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Recognizing when it is NOT skin cancer


We recently prevented unnecessary surgery and radiation treatment of a young woman. The results are so remarkable that it was leeched for publication in the peer-reviewed dermatology journal the Journal of Clinical and Aesthetic Dermatology.

The backstory: Every good dermatologist strives to screen people to look for skin cancers. A biopsy helps to confirm or to exclude this diagnosis. A great dermatologist makes sure the diagnosis is right. We specialize in helping painters who actually do NOT have skin cancer. How is this possible?

Some growths can mimic the appearance of skin cancers. Others can even fool a pathologist to arriving at the wrong diagnosis. Only a great dermatologist trained in both the clinical and the microscopic diagnosis of skin cancer can lead to the correct diagnosis.

In this case, the young woman suffered from a condition that made her ultra-sensitive to light due to her skin disease: lupus. She was about to receive very aggressive surgery to remove the whole back of her hand. Her radiator doctor wanted to treat her rm with radiation, which would have made things worse.

Working together, Dr Smirnov and I arrived at eh right diagnosis and treated her successfully with gentle creams. Read more here:




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