates how much UV radiation can penetrate the fabric in clothing. For example, a shirt with UPF 30 means that just 1/30th of the sun’s UV radiation can reach the skin.

4.   Find or make shade- It’s always a good idea to have a place where you and your family can find shade from the sun. Plan ahead. Seeking shade is especially important between 10:00 a.m. to 4:00 p.m. when the sun’s ultraviolet (UV) rays are at their strongest. When outdoors choose parks with a covering over playgrounds, cary a large umbrella to the beach, put a tent up if you have space, or choose seating areas near trees.

5.  Make a travel size sun-safety kit- Summer time often leads to spontaneous plans. You never know what the day has in store. At the beginning of the summer, create a travel size kit with all the items you need to keep your family sun safe. Don’t leave home without it! Here are some basic, portable items to put in your kit:

  • Sunscreen with SPF 30 or higher
  • Lip balm with SPF 15 or higher
  • Hat with a brim or cap
  • Long-sleeved shirt
  • Sunglasses with UV protection

Summer is a gorgeous time of year, especially here in Southern California. We’re not asking you to become a hermit when it comes to summer time. Practicing these Sun safety tips will keep your family happy and healthy. Who likes dealing with a painful sunburn anyways?

How To Get The Most Out Of Your Dermatology Appointment

Follow these 6 tips to get the most out of your Dermatology appointment.

1. Know what medications you are taking– Often patients will come in and tell us, “My other Doctor gave me some cream and pills, I don’t know the name of them but they didn’t work”. Knowing what treatments did not work for you in the past can be very helpful to your provider. How upset would you be if you got home and discovered we gave you the same exact cream and pills you had in the past? Make sure you come prepared. Bring your medications with you or write down the names of them. I am a huge fan of technology so I love the idea of taking pictures of your medications and storing them in your phone. It only takes a few seconds and there is no extra bulk to carry around.

2. Don’t be embarrassed– We’ve seen it all. We don’t care if you shaved your legs, have recently gotten a pedicure, have sock lint between your toes or have your “cute” underwear on. If your rash is covering your whole body be prepared to get in a gown so we can do a thorough examination.

3. Write your questions down– It is very frustrating when you get to your car after your appointment and think to yourself, “Darn! I forgot to ask _____”. If you write your questions down you won’t forget them. While you should write down all of your questions make sure the list isn’t too long. If you have 20 questions about 10 different problems we won’t be able to give each topic the attention it deserves. Medical information can be overwhelming. If we are able to focus on a few topics it will enable you to have a better understanding of your conditions.

4. Get to your appointment early, do your homework and come prepared—If possible, schedule your appointment first thing in the morning or right after lunch to avoid the busier times. If you feel your appointment may require a little more time than usual tell the receptionist when scheduling to allow for sufficient time. Plan to arrive at least 15 minutes prior to your appointment time if you are a new patient to fill out any necessary paperwork. Our office has made forms available online so you can print them at home and bring them in filled out to save time.

5. Be honest and open—It’s important to answer all health questions honestly, even with sensitive questions regarding drug or alcohol use, sexual history or other lifestyle habits. This information can be crucial when attempting to establish your diagnosis.

6. Outsmart your rash– When it comes to skin we know rashes come and go. We hear almost every day “It looks a lot better today, but yesterday it was so much worse!”  In Dermatology a physical examination of your skin is the most important component of our evaluation.  If your rash tends to come and go take a good, quality picture of your condition when it is at it’s worse.  Make sure the picture is a well lit, clear, close-up and detailed picture. Printing them up for us to view is very helpful, it enables us to see the detail better. If you do have it stored on your phone make sure you have it pulled up ready to go. As fun as it might be to see your snapshots from your latest Vegas trip your rash pictures will be much more helpful. If you wake up the day of your appointment and your rash is no where to be found still make it to your appointment but know there is probably not much we can do.  We may be able narrow down your diagnosis to a few options but may not be able to give you a firm diagnosis. What your visit will do is “open the case” for your condition. Our office makes an effort to squeeze established patients in same day when their rash appears for evaluation.

Melanoma Monday

image courtesy of

What is Melanoma Monday? “Melanoma Monday” is observed on the first Monday of May and it is also termed as May Melanoma Skin Cancer Month. This day is also known as National Skin Self-Examination Day. People are advised and encouraged to undergo the examination of their skin for skin cancer. Of the different types of skin cancer, melanoma is the most deadly and accounts for about 75% of all skin cancer fatalities. Melanomas can also develop in other areas of the body such as the eye, underneath nails and inside the nose and mouth.

Melanoma Warning Signs: ABCDE

A – Asymmetry: is the mole asymmetrical? If you imagine a line drawn across the center of the mole, if the two halves do not match then they are considered asymmetrical.

B – Border: does the border or edge of the mole look uneven?

C – Color: is the mole one uniform color? If there are several colors or shades of a color within a mole this could be a warning sign.

D – Diameter: how big is the mole? Melanomas often have a diameter of 6mm (1/4inch) or more (diameter is the length across the mole).

E – Evolving: has the mole changed in shape, size or color? Have you noticed any other changes such as bleeding, itching or puss coming from the mole? These may be signs of a malignant mole so seek medical assistance.

Early Detection Is Crucial For Treatment Success
As with many other types of cancer, treatments are more successful when there is early detection. However, unlike most cancers, melanoma does normally not respond well to chemotherapy, radiotherapy or medication. When melanoma is at a later stage and has metastasized (spreading to other parts of the body), treatment options are limited and palliative care is the main course of action. Drug treatments for melanoma, when successful, do not provide a cure. They may extend life for a time measured in months not years. There will always be exceptions and some people with metastatic (stage 4) melanoma will live for many years after diagnosis. However, the prognosis for advanced melanoma is normally not good hence early detection is critical for success.

Leathery Mom Denies Taking 5yo Daughter into Tanning Booth

A New Jersey woman has been charged with felony child endangerment after she allegedly took her five-year-old daughter into a tanning booth, where the child suffered serious burns. Even Snooki, the tanning queen herself, does not approve.

The investigation of Krentcil began after cops were summoned to the elementary school attended by the kindergartener, who was in pain due to what appeared to be a severe sunburn. The subsequent probe determined, cops allege, that Krentcil took her child into a tanning booth at a Nutley parlor a week prior to her April 24 arrest.

State law bars children under the age of 14 from using a tanning facility. Investigators contend that Krentcil brought her daughter into a stand-up tanning booth without the knowledge of parlor employees.

Putting a 5 year old in a tanning bed is horrible for any child but would be especially dangerous for this beautiful little girl. The risk of melanoma is more than 10 times higher for whites than for African Americans. Whites with fair skin, freckles, or red or blond hair have a higher risk of melanoma. Red-haired people have the highest risk. There’s no such thing as a “healthy” tan. The damage to the skin is irreversible. Children are particularly vulnerable. Yet because tanning is thought of as a sign of health, affluence and beauty in our culture, people don’t take the risks seriously.
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And the Winner is… Acrylates Named Contact Allergen for 2012

At the most recent annual meeting of The American Contact Dermatitis Society, Acrylates were crowned the  Contact Allergen of the Year for 2012. Acrylates are plastic materials found in paints, adhesives, inks, resins and artificial fingernails. Acrylates are also used in a number of medical devisesincluding contact lenses, hearing aids and bone cements for orthopedic endoprostheses. Acrylates were bestowed this this year’s honor because they are “everywhere in the environment” said Dr. Donald V. Belisto, who announced the winner at the meeting.

We commonly see patients with allergic reactions on their skin, however it is very difficult to pinpoint what caused the allergy. Think about it… you come in contact with hundreds of items every day and any of those products could potentially cause an allergy. A common area we see allergic reactions are on the face. Many people start thinking about their make-up, face lotion, face wash, ect…as to what could have caused the allergic reaction. When you have a reaction on your face it is more commonly something you transfer from your hand to your face (i.e acrylic nails or nail polish).

Treatment for contact allergens commonly include topical cortisone treatment or oral prednisone. Most importantly is avoidance of the allergen, however this can be difficult if you don’t know what it is. Patch Testing can be done to attempt to establish the allergen. Patch Testing is an in-office procedure where large adhesive patches impregnated with various allergens are placed on the skin, typically the back. The adhesive patches are left on the skin for a few days and when removed the skin is examined for any reaction to the test. If a positive reaction is found we try to determine where the patient is coming in contact with the allergen.

If your face is burning and itching let your nails go au natural, you could get some relief.

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