Medical Procedures

Moles

Moles are very common skin growths that occur in nearly all people. Other names for moles include nevi, birthmarks, and beauty marks. While most moles are harmless, there are instances when moles should be examined by a qualified skin doctor and potentially removed. With the rise in skin cancer rates, many people are especially concerned about moles on their body. At Marina Dermatology, we offer our patients comprehensive skin exams that include the detection and monitoring of suspicious moles. We encourage all of our Los Angeles patients to undergo regular skin exams and educate themselves about moles so they can seek early intervention when necessary.

Moles are typically a brownish color, although some may be skin-colored. Most moles will appear on the body before 30 years of age and some may be present at birth. The presence of moles is primarily associated with genetic factors – they tend to run in families and appear in patients with fair skin. Moles may also form as a response to sun exposure. We tend to see more moles in patients who have grown up in LA than in patients who grew up in less sunny climates.

Moles come in a variety of shapes and sizes. Moles that have a smooth border, even coloring, and do not change in their appearance over time are considered normal and are unlikely to develop into pre-cancerous or lesions. In order to understand if a mole has changed, we recommend that all of our patients examine the moles on their body every few months and undergo an annual skin examination at Marina Dermatology. Our Doctor’s advise our patients to use the ABCDE’s of mole observation to judge whether a mole is potentially dangerous:

  • Asymmetry: one side of the moles does not look like the other side.
  • Border irregularity: the borders of the mole are not well defined. They may be ragged, blurred, or appear to be spreading out over the skin.
  • Color: the mole does not have an even color throughout. Several shades of colors may be present. The color may spread from the edge of the mole onto the surrounding skin.
  • Diameter: moles that are larger than the size of a pencil eraser are more likely to be indicative of a cancerous growth, especially if they have undergone recent growth.
  • Evolution: the mole has changed in size, shape, color, texture, or sensation (for example, feelings of itchiness or pain).

If any of these are true of a mole on your body, we recommend that you make an appointment with our Board Certified Dermatologist to have the mole examined at one of our Marina Del Rey area offices.

While the majority of moles are harmless, many of our patients seek to have a mole removed for cosmetic reasons. Our Dermatologist is highly skilled in mole removal and can remove a troublesome mole from your skin using a variety of techniques. Our Doctor also specializes in Mohs Surgery, in the event that a cancerous lesion needs to be removed from the skin.

Psoriasis

Psoriasis is a chronic disease that affects the skin. While there is no cure for psoriasis, there are many treatments that can help control the symptoms. If you have been diagnosed with psoriasis, it is important to find a skin doctor who is experienced in treating patients with this condition. By partnering with an expert, such as our Doctor at Marina Dermatology, you will be able to better manage your condition and once again enjoy a life with healthy skin.

Types of Psoriasis

Psoriasis occurs when the immune system mistakes a normal skin cell for a harmful pathogen and signals the overproduction of new skin cells in defense. The result of the immune system’s overreaction manifests in a number of symptoms on the skin. Psoriasis is not contagious, but it can look like a contagious condition, causing psoriasis sufferers to feel self-conscious during a flare-up. Psoriasis can occur anywhere on the body, including the nails, scalp, and genital area.

Psoriasis is classified into five types, based upon the condition of the skin and where it occurs on the body:

  • Plaque psoriasis is the most common form of the disease and accounts for around 90% of all psoriasis cases. It appears as raised areas of the skin that are covered with silvery white scales, which are known as plaques. These plaques are the result of a buildup of the dead skin cells and will eventually flake off. The plaques are often itchy, painful, and may bleed and become infected if not cared for properly. Plaque psoriasis tends to appear on the elbows, knees, lower back and scalp.
  • Guttate psoriasis accounts for about 10% of all psoriasis cases and usually first appears in childhood. It manifests has small, distinct, red or pink colored spots on the skin. Guttate psoriasis lesions typically appear in great numbers on the trunk, arms, and legs.
  • Inverse psoriasis occurs in the moist environments created by body folds, such as under the breasts and armpits. It occurs most often in overweight people with deep skin folds. Because this type of psoriasis occurs in moist environments, it does not scale, but rather appears as shiny, smooth, reddened patches on the skin.
  • Pustular psoriasis is characterized by non-contagious pustules (pus-filled blisters) that are surrounded by red, tender skin. This type of psoriasis occurs more often in adult patients and may appear in one localized area or across wide areas of the body.
  • Erythrodermic psoriasis is the least common form of psoriasis, but one of the most dangerous types if left untreated. This type of psoriasis is typified by extremely red skin and widespread exfoliation of the skin. Erythrodermic psoriasis can be fatal if left untreated, so prompt medical attention is required if a psoriasis patient experiences this form of the disease.

Treatment

Management of psoriasis is crucial the health of your skin and your overall health. Proper psoriasis treatment requires great care and attention, as the treatment plan will be unique for the individual based upon their medical history, skin type, and form(s) of psoriasis they experience. An important step is adopting a skincare regimen that adequately cares for and protects your sensitive skin. Our Dermatologist can suggest strategies for caring for your skin and will monitor your progress throughout. In addition, there are a number of medications available to control psoriasis. After examining your skin and gaining an understanding of your unique medical history, our Cosmetic Dermatologist may recommend a course of medications. When working with a skilled and experienced skin doctor, treatment can often alleviate symptoms and reduce future outbreaks of psoriasis. To learn more, please contact one of our two Marina del Rey area offices today.

Rashes

“Rash” is the general term used to describe a sudden change in the skin’s normal color, appearance, or texture. The term does not refer to one particular condition or disease, but rather is used to describe a wide variety of skin disorders. In some instances, rashes can cause discomfort or may signal a larger dermatological or medical problem. At Marina Dermatology, our skin Doctor encourages his patients to consult with him when they experience any unusual skin changes. Our Dermatologist can determine whether the rash needs further medical evaluation and can recommend a treatment to alleviate any discomfort.

Overview

Our skin plays an important role in our overall health because it serves a barrier between the inside of the body and our surrounding environment. Rashes occur when some change has affected the skin and caused an inflammatory reaction. Any change in the skin’s normal condition and appearance may indicate a rash. This could include the presence of dry, cracked, or flakey skin and/or blisters and bumps. The skin may feel warm, itchy, or painful, but in some instances there is no discomfort at all. Rashes do not always require medical attention; however, if your rash is causing pain, does not resolve within a few days, or recurs frequently, you should make an appointment with a skin doctor to determine the cause and an appropriate treatment.

Common Types of Rashes

    • Contact dermatitis is one of the most common types of rashes seen by our Cosmetic Dermatologist at his Los Angeles offices. This type of rash is caused when an individual comes in contact with a chemical substance that they are allergic to or irritated by. Common examples of contact dermatitis include diaper rash, poison ivy exposure, and reactions to jewelry that contains nickel (a common skin irritant). To treat contact dermatitis, it is important to identify the chemical that is causing the allergy or irritation so it can be avoided. Our doctor can help you identify common irritants that may be responsible for contact dermatitis.
    • Seborrheic dermatitis is the most common skin rash affecting adults in LA. It typically appears on the scalp, forehead, cheeks, and ears and manifests as a red, scaling patches on the skin.
    • Eczema, also known as atopic dermatitis, is a common and chronic skin condition that results in red, itchy, oozing, and/or flaking rashes anywhere on the body. It typically appears in childhood and is associated with asthma and hay fever.
    • Psoriasis is another chronic skin condition that can occur anywhere eon the body. It typically manifests as silvery flakes of skin that eventually scale and fall off. This rash can be very itchy and painful.
    • Fungal, viral, and bacterial infections can also cause a wide variety of skin rashes. In these cases, specific medicines may be required based upon the cause of the skin rash

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Treatment

Because rashes can be a result of a chemical irritant, chronic disorder, or infection, it is important to work with a qualified skin doctor to resolve a recurring or prolonged rash. Over the years, our Dermatologist has helped a huge number of patients in the Marina Del Rey area identify the cause of their rash so an effective course of treatment can be followed. If you are concerned about the presence of a rash on your skin, please contact us today.

Nail Fungus

A fungal infection is the most common disease to affect the nails. About half of all nail problems are attributed to fungal infections. Nail fungus is present in about 6 to 8% of the adult population in Los Angeles and tends to affect the toenails more often than the fingernails. Nail fungus can be difficult to treat and may recur even after it has disappeared for some time. Many treatments are available, ranging from over-the-counter solutions to prescription medications and light therapy. At Marina Dermatology, our skin Doctor offers his patients a variety of therapies to combat stubborn nail fungus infections. It may take some time to find the appropriate solution to control your nail fungus, but our Doctor is committed to helping his Marina Del Rey patients enjoy clear, healthy nails that are free from fungal infections.

A fungal infection of the nails typically begins as a small yellow or white spot under the tip of the nail. As the fungus spreads deeper, the nail may thicken, discolor, and develop ragged, crumbling edges. The nail may take on a white, black, green or yellow color. In some cases, a fungal infection is merely unsightly and does not cause pain; however, in other cases an untreated fungal infection can lead to painful, inflamed skin under the nail and around the nail bed. Many people who suffer from nail fungus feel very embarrassed or ashamed about the appearance of their nails. This is more common in a fungal fingernail infection, as it is impossible to keep the fingers constantly concealed.

Nail fungal infections may appear similar to other dermatological conditions, such as nail psoriasis or contact dermatitis. If our Dermatologist is not entirely sure that your nail condition is caused by a fungal infection, he may send a nail clipping to the laboratory to gain a clear diagnosis. Once nail fungus has been diagnosed, our Doctor will determine an appropriate course of treatment based upon the location and severity of your fungal infection. Treatment of nail fungus can be difficult because the infection is within the nail, making it difficult to target. It can take a year or more to achieve a full cure. During this time, new nail growth will replace the old, infected nail.

The most common type of treatment for nail fungus is antifungal medication. These may be applied topically, taken internally, or a combination of the two. Laser therapy has also proven effective in managing fungal nail infections, as fungi are very sensitive to heat. The treatment uses a laser to heat the nail bed and thereby disrupt fungi growth. There are a number of alternative treatments that may help control and manage fungal infections of the nails. Our Cosmetic Dermatologist may recommend an alternative therapy if he believes it will be a safe and effective treatment for you.

Trying to treat and manage nail fungus on your own can be frustrating, but with the help of a qualified skin doctor you are more likely to find a solution that provides effective, lasting results. Please contact either of LA locations today to set up an initial consultation and find out how our Doctor can help improve the health of your nails through a nail fungus treatment.

Warts

Our Cosmetic Dermatologist frequently consults with patients who are concerned about the presence of warts on their skin. Warts are very common skin growths that are caused by the human papillomavirus (HPV). There are hundreds of types of HPVs, some of which produce warts on the surface of the skin. Warts can be painful and unattractive, especially when they form on prominent areas of the body, such as the hands or eyelids. In these instances, many people will ask a skin doctor to remove the wart. Patients in the Marina Del Rey area who require wart treatment may be able to find an effective treatment with our Doctor at Marina Dermatology.

Overview

Warts can appear almost anywhere on the body. Their appearance and location on the body will vary based upon the strain of HPV that the individual has been infected with. There are as many as 10 varieties of warts and the most common types are considered to be harmless, although they may cause pain when they occur in certain areas. Some warts disappear after a few months, but others persist for years or may recur after they have cleared up initially. Warts most commonly occur on the feet and hands, where the HPV virus is able to spread easily and enter through small tears on the skin’s surface.

Common Types of Warts

Warts are classified based upon their appearance and where they occur. The most common types of warts treated at our LA offices are listed below.

  • Common warts are the familiar, typical wart that has a dome-like shape and rough surface. They most commonly occur on the hands, but can grow anywhere on the human body.
  • Plantar warts occur on pressure points of the soles of the feet. They may form a painful lump and typically have multiple black spots in the center. Plantar warts may also be called verrucas.
  • Flat warts are smooth and flesh-colored. As their name indicates, they lay flat against the skin. They may occur in large numbers anywhere on the body, but are most common on the face, neck, hands, and knees.
  • Periungal warts form under or around the nails.
  • Filiform warts appear as a thread-like cluster and are most often seen on the eyelids or around the lips.

Treatment

Most warts will resolve without medical intervention within 18 months; however, many of our patients don’t want their warts to hang around that long. Our Dermatologist offers a number of treatments to eliminate warts, all of which can be performed at both of his Los Angeles offices. There are a number of topical treatments that may be prescribed to kill and eliminate warts. There are also a number of procedures that can be performed to eliminate warts. These include laser therapy, cryosurgery, and surgical removal. During your initial consultation, our Doctor will determine which approach is likely to provide you with the best results.

Skin Tags

Skin tags are benign growths of the skin that tend to form in areas where the skin creases and rubs together. They are incredibly common, with a prevalence of almost 50% in the general population. Although they are not dangerous, skin tags can become a nuisance or may be considered unsightly if they appear in a highly visible area. At Marina Dermatology, our Cosmetic Dermatologist has adapted a number of techniques to eliminate skin tags when requested by his Marina Del Rey patients.

Overview

Skin tags are also referred to as acrochorda or fibroepithelial polyps. They most often appear as small flesh-colored or brown growths on the neck, groin, armpits, and occasionally on the eyelids. Skin tags are harmless and do not grow or change in appearance over time (if you have a skin growth that has changed appearance, it is important to see an experienced skin doctor immediately). Doctors believe that skin tags are formed when skin rubs against skin, as they are most often found in skin creases. They are usually about the size of a grain of rice, but can be longer or shorter.

Treatment

In some cases, skin tags occur in areas where they are frequently irritated. Skin tags on the underarms may be knicked while shaving. Wearing a necklace may irritate skin tags that occur on the neck. Some people dislike the appearance of skin tags, especially if they are longer or appear in an area that is not usually covered by clothing.

Our Dermatologist utilizes a number of techniques to remove skin tags. These include cauterization, surgical excision, and cryosurgery. To determine the removal method that will produce the best results, our Doctor will first examine your skin and review your medical history. Skin tag removal can be performed in less than 30 minutes at either of our Los Angeles locations. It is an easy procedure and no downtime is required.

If you are concerned about the appearance of skin tags on your body, please make an appointment at one of our LA offices today. Our skin Doctor will be able to recommend a removal technique that will provide you with optimal results.

Rosacea

Marina Dermatology is a full service dermatological practice that is able to provide specialized care for patients who suffer from chronic skin disorders such as rosacea. Our Dermatologist has been working with rosacea patients in the Los Angeles area for many years. Thanks to his training and experience, he is able to help his patients effectively manage this chronic skin conditions. He has developed a number of strategies and offers the latest rosacea treatments at his offices near Marina Del Rey. If you have been diagnosed with rosacea or are concerned about rosacea-like symptoms, please contact us today to set up an initial consultation.

Overview

Rosacea is a common chronic skin disease that first manifests as redness across the nose, cheeks, chin, and forehead. It may be accompanied by small bumps or pimples in the reddened facial areas. People with rosacea tend to blush or flush easily. Left untreated, rosacea will worsen over time. Broken capillaries may appear near the surface of the skin and/or papules and pustules may form. Some patients will experience ocular symptoms, such as a burning or gritty feeling in the eyes. In some cases, rosacea causes the skin to thicken and grow bumpy on the nose, which can result in nasal deformation at an advanced stage. Rosacea is most often seen in people of northwestern European descent and typically appears during the ages of 30 and 60. Many patients with rosacea tell our skin Doctor that they feel self-conscious due to rosacea flare-ups and their tendency to blush easily. Our LA Doctor strives to help his patients regain their confidence by giving them effective tools to manage rosacea.

Treatment

Medical experts are not entirely sure what causes rosacea. It does not seem to be caused by a bacterial infection and it is not contagious. Skin doctors do know that rosacea flare-ups are triggered by certain internal and external factors. Common triggers include stress, changes in temperature, sun and wind exposure, heavy exercise, certain cosmetics and skincare products, spicy foods, and alcohol. An important part of treating rosacea is to identify the factors that trigger your rosacea so that you can avoid them in the future. Our Cosmetic Dermatologist advises his patients to keep a journal in order to help them identify what may be causing their rosacea flare-ups.

Trigger avoidance is able to help reduce incidences of rosacea, but it does not typically cause full remission of the condition. As such, our Doctor offers his patients a number of treatments to further manage their condition, including:

  • Oral medications, such as a low-dose antibiotic, to suppress symptoms of medications
  • Topical skin creams to treat redness and breakouts
  • The Vbeam Perfecta laser can be used to treat broken capillaries and the tiny blood vessels that appear at the surface of the skin. Treating these capillaries can reduce the appearance of redness on the face.
  • CO2 laser therapy can be used to treat thickened skin on the nose to improve its appearance.

To learn more about the latest rosacea treatments, please contact Marina Dermatology today to set up an initial consultation.