Dr. Berthelot's blog

Squamous Cell Skin Cancer

Pictured above is our patient who presented with a rapidly painful growing nodule. Squamous cell carcinoma (SCC) is the second most common type of skin cancer.  They can present as rough scaly spots or wart-like growths, and can appear anywhere on the body including the lips.  This one, the keratoacanthoma sub-type, appeared suddenly and grew quickly over a few weeks.  Fair skin and hair, UV light exposure from the sun or tanning beds, as well as smoking are risk factors for developing skin cancers.

Why are my toenails dark?

This patient came to see me after noticing their large toenails turning a dark brown color. They remembered wearing uncomfortable shoes, and running before the discoloration on the nails formed. I diagnosed them with a condition called subungual hematoma. This means you have bleeding under a fingernail or toenail. A dark-colored discoloration (red, maroon, or purple-black) under all or part of the affected nail is typically present. You may also notice tenderness and swelling of the tip of the affected finger or toe.

Pigmenation on the Lower Back

This patient presented to me with a mottled, lacy red rash on her lower back. She had chronic lower back pain, and was using a heating pad every night to sleep. I diagnosed with her erythema ab igne (EAI). This is a skin reaction caused by chronic exposure to infrared radiation in the form of heat. It was once a common condition seen in the elderly who stood or sat closely to open fires, or electric space heaters. Although the introduction of central heating has reduced EAI of this type, it is still found in individuals exposed to heat from other sources.

Post Vascular Laser for Rosacea

This patient had pulse dye laser for her mild rosacea, and the photo was taken right after her treatment. You can see the small, plum-colored bumps on her skin where the laser targeted her blood vessels. This mild-moderate bruising can be expected with this particular laser. We tell our patients you can expect to look worse before you look better, and the bruising can be covered with make-up. The bruising lasts about one week. We may also tailor your treatment to your needs.

What to look for: ABCDE's of Melanoma

Follow these tips from board-certified dermatologists to increase your chances of spotting skin cancer early, when it’s most treatable. If you notice any new spots on your skin, spots that are different from others, or spots that are changing, itching or bleeding, make an appointment to see a board-certified dermatologist.

A = Asymmetry
One half is unlike the other half.

B = Border
An irregular, scalloped or poorly defined border.

C = Color
Is varied from one area to another; has shades of tan, brown or black, or is sometimes white, red, or blue.

Botox for the Neck

After seeing my neck in a few selfies, I was concerned about the fine lines I was beginning to notice. Little horizontal creases, etching their way into my neck and threatening to become permanent if I didn't act fast! I decided it was time to get these little lines gone. My schedule is super busy, so I thought the simplest way would be to inject Botox into my "platysma" muscles. Botox is not just strictly for your "11's", or crow's feet. A little-known technique is also using Botox to paralyze neck muscles, and smooth out fine lines.

Another Pulse Dye Laser/Rosacea Success Story

Here is a photo of my patient with rosacea of the central face, and thick, dilated, purple colored vessels around her nose. After three sessions of Vbeam/Pulse Dye Laser, the patient was ecstatic with her results! We have been getting great, consistent results with this laser, and my patients have been so grateful. They are more confident about their skin, and many of my patients tell me they can finally walk out of their house without make-up!

Chemical Peels for Acne and Acne Scarring

Chemical peels are topically applied formulas that revitalize the skin surface by creating an even, and controlled shedding of skin cell. Chemical peels remove old, dead skin cells from the outer layers of the skin in order to reveal new under layers of skin that are softer, smoother, brighter, even toned, and more radiant appearance. Peels can address a myriad of skin issues including acne, sun damage, hyperpigmentation, wrinkles and lines, clogged pores, and even pre-cancerous skin lesions.

Skin Tag Removal

As you get older, more than half of the general population will develop some form of skin tags within their lifetime. For many people unwanted skin tags can be a source of embarrassment, or poor self image. Skin tags often look like small little skin colored balls, and can dangle off of your skin. They like to occur in areas that rub, such as the neck, under the arms, groin area, and around the eyes. Skin tags can vary in number from a single tag, to a cluster of dozens. One may have a genetic predisposition, but they can grow in anyone.

Actinic Keratosis: Red, scaly patches on your skin

This is a photo of a patient who had actinic keratoses on his skin, also know as pre-cancers of the skin. He was previously treated with liquid nitrogen. However, he had recurrent lesions and we decided we needed to treat him with a chemotherapy cream called 5-fluorouracil (5-FU) cream to obtain better response and clearance rate. This photo is 2 weeks into his treatment.


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