At a recent dermatology meeting Dr. Christopher Zachary, a well know cosmetic and laser dermatologist and department chair, warned that the dermatology profession risks losing its credibility by promoting devices that just don’t work. Zachary cautioned doctors to be wary about purchasing devices that are popular but unproven.
In buying a new laser, doctors “can spend $200,000 to make patients look better. Some of them work; most of them don’t,” he told the panel, held at UCI. Zachary told the panel that, although many lasers and similar devices produce little, if any, actual change in patients, doctors still make presentations at medical conferences about the new technology…. “There’s a problem here. I go to lecture after lecture, and I think that if someone went to the podium with a carousel and the slides slipped out, they wouldn’t know which was the ‘pre’ picture and which was ‘post,” he said.
For both physicians and patients, buyer beware.
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It is a widely held belief that moles or nevi change during pregnancy. However, there is no convincing evidence to support this. There are many changes that happen to a woman’s skin when she is pregnant. She may develop melasma, brown splotches on her face, or linea nigra, brown pigmentation on her belly. She may also develop benign growths such as skin tags or angiomas.
It might be that some of these skin changes are misinterpreted as changes in the size or color of already existing moles. Also, since women’s skin stretches during pregnancy, moles might appear to be growing or spreading. This is not the same as a mole actually changing. According to an new review published in the December 2007 issue of the Journal of the American Academy of Dermatology:
The best data available … suggest that nevi do not typically change over the course of pregnancy; therefore a changing nevus during pregnancy should undergo biopsy, just as in a nonpregnant patient.
If you are pregnant, or are a physician who has a pregnant patient with a changing mole or nevus, then it should be evaluated by a dermatologist. Though uncommon, a new or changing nevus, can be a melanoma skin cancer.
What is MRSA?
MRSA is a type of staph bacteria that is resistant to methicillin, an anti-staph antibiotic. MRSA is a particularly virulent strain that can cause a life threatening infection, especially in frail or immunocompromised patients. It is more common than we thought; data from the CDC showed that there were about 94,000 cases of MRSA in the US in 2005 with over 18,000 deaths, more than from AIDS. Continue reading “MRSA, the Staph Superbug”
Would You Like 10,000 or 20,000 Watts?
‘Tis the season for indoor tanning. Even some of my most educated, sophisticated patients think that a “little” sun tan is better than having “pasty white” skin. It isn’t.
One 2002 study by researchers at Dartmouth Medical School found indoor tanners were 2.5 times as likely to get squamous cell carcinoma and 1.5 times as likely to develop basal cell carcinoma as people who didn’t tan; the study didn’t analyze melanoma rates. Another report from Norway and Sweden followed women who regularly used tanning beds for eight years and found they had a 55 percent greater chance of developing melanoma than those who didn’t.
“Well, it must be better than actual suntanning,” you say.
… New high-pressure sunlamps emit doses that can be as much as 15 times that of the sun, according to the American Academy of Dermatology.
Your natural skin color, even if “pasty,” is beautiful.
The rush to cosmetics by physicians ranging from ER doctors to Pediatricians has been amazing. But, is there a cosmetics bubble?
Some plastic surgeons … are seeing a drop-off in patient consultations, which is ‘usually a little bit of a precursor to lighter surgical calendars maybe 45 to 60 days out.’ … [B]reast-implant maker Mentor Corp. in Santa Barbara, Calif., says the surgeons … have noticed a drop in patient interest.
As long as the economy continues to slow, discretionary spending for cosmetic procedures will likely tighten. A potential benefit? You might be able to get in to see your physician sooner for that rash.
Just when you thought low-carb diets were dead.
A study done by dermatologist Dr. Neil Mann in Australia showed that teenagers who ate a high-protein, low-carb diet had less acne then those on a normal teenage diet. Continue reading “Low Carb Diet Might Help Acne”
Dr. Benabio grew up in a little Italian neighborhood in Providence, RI. An Ivy League graduate, he was also ranked number one in his medical school class. While in medical school, he served as class president and as president of the Alpha Omega Alpha Honor Society, to which he was elected in his third year. He also served as a member of the North Carolina Medical Society House of Delegates. In his final year, he was honored with the prestigious Faculty Award, the R.W. Pritchard History of Medicine Award, and the Excellence in Dermatology Award. In his dermatology residency in Southern California, he served as chief resident.
Dr. Benabio is board certified in dermatology, is a fellow of the American Academy of Dermatology, and practices in San Diego, CA. He also lobbies for the American Academy of Dermatology Association in Washington, DC. He is a member of a number of professional organizations including the American Society for Dermatologic Surgery and the American Society for Lasers in Medicine and Surgery.
He and his wife live in downtown San Diego. His interests include bodybuilding, blogging, and politics.
He can be reached at Dr.Benabio [at] TheDermBlog [dot] com.