About Dr. Camisa

Gulfshore Life Top Doctors 2012Dr. Camisa has practiced medicine for over 30 years and received his medical training at Mt. Sinai School of Medicine in New York. He completed his dermatology residency at NYU Skin and Cancer Department where he served as chief resident. He later served as director of the Division of Dermatology at Ohio State University where he performed basic and clinical research on lichen planus and psoriasis, graduate education, and patient management. He next served as vice-chairman of the Department of Dermatology at The Cleveland Clinic Foundation and director of the residency program from 1987 to 2001. Dr. Camisa is board certified in dermatology and dermatological immunology.

Dr. Camisa is the founder of the Camisa Psoriasis Center and Director of the Phototherapy Department at Riverchase Dermatology and an Affiliate Associate Professor of Dermatology at the University of South Florida in Tampa. He specializes in psoriasis, lichen planus, pemphigus,  pemphigoid, connective tissue diseases, cutaneous T-cell lymphoma, and diseases of the mouth and lips. Dr. Camisa is a leading expert in psoriasis, autoimmune bullous diseases, and other complex skin conditions, and patients throughout the country seek his experience.

He serves on the editorial board of Cutis and is a reviewer for eight other specialty journals. He is the author of over 140 peer-reviewed articles and textbook chapters on skin and oral diseases and is editor of three textbooks on psoriasis. He has also been voted one of the “Best Doctors in America.” Dr. Camisa is the founder of the “Camisa Disease” which is a rare genetic variant of Vohwinkel’s Syndrome.

  • Cornell University, B.S.
  • Mount Sinai School of Medicine, MD
  • New York University Medical Center, Dermatology Residency
  • Board Certified by the American Board of Dermatology

Dr C and Carley discussing psoriasis on Fox 4 Morning Blend show July 12, 2012

Please click on the link below to view the entire interview.



Dr C does the honors at the ribbon-cutting ceremony for the new Riverchase Dermatology and Camisa Psoriasis Center in Cape Coral on Sept. 12, 2012 sponsored by the Chamber of Commerce. Dr C is assisted by colleagues, left to right, Laura (advanced nurse practitioner), Dr Andrew Kontos (Mohs surgeon), and Nicole (certified physician assistant).


55 Responses to About Dr. Camisa

  1. becca says:

    Hi, I saw this website pop up when I searched for accutane doctors. I was wondering if you know about reactions to accutane? I have been sick for three years now and no doctor believes me that it is from the accutane. I also was not believed that I was having a reaction to it when I was on it and could not get out of bed. I live in Hoover, but I have been told time and again that there are no doctors in the birmingham area that knows about accutane reactions. I have been looking all over for one, and since I am from North Port Florida I thought I would start down there. If you have any help, that would be lovely.

    Thank You,
    Becca Kilgore

    • DrCamisa says:

      Accutane has many possible side effects. It is now called isotretinoin made by several generic companies because the original brand is no longer available. You can look up all the side effects on the package inserts for the drug. I no longer prescribe isotretinoin because of all the regulatory hassles involved, not because of the side effects. As for side effects that could last for years after stopping the drug, I don’t personally believe that isotretinoin causes inflammatory bowel disease or depression, but if these conditions commenced coincidentally during treatment, they could certainly become chronic. I do believe that isotretinoin can cause calcification of the ligaments of the spine, especially if long or repeated courses are prescribed, and this could lead to arthritic problems of the neck and back. There have also been rare reports of long-lasting changes in the eyes after stopping isotretinoin, such as night or color vision and dry eyes.
      If you are referring to Alabama, UAB has an excellent Dermatology department headed by doctors from Cleveland who could refer you to the appropriate medical specialist at their medical school. Best wishes to you.

  2. Frank says:

    I have been diagnosed with BP in February 2014 . Have been applying topical steroid cream and ointment , No real obvious blisters , just blister like over most of body which are status quo to this time , Any suggestions Thank you

    • DrCamisa says:

      Itching of the skin is usually the most annoying symptom of Bullous Pemphigoid. The early stages of BP may show only red hive-like lesions without blisters. This is called “urticarial pemphigoid.” If the steroid ointments are working well, then there is no need for more aggressive treatment which would likely have more side-effects.

  3. Kristin D. says:

    Hello, Dr. Camisa. I was diagnosed with Lichen Planus about a year ago and am curious about why it manifests itself in some people and not in others. I understand that it is a puzzling disease thought to be of an auto-immune origin. It seems auto-immune conditions of all kinds are affecting more and more people these days and that their wide spread occurrence may have come about only in the last 50 or so years. There are some who believe that our diets and the manner in which our food is processed in this modern society of ours may have a role in the upswing of these diseases. What do you think about this supposition? Thank you for your time. KD

    • DrCamisa says:

      I don’t know about the role of diet as a cause of lichen planus, but it is known that there is a long list of drugs and chemicals that cause or aggravate pre-existing lichen planus. Examples include non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs and chemicals used in color film developing.

  4. Anthony Campenni says:

    I was diagnosed with lichen planus 2 years ago. Seems to be getting progressively worse. Are there any doctors in South Florida that have specific knowledge of this disease? If you’re currently treating patients, I would travel to see. Thank you. I have already seen my primary and two dermatologists with no clue or plan for treatment.

    • DrCamisa says:

      Yes, I still take new patients, especially with lichen planus. You can call the office listed on the site for information. Thank you for your interest.

  5. Allison G says:

    I was just wondering if you are familiar with and treat necrobiosis lipoidica diabeticorum or if you can recommend treatment in south florida? Thank you for your time.

    • DrCamisa says:

      We do treat NLD, Allison, but the results are usually not spectacular, especially if the patient has poorly-controlled diabetes.

  6. Amber says:

    Do you treat HS? I’m struggling and knew Dr Trost specialized in it but he has unfortunately passed away. I’m to the point of being unable to walk.

  7. Carla Gardner says:

    I have been suffering with GA for over two years. It appears to just keep getting worse. My derm has tried topical creams, sprays, oral steroids and two different antibiotics….all to no avail. I’m told that I am not a candidate for light therapy due to my lupus. Do you believe you might possibly be able to help me. I am desperate for help.

    • DrCamisa says:

      Granuloma annulare is considered fairly mild disease compared with lupus. I would have to rule out ultraviolet light therapy also.

  8. Cathy says:

    Do you or someone you know treat ongoing Oral Lichen Planus.I have a positive biopsy from oral pathologist but he does not do chronic care

    • DrCamisa says:

      I would prefer to see cases in consultation to make or confirm the diagnosis of LP. I then send treatment recommendations to the referring doctor or dentist to carry out and follow the patient over the months it may take to see a response.

      • Cathy says:

        The oral pathologist that did the biopsy( which was positive for OLP ) put me on Clobetasol 5 times a day for three weeks .It took care of it but came back a few weeks later.When I requested more cream he hesitantly refilled it but said he does not take care of long term patients and that I needed find another Doctor or specialist for ongoing care.

        • DrCamisa says:

          Oral LP is not curable in most cases and does require long-term maintenance treatment.I have found curcumin supplements to be helpful in some cases.

      • Marisabel Otaola says:

        Dr Camisa I went to my periodontist because of a blister in my mouth and told me that probably I have OLP my mother have it since many years and ended with surgycal procedure for cancer, she is in remision but with no hair .. I am worry I might have the same thing since today I notice red spots in my gums . How do you diagnose it , biopsy? I am in Broward, FL can you see me? hoy many days I need?

        • Dr. Camisa says:

          You would need a biopsy to be sure of the diagnosis.There are many good dermatologists in your county who could help you. Look up Robert Sarro, Brad Glick, Rob Schneider, Francisco Kerdel.

  9. Cathy says:

    I have been told that a shot of prednisone in each cheek for oral lichen planus can relieve symptoms for up to 4 months Have you had any results with this treatment?

    • DrCamisa says:

      I have on occasion injected a form of prednisone under a persistent eroded or ulcerated area of OLP in any part of the mouth. The solution is actually triamcinolone, brand name Kenalog. We can get the ulcer to heal and improve the symptoms, but I don’t think it really has any long-term effect on the natural course of the disease.

  10. April Miller says:

    I am a Fort Myers resident, 34 generally healthy did have some auto immune stuff last year but all my markers came back OK and MRI in back/spine clear. I woke up this morning and have like an indentation darkening on my forehead, it doesn’t hurt at all but looks so weird. Concerned about scleroderma? I would like to call and make an appointment, I presently go to Dermatology Assoc but would like to see specialist.

    • DrCamisa says:

      Scleroderma usually develops very slowly over months to years, so it is less likely to develop overnight. If you can’t get in soon enough to see me, I think Derm Assoc are good doctors and can get you started in the right direction.

  11. Crystal says:

    Dr. C, I am diabetic and have lupus. After 3 yrs of recurring ulcers on my lower leg I was just diagnosed with NLD. Do you know if there is any correlation between the lupus and NLD? I am being treated with wound care debridement and just started cortisone injections.

    • DrCamisa says:

      There is no statistical correlation between lupus and NLD, but there is one of course between diabetes and NLD. NLD with ulcerations on the lower leg can be difficult to treat. Local injections of a diluted cortisone solution has been helpful with speeding up healing in my experience.

  12. David Wells says:

    My wife has a large area of Necrobiosis Lipodica on her arm. She has been treated in Toronto with minimal results using Protopic as well as light or laser therapy. We would love a second opinion on treatment options. We are presently in Naples. Would it be possible to make an appointment and if not get a referral. I would be happy to send along a photo of the affected area.
    Many thanks!

  13. Cathy says:

    Have you ever used topical application of antioxidants in oral lichen Planus I found web site for Perioscience that have many products for OLP and dry mouth most with antioxidants Phloretin and ferulic acid mixed with Xylitol glycerine and unfortunately some mild mint.Most of the time any mint burns my mouth,but I’m going to give it a try.

  14. Maureen Tolerico says:

    Hi I am 55 and suffering terribly with most of the symptoms you talk about with Lichens Planus. I have oral and vaginal involvement. I have sought out treatment from my dentist, sent to an periodontist that treated me with an oral steroid then told me I needed to have surgery. My dentist told me no matter what don’t do the surgery. I went back to him and he referred me to another oral surgeon who does not take my insurance. I live in St Louis and am really lost as to who to see or what to do. I enjoyed your article but I am feeling overwhelmed and looking for help

    • Dr. Camisa says:

      I think you would have better luck seeking out a dermatologist associated with St Louis University or Washington University medical schools. When you call to make an appointment, ask if any of the doctors specialize in lichen planus or “oral dermatology.” Best wishes.

  15. Emily says:

    Hello Dr. Camisa, I found your site because I’m looking for someone Who can help me with my Hidradenitis Suppurativa. I keep habing flare ups and until now had mostly managed them on my own but I’m to the point where I just can’t handle this on my own. I went for a long time with no diagnosis because I was ashamed and so many doctors are so quick to write the tell-tale bumps off as acne or cysts caused by being overweight or something else. Is there anyone in Tampa you would recommend who will take this seriously and help me find some relief? I can’t afford to see someone that isn’t covered by my insurance (United) and it’s so hard to find a doctor based solely on their website/reviews. Any assistance would be so appreciated.

    • Dr. Camisa says:

      Yes, because HS is so complicated, you should see a specialist in dermatology at USF near you. If your case is severe, it may benefit from Humira based on my experience. The university takes most insurance, especially big ones like United.

  16. Jacki Jones says:

    I understand that GA is non life threatening but still very sad that there is little or no research being done for it. As a sufferer of GA for more than 25 years and trying everything from hundreds of steroid injections to apple cider vinegar to clear it up and now with it covering most of my trunk & legs as well as knowing of young people with it that are bullied, exiled and ridiculed because of it’s awful appearance, not to mention its’ resemblance to ringworm, why is there so little known or discussed about GA? I belong to several support groups online and all we all seem to be doing is chasing our tails.

  17. Pinki stevens says:

    Any good lichen sclerosus drs. That you know of in the palm beach area of florida?

  18. Bradley says:

    I believe I have erosive lichen planus of the vulva but have not had a formal diagnosis. My presenting symptoms and trajectory match. I have also had the oral involvement but only on initial flare up about 10 years ago. I have had about 6 episodes over the last 10 years and always have vulvolar involvement. Very uncomfortable. Do you see patients like me or is there any credible MD’s that specialize in this in central FL.? I need a firm diagnosis and treatment plan. I have had topical steroids, antibiotics, and benadryl for intense itching. Only ice helps. Please advise

    • Dr. Camisa says:

      LP frequently affects the vulva, especially if there is also gum involvement. It is usually treated by topical clobetasol. Sometimes a biopsy is needed for confirmation of diagnosis. I do see patients like this, but I would prefer that you be examined by your gynecologist first.

  19. Lisa says:

    Hi Dr. Camisa,

    First of all, this is wonderful that you do these Q&As for people. I have NL (about 8 years now) but do not have diabetes nor am I pre-diabetic. I’m starting to get ulcerations on one of the legs. Can you recommend some doctors in Broward County / Fort Lauderdale area in FL? In an earlier post you gave recommendations for OLP but I don’t know if those doctors would also be good recommendations for NL? It’s so hard to find good information online (especially searching for doctors in South FL with experience with NL) and have been researching on the NIH website and other studies done by both dermatologists and podiatrists. Any recommendations would be most appreciated. Best regards, Lisa

  20. S says:

    Sinus on my ass for almost two years very painful Dr adeyamo in Atteridgeville recommend you can you please help

  21. melissa says:

    Dr. Camisa,
    My mother has OLP. She feels as though it is starting to affect her esophagus and bladder…. she has the chills.
    She is going back to her primary care doctor but I was wondering if you knew of any specialists in the Cleveland/Columbus area.
    Thank you for your help!

    • Dr. Camisa says:

      I know that severe OLP can rarely affect the esophagus, but I don’t think it affects the bladder. Your best bet in Cleveland is either the Derm Dept at the Clinic or at Case. In Columbus, definitely OSU Hospital Clinic.

  22. Jaclyn West says:

    I am diabetic, well controlled. Had NLD on my shin for 6 years. It was the size of quarter to start. Then unfortunately, my husband took me on a weekend vacation and the sun did extreme damage and basically has been flared ever since (about 4 years now). It has at least tripled in size. My derm has given me desonide and fluocinonide. My insurance doesn’t cover Protopic. I could however get a 30gm tube for $85. I have no problem spending the money if it will have great benefits. Today my derm did diluted steroid injections. I wish I could send a picture to show the current condition. Any advice? I’m in Chicago. I’m currently in the depressed mental cycle of my chronic illnesses. P.S. I have learned my lesson and use sunscreen diligently now.

    • Dr. Camisa says:

      NLD is always difficult. The intralesional steroid injections should help, and the concentration can be increased to 10mg per cc. More potent topical steroid like clobetasol work better too. Protopic at that price isn’t bad, but there are no guarantees that it would work for you.

  23. Beverly Straight says:

    My friend has been suffering from lichen planus for at least 15 years! None of the doctors she has seen usually have even heard of it. Right now she has a very poor quality of life because of the sensitivity, pain, and spread of this.It seems to be endangering the teeth on the left side of her mouth even though there is full mouth involvement (and possibly throat). Is this something with which you could help her?

    • Dr. Camisa says:

      Possibly, but she would need to have in-office consultation and bring or send, in advance of the visit all of the records of previous biopsies, lab tests, and medicines tried for this condition. Thank you.

  24. Melinda Henderson says:

    I have generalized vitiligo, started when i was 32 on both hands and spread. it finally slowed/stopped and i’m now 64. i recently started taking CBD for inflammation (back problems, i’m an old nurse. HA!). on my second month i started having itching of my arms, tops of my feet and head. these are all areas that have been completely without pigment for years. and now i have tons of little pigmented spots popping up in those areas! i always had itching when the melanin would die off as well. what do you think?

    • Dr. Camisa says:

      Itching can be a sign of impending spread or new vitiligo lesions forming. I have not heard of re-pigmentation associated with itching. I also don’t know what CBD stands for, so please enlighten me.

      • Melinda Henderson says:

        Sorry. CBD is Cannabidiol. CBD is one of at least 113 active cannabinoids identified in cannabis. It is a major phytocannabinoid, accounting for up to 40% of the plant’s extract. CBD does not have any psychoactive effects such as those caused by tetrahydrocannabinol (THC). CBD used medicinally is found in the least processed form of the cannabis plant, known as hemp. There is no THC in regular hemp, like what is used to make rope.

        I know that i had itching when the pigment would disappear but now, in those large areas where there has been NO pigment at all for years and years, I started having maddening itching and then i noticed some pigmented spots returning. It has been three months and I am noticing more and more pigmented spots almost daily!

        Perhaps i should make an appointment..HA!

  25. Kevin Schermerhorn says:

    Hi, do you treat Lichen Planus in toenails? If so what is the procedure? Do you ever remove the toenail all together so a healthy one grows back?

    • Dr. Camisa says:

      Nails are very difficult to treat. The LP is actually in the skin below the nail plate, called the nail bed. So it’s hard to get at it. Removing toenails is a big deal. I wouldn’t recommend it because there is no guarantee that the nail grows back normally. The removal might even cause more damage besides being painful.

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