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Dermatology Services

Dr. Desai offers a variety of medical and cosmetic dermatology services. Please contact our office for a personal consultation with Dr. Desai to decide which services may be right for you and your skin.

Medical Dermatology

The medical dermatology services we offer include treatment for numerous skin conditions including but not limited to:

  • Acne
  • Actinic Keratoses
  • Autoimmune Blistering Diseases
  • Brown Spots
  • Cutaneous Lymphomas
  • Eczema
  • Moles
  • Molluscum
  • Psoriasis
  • Rashes
  • Rosacea
  • Skin Cancers
  • Tinea/Fungus
  • Vitiligo
  • Warts

Please feel free to read more about some of these conditions below. Should you have any questions, please do not hesitate to contact our office.

Acne

Acne is the most common skin condition in the United States. Though common, accurate information about acne can be scarce. Dr. Desai is an acne expert, and has treated hundreds of patients with mild, moderate and severe acne. Acne is a term used to describe blocked pores, which can be blackheads and whiteheads. In addition to pimples, cysts and/or nodules can be present as well. Acne typically tends to appear on the face, neck, chest, back, shoulders and upper arms.

Acne is not a life-threatening condition, but it can cause physical scarring, emotional trauma, damage to surrounding areas of the skin, and other skin complications. This is exactly why Dr. Desai devotes a great deal of time in evaluating and treating his acne patients. There are numerous treatments available for acne, and include topical medications, oral antibiotics, extractions, specialized skin care products, oral isotretinoin treatment (also often referred to as Accutane), and other cosmetic options.

Today, virtually every case of acne can be successfully treated. Our skin experts can help treat existing acne, prevent new breakouts and reduce your chance of developing scars. Dr. Desai and Innovative Dermatology will be happy to create a regimen suited for your skin type and acne severity.

Dermatologists know that letting acne runs its course is not always the best advice. Here’s why:

  • Without treatment, dark spots and permanent scars can appear on the skin as acne clears.
  • Treating acne often boosts a person’s self-esteem.
  • Many effective treatments are available.

Many people think that acne is just pimples. But a person who has acne can have any of these blemishes: 

  • Blackheads
  • Whiteheads
  • Papules
  • Pustules (what many people call pimples)
  • Cysts
  • Nodules

If you have a bad case of acne, you may feel that you are the only one. But many people have acne. It is the most common skin problem in the United States. About 40 to 50 million Americans have acne at any one time. Most people who have acne are teenagers or young adults, but acne can occur at any age. Newborn babies can get acne. Men and women get acne. Some women get acne well into 20’s, 30’s, 40’s and even 50’s.

Acne is caused by several factors: 

  • Abnormal maturation of the skin
  • Hormonal influences
  • Bacteria
  • Diet
  • Oil overproduction

Acne appears when a pore in our skin clogs with dead skin cells. Normally, dead skin cells rise to surface of the pore, and the body sheds the cells. When the body starts to make lots of sebum (oil), that normally keeps our skin from drying out, the dead skin cells can stick together inside the pore.

Hormonal fluctuations that happen during puberty, menstrual cycle or pregnancy many influence the sebum production.

Diet plays a role as well, since diet high in carbohydrates and dairy raises glycemic levels which in turn raises insulin levels. This contributes to higher male hormone and oil production. Higher male hormone production contributes to increase levels of sebum or oil production. Sebum makes the cells sticky, so the cells become trapped inside the pore.

Sometimes bacteria that live on our skin, p. acnes, also get inside the clogged pore. Inside the pore, the bacteria have a perfect sticky environment for multiplying very quickly. With loads of bacteria inside, the pore becomes inflamed (red and swollen). If the inflammation goes deep into the skin, an acne cyst or nodule appears. 

Actinic Keratoses (AKs)

Actinic keratoses (AKs) are lesions on the surface layer of the skin (epidermis) caused by chronic exposure to sunlight, and in particular ultraviolet light. These lesions can appear anywhere on the skin surface that is exposed to sunlight. Most commonly, the face, arms, hands, neck and scalp are involved, but Actinic Keratoses have been detected in other areas. Typically, these lesions tend to be scaly, raised, can itch on occasion, and often have a brown, yellow or red color/hue.

AK’s can become skin cancers, and can be a visible sign for the onset of skin cancer, which is why it is so important to get these skin lesions evaluated and treated. There are numerous treatment options including liquid nitrogen cryosurgery, curettage, electrodessication, topical creams, chemical peels, field treatment with dermabrasion, various laser modalities, and others. Please be sure to ask Dr. Desai which treatment may be the best for you.

An actinic keratosis, or AK, is a rough, dry, scaly patch or growth that forms on the skin. An AK forms when the skin is chronically damaged by ultraviolet (UV) rays from the sun or indoor tanning. Most people get more than one AK. Anyone who has many AKs should be under a dermatologist’s care. Most people who have many AKs continue to get new AKs for life. AKs are considered precancerous, which means there is a likelihood that they will become cancerous.

We can treat AKs before they become skin cancer. If skin cancer does develop, it can be caught early when treatment often cures skin cancer.

Dr.Desai and his team will tell you how often you should return for checkups. Some patients need a checkup once every 8 to 12 weeks. Others return for a checkup 1 or 2 times per year.

Keep all appointments with our office. Left untreated, AKs can turn into a type of skin cancer called squamous cell carcinoma. With early detection and treatment, skin cancer has a high cure rate.

While squamous cell carcinoma is the most likely skin cancer associated with severe sun damage, other skin cancers such as melanoma or basal cell carcinoma may also predominate.

So, protect your skin from the sun. Wear sunscreen with Broad Spectrum UVA/UVB coverage, sun-protective clothing, such as SPF built in shirts, hats and sunglasses and see your dermatologist on a regular basis.

Most people who get AKs do not have any symptoms. They only notice changes to their skin. Symptoms can occur. A few symptoms to watch for are:

  • Rough-feeling patch on skin that cannot be seen
  • Rough patch or growth that feels painful when rubbed
  • Itching or burning
  • Lips feel constantly dry, crusty

An AK can come and go. An AK can appear on the skin, remain for months, and then flake off and disappear. The skin can suddenly feel smooth. Many AKs re-appear in a few days to a few weeks. They often re-appear when the person goes outdoors without sun protection. AKs come from chronic sun damage however recurrent unprotected sun exposure can worsen this condition. If the damage grows deeper, skin cancer can develop.

Ultraviolet (UV) rays cause AKs. Most people get exposed to UV rays from being outside during the day or using tanning beds.

When UV rays hit our skin, the rays damage our skin. When we are young, the body can repair some of the damage. Over time, the damage accumulates, and the body is less able to repair itself. We eventually see UV-damaged skin. If UV rays continue to hit the skin, people get AKs.

Dermatologists diagnose an actinic keratosis (AK) by closely examining the skin. Dr. Desai often finds AKs by visual inspection, by using a magnifying glass or dermatoscope (a special magnifying light).

If Dr. Desai finds a growth that is thick or looks like skin cancer during the exam, your dermatologist will likely perform a skin biopsy. Biopsy is very safe and is relatively painless.

When found early and treated, skin cancer is often cured.

There are many treatments for AKs. Some treatments your dermatologist can perform in the office. Other treatments you will use at home. The goal of treatment is to destroy the AKs. Some patients receive more than one type of treatment. Treatments for AKs include:

IN OFFICE PROCEDURES

  • Cryotherapy: Destroys visible AKs by freezing them. The treated skin often blisters and peels off within a few days to a few weeks. This is the most common treatment. When the skin heals, you may see a small white mark.
  • Photodynamic therapy (PDT): A solution is applied to make the skin more sensitive to light. After a few hours, the treated skin is exposed to a visible light, such as blue or laser light. The light activates the solution and destroys AKs. As the skin heals, new healthy skin appears.
  • Chemical peel: This is a medical chemical peel. You cannot get this peel at a salon or from a kit sold for at-home use. This strong peel destroys the top layers of skin. The treated area will be inflamed and sore, but healthy new skin will replace it.
  • Curettage: Your dermatologist carefully removes a visible AK with an instrument called a curette. After curettage, your dermatologist may use electrosurgery to remove more damaged tissue. Electrosurgery cauterizes (burns) the skin. New healthier skin will appear.

PRESCRIPTION MEDICINE

Dr. Desai may prescribe a medicine that you can use at home to treat AKs. Medicines that dermatologists prescribe include:

  • 5-fluorouracil (5-FU) cream: This is chemotherapy that you apply to the skin. It causes temporary redness and crusting. Patients typically apply 5-FU twice daily for 2 to 4 weeks. A person who has lots of damaged skin may need to use 5-FU longer. 5-FU causes sun-damaged areas to become raw and irritated. As the skin heals, healthy skin appears. Another treatment such as cryotherapy may be necessary to treat thick AKs.
  • Diclofenac sodium gel (Solaraze): This is a non-greasy gel. You apply it to skin with lots of AKs. Patients apply the medicine twice a day for about 2 to 3 months. During this time, you must protect your skin from the sun. You will see the best results about 30 days after you stop applying the gel. Some AKs can remain. Your dermatologist will treat these, often with cryotherapy.
  • Imiquimod cream (Aldara or Zyclara): This cream helps boost your body’s immune system so that your body can get rid of the diseased skin cells. Imiquimod causes the skin to redden and swell. After you stop using the medicine, the skin heals.
  • Ingenol mebutate gel (Picato): This gel works in two ways. It boosts the body’s immune system. It also is a type of chemotherapy for the skin. One formula is used to treat AKs on the head and scalp and is applied for 3 days in a row. The other formula treats AKs on the legs, arms, and torso. Patients apply this formula for 2 days in a row. Both formulas can cause rapid redness and swelling. As the skin heals, the redness and swelling clear.

Brown Spots

Adults tend to develop brown spots, which are often also referred to as “liver spots” or “age spots.” They can be seen on the arms, trunk, face, hands, and even lower extremities. Typically, these spots do not turn into skin cancers, and are more of a cosmetic concern, however, you should have these spots examined by the dermatologist. If any of these lesions start to grow in size, change color, bleed, become irritated, have irregular borders, multiple colors, are asymmetric, or scale, make sure you advise the dermatologist. There are numerous treatments that can treat these lesions including liquid nitrogen, laser treatments and topical medications. Please talk with Dr. Seemal Desai about which would be right for you.

Eczema

Eczema can be seen in patients of all ages, but particularly children. It is a very common term used to describe inflammatory skin conditions that lead to chronic itching and skin damage. There are numerous things that can trigger and/or worsen eczema, including soaps, chemicals, fragrances, food allergies, pet dander, other systemic allergies, and other irritants to name a few. There are numerous treatments including topical corticosteroid creams, immunomodulators, ultraviolet light treatment and others.

Moles

Moles or “nevi” and other birthmarks are lesions that can be pigmented. They range from tan, brown and black (moles) to red, pink or purple in some rare cases. The pigmented color is caused by melanocytes, which are cells in the skin that produce pigment. If you notice that you have multiple moles, and/or any of your lesions change color, shape, size, texture, starts to bleed or evolve, you should advise the dermatologist. In addition, numerous other tips on looking for moles that are suspicious or characteristics of changing moles can be found at www.aad.org and at www.skincancer.org.

Psoriasis

Psoriasis is a chronic condition that is mediated by a patient’s immune system. It results in itchy, inflamed, red to pink patches and plaques that can be very difficult to treat and which can flare. In recent years, psoriasis has gained a lot of attention in the media and in medical research. One of the most frustrating things about psoriasis is that there is no cure, but all hope is not lost, and there are a number of amazing new treatments that have changed the lives of patients living with psoriasis. The most commonly affected areas in psoriasis are the scalp, elbows, knees, hands, feet and genitals.

Dr. Seemal Desai is an expert in the treatment of psoriasis, and has treated hundreds of patients with mild, moderate and severe plaque psoriasis. Having participated in clinical research trials, and using cutting edge treatments, many have referred to Dr. Desai as a psoriasis expert. The most common treatments are topical medications, phototherapy with in office ultraviolet light and new oral or injectable medication. Dr. Desai and his staff will tailor and create a regimen unique to your psoriasis and aimed at alleviating your symptoms as quickly and safely as possible.

Rosacea

Rosacea is a frustrating condition. It manifests as redness and/or swelling on the face. Rosacea can be itchy, and can burn, so make sure you mention your symptoms to the dermatologist. Similar to other skin conditions, it is triggered by underlying skin inflammation. There are numerous treatments including topical antimicrobials, some anti-inflammatory medications, and oral antibiotics. It is not an uncommon skin condition, and like acne, can be very emotionally distressing.

Skin Cancer

Skin cancer is on the rise, and statistics continue to show a rapid increase in the number of skin cancers diagnosed and treated each year. It is for this very reason, that you should get a full body skin examination with the dermatologist at least once a year. However, some high risk populations including but not limited to patients with a previous and/or family history of skin cancer may even want to get a skin examination more often. The most common types of skin caner are Basal cell carcinoma, Squamous cell carcinoma, and Malignant melanoma.

Basal cell carcinoma is the most common, but tends to not cause serious long-term health consequences if treated quickly. It typically looks like a pink to red growth that can be “pearly” or smooth looking and tends not to regress on its own.

Squamous cell carcinoma tends to be more aggressive and can metastasize. It can commonly occur due to long term ultraviolet light exposure, but can also be triggered by other skin and underlying health conditions.

Malignant melanoma can be very aggressive, and can be fatal if left untreated. It is important that you talk with your dermatologist about your risk for skin cancers and in particular malignant melanoma. Typically, melanoma can appear as enlarging brown or black moles that can have irregular borders, color and/or shapes. Though malignant melanoma is rare, it may occur within an existing mole or as new mole.

Warts

Warts are skin growths that can be numerous and frustrating. Typically, they are causes by viruses of the Human Papilloma Virus family. They can be treated, but that can be a challenge. Make sure to ask Dr. Desai which treatment would be right for you. Topical salicylic acid, anti-viral creams along with in office procedures such as curettage, and liquid nitrogen can be used to treat the warts.

Cosmetic Dermatology

Innovative Dermatology offers a variety of cosmetic dermatology services including: non-surgical facial rejuvenation, chemical peels, acne scar therapy, facial contouring, and other injectables. An example of some of these services is discussed below. For more information, please contact our office.

Botox®

Botox Cosmetic is a simple, nonsurgical, treatment that can temporarily smooth moderate to severe frown lines between the brows in people from 18 to 65 years of age. It is a purified protein produced by the Clostridium botulinum bacterium, which reduces the activity of the muscles that cause frown lines between the brows to form over time. Cosmetic Botox is approved by the Food and Drug Administration (FDA). The injections are usually painless, and the entire procedure is fairly quick. Typically areas of treatment include the muscles in between your eyebrows as those are considered some of the most important muscles of facial expression. Please contact Dr. Desai should you have questions about this very exciting procedure.

Restylane®

Restylane is a non-surgical cosmetic dermal volumizing filler. It is used to help correct moderate to severe facial wrinkles and folds. These can include the lines from your nose to the corners of your mouth, and other areas of the face as well. At Innovative Dermatology, all of our cosmetic procedures are performed by Dr. Desai. As a board certified dermatologist, Dr. Desai is highly trained in all aspects of dermatologic care.

Restylane is composed of hyaluronic acid, and it is injected into the skin to help restore volume and correct moderate to severe wrinkles and folds in your skin. Treatment takes up to 30 minutes, and patients can return home shortly after the procedure is finished. Results vary, but effects generally last about 6 months.

Juvederm®

Juvederm is a smooth consistency gel made of hyaluronic acid. It is used to help correct moderate to severe facial wrinkles and folds. These can include the lines from your nose to the corners of your mouth, and other areas of the face as well.
Juvederm is indicated for injection into the mid to deep dermis for correction of moderate to severe facial wrinkles and folds. It is the only hyaluronic acid (HA) filler approved by the FDA to last up to 1 year. With Juvederm the injection process takes only about 30 minutes and results are immediate. There is minimal recovery or downtime.

Specials and Events

Watch out for our Open Houses, Meet the Doctor events and Specials for our valued patients.

Please contact our office for a personal consultation with Dr. Desai to decide which services may be right for you and your skin.