Below is information on basic questions you may have. If your question is not answered below please feel free to contact us.
- + What is the difference between a Physician Assistant (PA) and a Physician?
PAs are medical providers licensed to practice medicine with physician supervision. From patient care and education, to skin surgery treatment of chronic skin conditions,
and cosmetic procedures, PAs are dynamic members of the healthcare team. PAs practice in every medical and surgical specialty providing a wide variety of services. These
include diagnosing, prescribing medications, ordering and interpreting lab tests, wound suturing, and medical or surgical treatment of a wide variety of clinical diseases.
As with all PAs, dermatology PAs are legally and ethically bound to practice only under physician supervision.
Because of the close working relationship that PAs have with physicians, PAs are educated in the medical model designed to mirror and complement physician training.
PAs take a national certification examination and to maintain their certification, they must complete 100 hours of continuing medical education every two years and take a
recertification exam every six years. Graduation from an accredited PA program and passage of the national certifying exam are required for state licensure.
How a PA practices dermatology varies with training, experience, and state law. In addition, the scope of the PA's responsibilities corresponds to the supervising physician's
scope of practice. In general, a PA will see many of the same types of patients as the physician. Referral to the physician, or close consultation between the PA and physician,
is based on the dynamic relationship between the physician and PA.
- + How long is a dermatology appointment?
Dermatologists are experts in all skin condition diagnosis and management. They are highly educated and skilled in what to look for in detection of different forms of skin
cancer. Because of their education and experience, a typical dermatology appointment only takes 10 minutes. While they are conversing with the patient they are also viewing the
skin and looking for any concerning areas.
Many patients are used to seeing their primary care physician which often takes up to a half hour for an appointment as they are frequently being seen for more than one problem.
- + Which sunblock should I use?
There are 2 forms of ultraviolet (UVC) light to protect against: UVA and UVB. UVA is present throughout the entire day (not just the peak sun hours), and comes through glass and clouds.
UVA plays a key role in skin wrinkling, leathering, and skin cancer promotion. UVB are burning rays present in greatest amounts during the midday. UVB rays play a major role in skin
cancer promotion and photoaging.
A fairly new component of sunscreens, Parsol or Avobenzone, extends the protection from UVA and is advisable. Sunscreens are typically divided into 2 broad categories; physical and
chemical. Physical sunscreens such as titanium dioxide and zinc oxide actually reflect and scatter ultraviolet light, while chemical sunscreens act as protective filters by absorbing
Always use a broad spectrum and high SPF product of at least spf 30 that contains both UVA and UVB.
- + How safe are tanning beds?
Indoor tanning equipment, which includes all artificial light sources, including beds, lamps, bulbs, booths, etc. emits UVA and UVB radiation. The amount of the radiation
produced during indoor tanning is similar to the sun, and in some cases might be stronger.
Evidence from several studies has shown that exposure to UV radiation from indoor tanning devices is associated with an increased risk of melanoma and non-melanoma skin cancer,
such as squamous cell carcinoma and basal cell carcinoma.
Studies have also shown that exposure to UV radiation during indoor tanning damages the DNA in the skin cells. Excessive exposure to UV radiation during indoor tanning can
lead to premature skin aging, immune suppression, and eye damage.
Indoor tanning beds/lamps should be avoided and should not be used to obtain vitamin D because UV radiation from indoor is a risk factor for skin cancer.
- + Is sunless tan or sunscreen tint safe?
Topical sunless tanning products are generally considered safe alternatives to sunbathing, as long as they are used as directed.
The active ingredient in most sunless tanning products is dihydroxyacetone (DHA). When applied to the skin, DHA reacts with dead cells in the outermost layer
of skin to temporarily darken the skin's appearance. The coloring doesn't wash off, but it gradually fades as the dead skin cells slough off - typically within a few days.
Most sunless tanning products do not contain sunscreen. If you spend time outdoors, sunscreen remains essential.
Redwood Family Dermatology
2725 Mendocino Avenue
Santa Rosa, CA 95403
Monday through Friday 8:30 to 5:00pm by appointment.
Redwood Family Dermatology
555 South Dora Street
Ukiah, CA 95482
Monday through Thursday:
8:30 to 4:30pm.
Friday: 9:00 to 2:00pm.