Cyclosporine, Psoriasis, and Grapefruit Juice

Cyclosporine (CS), a potent immunosuppressive peptide, was discovered by Sandoz in 1975.  Clinical testing showed that it was very effective for preventing rejection of life-saving organ transplants such as kidney, heart, liver, and bone marrow.  Investigators also noted the impressive ability of CS to clear up any psoriasis on the … Continue reading

What Are Dysplastic Moles? Opinion and Advice

To better understand the concept of “dysplastic moles,” we must agree on definitions of terms.  Dysplastic from dysplasia  means abnormal development of  tissue.  A mole in this context usually refers to a growth in skin that may be pigmented, flesh-colored, flat or raised, hairy or non-hairy.

A mole, also called a nevus, usually consists of … Continue reading

Importance of the Second Opinion: Editorial with Illustrative Cases

When I worked as a Dermatologist at the Cleveland Clinic, we encountered many patients    who were either referred by an outside Dermatologist, or self-referred, for a second opinion on their diagnosis or treatment or both.  Most patients would bring copies of their records for us to review, and invariably, … Continue reading

Spinal Steroid Injection Scare

By now, anyone who reads or watches the news has heard of the outbreak of fungal meningitis caused by injections of contaminated lots of the steroid methylprednisolone acetate given for neck or back pain. The medicine … Continue reading

Vascular Birthmarks

Birthmarks are common.  They occur in one out of 10 newborns.  One of the most disfiguring types is the vascular birthmark, which is composed of blood vessels in the skin giving it a red or purple appearance.  The larger tumor-like birthmarks, called hemangiomas, enlarge during the first few months of life … Continue reading

Mohs’ Surgery for Skin Cancer

In 1981, I had the distinct honor and privilege to meet Dr. Frederic E. Mohs at the University of Wisconsin in Madison.  He was the surgeon who invented the technique of removing skin cancers with the least amount of normal tissue and the highest possible cure rate.  The trick was … Continue reading