General Dermatology Evaluation & Treatment
Most people living in Southern California are significantly exposed to the sun and routine skin exams are important to monitor against precancerous or cancerous changes and abnormal moles. For many patients, annual checks are sufficient. High-risk patients may need twice yearly or quarterly complete skin examinations. Our board-certified and fellowship-trained skin cancer experts diagnose and treat both commonly occurring growths and more rare skin conditions which may not be adequately recognized, diagnosed or evaluated by a primary care doctor.
Skin Cancer Screening
Skin cancer and abnormal mole screening are routinely performed on all patients who either request this or who have any significant risk factors. One out of every three Caucasians and one out of every five Americans of all ethnicities suffer from skin cancer. Simply living in Southern California with chronic sun exposure, even with good sun protection, exposes most patients to risk, and we are all best served by routine checks on an annual or semi-annual basis. No other health care professional has the expertise to recognize and to diagnose the broad array of skin conditions and lesions that may be encountered.
Removal of Moles, Skin Cancers, Warts, etc.
All the dermatologists in our office are exceedingly well-qualified to address and to remove benign or precancerous lesions including moles, warts and wart-like growths, and skin cancers. A variety of treatment methods are used, including the use of cryotherapy with liquid nitrogen, laser or photodynamic therapy, electric needle or hyfrecator, scalpel surgery and Mohs frozen section microscopically-controlled surgery.
Mohs Micrographic Surgery for Skin Cancer
Mohs micrographic surgery is a tissue-sparing technique for removing many types of skin cancer, particularly those occurring on the head, neck, hands, feet, and shins or other areas where tissue sparing is important. This technique is also used on recurrent, incompletely excised, or large and particularly aggressive skin cancers. The procedure involves removing the skin cancer with a minimal margin and immediately checking the deep and peripheral margins on frozen section pathology while the patient is still in the office. Typically each stage requires twenty to thirty minutes. If any skin cancer is located at any of the margins, further tissue is removed and rechecked. This allows the Mohs micrographic surgeon to remove all of the skin cancer in a very accurate fashion without sacrificing any significant amount of normal skin. This is different from the standard skin cancer excision techniques which involve taking out a moderate or wide margin of normal tissue. The resulting wound after Mohs micrographic surgery is as small as possible with assessment of 100% of the tissue margin, allowing for smaller, more cosmetically acceptable scars with extremely minimal risk of recurrence (99.9% cure). This procedure is performed in the office under local anesthesia.
Hyperhidrosis (Excessive Sweating)
People who suffer from excessive sweating go through their day with worry and embarrassment. They worry that others will see the sweat stains on their clothes, so they change clothing several times a day. They tend to skip social situations to avoid hugging and waving.
Sweating is normal for it’s the body’s way to control temperature. However, too much sweating is not normal and usually indicates a medical condition called Hyperhidrosis. Excessive sweating is caused by a hyper-function of the sweat glands.
If you find that antiperspirants and powders are not controlling your perspiration, then we highly recommend medical treatment or Botox injections. Botox is FDA-approved for severe underarm sweating that is inadequately managed with topical agents.
Botox helps control Hyperhidrosis by temporarily blocking the chemical signals from the nerves that stimulate the sweat glands. When the sweat glands don’t receive these signals, the severe sweating stops. Our Dermatologists can provide a medical assessment and recommend Botox treatment if warranted. To learn more about excessive sweating, please visit www.SweatHelp.org.