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Posts Tagged ‘mohs surgery san fernando valley’

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Skin Cancer Awareness month

Tuesday, May 29th, 2018

HAPPY PLACE


YUM

Skin Cancer Awareness month is coming to an end and another Don’t Fry Day has passed. Shielding your skin from the sun, however, is a year-round project here in LA. I cannot emphasize to you enough how important it is to wear a hat, sunscreen and get regular exams. Even though younger people may not notice any problems before their 50’s, these problems do accelerate as we get older especially in those with any Celtic heritage. That being said my patients are of all ethnicities and skin types. Many people who think their “Mediterranean” skin will protect them seem to forget that their heritage may have other skin types that make them more susceptible to skin cancer. Even people with Asian and African-American backgrounds can get skin cancer. It is very common in those with HIspanic backgrounds as well. In ethnic skin types, I see these cancers being missed until they’ve gotten to a substantial size. I’ve caught quite a few melanomas on routine exam even though these patients had no prior history, no other skin cancers and normal exams in the past.

I have not been as active on this blog for many months but hope to get back into it. I’ve been more active on my Twitter account @drshim_derm which I never thought would be enjoyable but I’ve found some great people to follow. I only started that to follow my kid’s classroom not realizing it would be my practice’s main source of social media. I hope you can follow me there as well! I plan to post at least once to twice a month here as well though! I’ll have to find weird moments to do it, like at 4 in in the morning. This I think, is becoming my new normal. I’m only awake now because I’ve been worried sick that my cat got eaten by a coyote while we were out of town. We looked everywhere for her this afternoon, but alas, she came out of nowhere at 3 in the morning to welcome us back and now cannot stop talking to me!

We paid a visit to San Francisco where I lived way back when. My kids really did not want to go, but I was touched that one of my girls edited my photo. I guess she had a good time! I highly recommend a trek out to the Sutro baths where there is a new parking lot and visitor’s center, have this incredibly awesome Little Gem salad at Sutro’s in the lower level of the Cliff House. Make a trek for ice cream at Swenson’s and if you have energy, take a walk at Tennessee Valley trail in Marin, a flat, but 1 hour long walk each way. The hike is too long for most elementary school kids (I think I’ve turned my kids off from hiking, even longer than Runyon) but I did see quite a few people out with their kids. The path is mainly, but not entirely paved, and not too far from the Buckeye Roadhouse in Mill Valley where I recommend you sit in a booth in the bar area.

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Back from Utah!

Wednesday, April 6th, 2016

Thank you for allowing me to take a week off! It was fun, though not very relaxing (taking care of 6.5 year old twins all by myself for 6 days-am I crazy?)

The weather was perfect. 40-50 degrees and it snowed every day. We secured a fabulous convenient condo two blocks to Deer Valley and I hope to stay there again-let me know if you want the referral. One of my daughters wanted to try snowboarding, so we went to Park City Resort-had not been in 21 years since I was an intern in Seattle when I took a trip by myself around April (and remember the slush). Taken over by Vail Resorts, the prices are steep and the service and facilities did not match up. It took an hour to get skis compared to no wait at DV, so definitely consider renting from one of the many shops on site in the mall or use one of the ski butler services. However, the ski conditions were great and the ski school for kids was also good.

However, nothing compares to Deer Valley when it came to service. I must say they have some of the KINDEST employees on the planet. Maybe it is their age/maturity, but these elderly sweethearts went the extra mile to carry all of our skis up to storage, to look for my kid’s gloves when she forgot them at school, and took the trouble to find us downstairs eating yogurt. They have a true love for the sport, the resort, and just want you to have a good time (and they take pity on moms who are by themselves schlepping all the equipment around!). The soup and salads are great at Empire Canyon Lodge as well. For the non-skiers, it’s just behind the Montage and can be reached by car.

I had an amusing time with all the powder this year. I’m a horrible powder skier and got a little too confident after making it down a run I had trouble with last year. For the record, double blue, such as Orion, at DV can mean super steep moguls. I could be wrong, but in Colorado those are always black. I know my limitations and took off my skis and had a peaceful, though exhausting walk through the trees back to Supreme-I had fantasies of some guy coming to my rescue and carrying my skis! (This actually happened once in a back bowl at Vail). I need to either take lessons or just keep being a groomer girl. You can weigh in next time you see me, but given what I do for a living, please talk me out of my inherent drive to go down difficult runs!

The trip was capped off by a new kiddie snowmobiling feature at Gorgoza Park, the best children’s book and clothing store I’ve ever been to (Children’s Hour in SLC-absolutely a must for moms and grandmas-unique stuff from Europe), and the fabulous young guy who works at Pei Wei at the airport who made my month by telling me “You’re very pretty!” when I was just meaning to order some beef with broccoli kiddie meals. OK, before you think he was trying to hit on me-he’s gay and that makes it all the more lovely. I would’ve liked to have stolen him for a personal assistant/yes man at that very moment had I had the option!

I have a new look-been rocking my glasses a lot lately, cut my hair and continue to maintain my skin with my own products. So exhausted lately, not wearing eye makeup, and somehow everyone says I look like a kid (?!). I take a lot of inspiration from some of my patients, who are 77-92 years young-these amazing women have wonderful energy, are funny and have great fashion sense. You know who you are-my heroes!

It’s been very busy in the office. Surprising since it’s April and if you look at the restaurants in LA lately, they are pretty darn empty. I’ll be taking about a week a month off every month until the end of the year (except maybe September), so please call and plan ahead so you won’t be disappointed.

Thanks also to the kind patients who have lifted me up into the Top 10 Santa Monica dermatologists on Yelp. I think Yelp is an awful concept for professional services, but I will take it!

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Sorry for the absence!

Monday, November 3rd, 2014

Sorry for not posting a blog for months. It started with my girls’ bday party planning, and somewhere it morphed into the elementary school search.

A lot of you have been asking when Verdure sunscreen will be available again. We are really sure it will be March/April 2015. Thanks for your patience.

I hope you will enjoy getting to know my new assistants Rosa and Tracy. Once again, I have made the USC and UCLA crowds happy.

Mistakenly, I was omitted by Pasadena Magazine as a Top Doctor in Dermatology this year when the issue was published. Their editors were notified of this error. Once again, you will see my name in Los Angeles magazine as a SuperDoctor this January. Thanks again to my colleagues who have bestowed Dr. Bennett and me with this honor.

A friendly reminder that I will be out of the office as usual Thanksgiving week and between Xmas and New Years. Cosmetic treatments and appointments are very popular around this time of year so plan accordingly. The Mohs surgery schedule is also filling up, so if you decide to postpone your surgery until after the holidays (not recommended for SCC or melanoma), please make careful note of the exact location of your biopsy site and take multiple pictures with your cell phone or ask your referring dermatologist to take a picture and consider a diagram.

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Posted in Botox, Juvederm, Laser Hair Removal, Mohs surgery, Restylane, Skin Cancer, acne scar treatment, acne scars, fractionated laser, fraxel laser, laser | No Comments »

Restylane, Juvederm really do last

Wednesday, May 7th, 2014

How do I know? Our practice has the largest series to date of incidental hyaluronic acid filler found during Mohs surgery years after placement. This study was presented at the recent Annual Meeting of the American College of Mohs Surgery in Phoenix last weekend. One of my patients had filler put in her lips five years prior!

That being said, patients are often afraid of looking crazy after filler. After the Oscars, which I usually do not watch, I kept hearing about Kim Novak. OK, don’t know who she is, but I later caught a clip of her on TV. Oy! It reminded me of the movie Mask. I can assure you that I keep patients looking like themselves. The best cosmetic doctors have patients who do not look done. Unfortunately in LA there tends to be a strangely unnatural aesthetic which I don’t subscribe to. Most patients only need 1-4 syringes of filler, the younger you are, the less you need. I allow the patient to see themselves as we go along to make sure we are on the same page.

I get it though. Mid-life crises, anti-aging procedures and relationships were the dominant topic of conversation in Phoenix (I reassure you, I also did learn a lot about cutaneous oncology, but that might bore you). The best part of going to the meeting was the traditional slumber party with my 2 good friends. No Wedding Planner movie in the background-this time the Golf Channel. I diagnosed more orthopedic injuries from Cipro, saved my friend’s husband’s vision, played marriage counselor, and got helpful golf tips. I am putting Korean LPGA women to shame, I am just learning now, but at least I can make contact with the ball most of the time and drive it about 90 feet. Mini golf, anyone? I rock at that…

Saving people from blindness? This blog spans more than dermatology. If you know anyone with high myopia (translate into “blind as a bat”) they are at high risk for a spontaneous retinal detachment and should be examined annually by a general ophthalmologist or retinal specialist. Sudden floaters or flashing of lights are an eye emergency. Otherwise you face placing your head down in a special chair for 6 weeks, no plane rides, and possible permanent vision loss. Fortunately, I had mine caught early on a routine exam. My friend’s husband was trying to play his own doctor, and was given the advice to come back in 3 months. I prodded him to see a retina specialist. Luckily, I met him a long time ago and he is more apt to listen to me than his own wife (hence the counseling).

I watched more TV than I had in months. CNN is still talking about the downed plane, Fox News is still talking about Benghazi. I guess I’m not missing anything? Just kidding. Our news channels are embarrassing at times. I was just happy to get away from watching shows about aliens on H2. Sadly, there may be more substance there!

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Posted in Juvederm, Miscellaneous possibly useless knowledge, Mohs surgery, Restylane, Skin Cancer, Uncategorized | No Comments »

Just say no to Cipro…if you can

Wednesday, April 9th, 2014

Ahhhh, Cipro. A convenient drug to take and prescribe. I’ve learned over the years that the pharmacologic side effect/complication of tendon rupture is a REAL problem. I’ve heard a lot of stories from patients and fellow doctors who have had personal problems with it.

In fact, I just had one of my favorite jetsetting patients come in with a leg brace on. She told me a vague story of thinking she bumped her leg on her luggage. I asked, “By any chance were you on Cipro before this happened?” The answer was yes. She thought something wasn’t right, and then worked out and boom…screwed up leg.

There are often alternatives to Cipro, or Levaquin another related drug. Please have your doctor consider other drugs first and feel free to educate them about this underreported and underrecognized problem!

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Spot your own skin cancer

Thursday, October 31st, 2013

As I was reviewing my collection of research articles, I came across an abstract that was presented by some colleagues. They found that most skin cancers they operated on in their practice were discovered by the patient themselves! Get to know what your skin looks like so you can find the subtle changes. Besides the obvious, check your feet, your privates (epidemic of genital warts among my young patients), and go get your eyes and retinas examined by an ophthalmologist if you have had a lot of sun exposure or have a lot of moles. Let a friend or loved one check your back, or if you don’t have anyone, let me do it! It is always best for the dermatologist to do an annual total body skin exam if you have never been examined, or you have a personal or family history of skin cancer.

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Skin Cancer Myths and Facts

Friday, February 8th, 2013

Skin Cancer Myths and Facts

The Skin Cancer Foundation has a wonderful page about the most controversial and confusing issues regarding sun protection. Check it out! And hey, I finally figured out how to create a link on Word Press (it’s that red link above). That alone should encourage you to check it out. Woo hoo!

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The Ultimate Compliment

Friday, August 24th, 2012

Thanks again to my doctor peers for putting me on the Los Angeles Magazine Super Doctors list for 6 years in a row. Respect from my peers is the ultimate compliment next to respect from my patients.

Runner up compliment from my derm peers: that I am “young and hot.” Yeah, I looked especially hot yesterday morning frantically mopping up my kid’s pee from the floor of the Westside Pavillion food court with six diapers! We got some interesting looks from various people, my fave being the blank stare of the woman behind the McDonalds counter. I couldn’t find a custodian and all I could think of was a slip and fall by peepee traumatic brain injury. Where are those “Cuidado” signs when you need them?

Runner up compliment from a patient, “You’re too pretty to be a doctor.” I forgot to ask her what should have been my calling? News anchor? KPop sensation? Really, what? And can I call her when I have a bad day? My S.O. doesn’t even say anything remotely this flattering!

But seriously, after taking off several 3 inch wide cancers just this week, and working very, very hard, things like this make my day. Malcolm Gladwell said that it takes 10,000 hours to master something. Dr. Bennett calculated that a Mohs surgeon working several days a week would take about 12 years. That makes me a master. A Mohs surgeon working once a week or once a month, well, go figure! But no one can really be a master without being a perpetual student and keeping humble so now I will sign off.

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Top Doctors in Dermatology

Tuesday, July 19th, 2011

Thanks again to my peers for nominating me to the 2012 Los Angeles Magazine Southern California Super Doctors and the 2011 Top Women Southern California Super Doctors list. It is nice to know that the people I work with entrust their patients with my care and that my dedication to good patient care is recognized.

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Sunscreen may reduce melanoma incidence

Wednesday, January 26th, 2011

A study was just published out of Australia which supports the use of sunscreen to prevent melanoma. Surprisingly, there haven’t been many studies to support this thus far. The group that was randomized to use sunscreen had half the number of melanomas after 10 years.

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