Rash in a Patient with HIV Infection

A 50-year-old man presented  for the diagnosis and treatment of a rash on his legs and back for about 1 and 1/2 years. His past medical history was significant for HIV infection which had been treated with Highly Active Anti-Retroviral Therapy (HAART). He stated that his viral counts were undetectable and … Continue reading

Do I Have Lupus, Doctor?

Systemic Lupus Erythematosus (SLE) is a devastating autoimmune disease that can affect nearly every organ system in the body. The skin is no exception, and in fact, may be involved in 70-80% of cases. An equal number of patients may experience abnormal sun or ultraviolet light sensitivity, called photosensitivity. There are … Continue reading

When Should a Primary Care Doc Refer to a Dermatologist?

The answer to the question depends on the extent of training in dermatology and the individual physician’s comfort level in dealing with skin diseases.  Currently, the definition of “primary care providers” includes family practitioners, internists, pediatricians, and gynecologists, but may be expanded to include nurse practitioners.  The education of U.S. medical … 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

My Dermatologist Says I Have Actinic Keratosis: What Is That?

Actinic keratosis (AK), also known as solar keratosis, are commonly referred to as pre-cancerous skin growths.  In fact, they are the most common pre-cancerous growth of humans.   Actinic keratoses (plural) are most commonly found on sun exposed areas, namely, the face, lips, bald scalp, and backs of hands and arms.

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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