Dermatology Services

At USF Health Dermatology and Cutaneous Surgery, patient satisfaction and quality clinical care is our number 1 priority. Being educators and researchers keeps us on the cutting edge. Our department is nationally recognized for it's expertise in the diagnosis and treatment of skin disorders and skin cancer.

Rosacea is an extremely common condition in the US. It affects primarily Caucasians of Northern European ancestry. Although often referred to as 'adult acne,' it often starts as an exaggerated flushing response to things like hot drinks, spicy foods, alcohol, caffeine, and sunlight. This flushing can result in permanent appearance of vessels on the face (telangectasias). Some people also develop 'pimples' on a background of flushing and a small number (primarily men) develop overgrowth of the tissues of the nose (rhinophyma). There are many effective treatments for rosacea depending on the stage and severity of your condition.

For those with primarily flushing, avoiding the things that trigger the episodes is the first line of defense. There are also topical treatments commonly used in this stage of the disease. For those with severe 'pimple' outbreaks, a course of an oral antibiotic, typically a tetracycline, is used. The antibiotic is often continued for several months. In the treatment of rhinophyma, prevention is key. By taking the above measures, we can often prevent this complication from occurring. If rhinophyma has already developed, there are procedures for paring down the skin on the nose, typically performed by a plastic surgeon.


Skin naturally begins to age in our mid-20s. At this time in our lives our collagen and elastin production begins to slow. Also, our skin cells do not turn over as quickly. Therefore, we start to develop fine wrinkles, thinner and more transparent skin, loss of underlying fat, bone loss, sagging and dry itchy skin, graying hair and/or hair loss, and brittle nails. Then there are external factors that cause premature aging and accelerates the natural aging process. Most premature aging is caused by sun exposure.

Without protection from the sun's rays with medical grade broad spectrum SPF daily, just a few minutes of exposure each day over the years can cause noticeable changes such as freckles, age spots, facial spider veins, leathery skin, uneven texture, fine wrinkles, sagging skin, and skin cancer. Other external factors related to early aging includes repetitive facial expressions, gravity, sleeping positions, and smoking.

With a glut of medical spas and cosmetic centers touting their inexpensive and speedy procedures, it is important you put your health and trust in the hands of experienced and established professionals. At USF Health Cosmetic & Laser Center our Board Certified Dermatologists and Dermatology Extenders that have pioneered, perfected and taught the advanced techniques in aesthetic medicine. Our Cosmetic Dermatology practice encompasses a wide range of treatments from chemical peels and Botox to Fractionated CO2 laser.

Learn more about Cosmetic Dermatology...

Medical hypnosis is the intentional induction, deepening, maintenance, and termination of the natural trance state for a specific medical purpose. All individuals enter spontaneous mild trances daily while absorbed in watching television or a movie, in reading a book or a magazine, or in some other activity or meditation. With appropriate training, an individual may intensify this trance state in himself or herself or in another individual and use this heightened focus to induce mind-body interactions that help to alleviate suffering or to promote healing. The trance state may be induced by using guided imagery, relaxation, deep breathing, meditation techniques, self-hypnosis, or hypnosis induction techniques. Individuals vary in their ability to enter the trance state, but most can obtain some benefit from hypnosis. In dermatology, hypnosis may help decrease pain and pruritus in the skin; intervene in psychosomatic aspects of skin diseases; and lead to the resolution of some skin diseases, including warts.

Hypnosis can regulate blood flow and other autonomic functions not usually under conscious control. The relaxation response that occurs with hypnosis also affects the neurohormonal systems that regulate many body functions. Hypnosis may be used to increase healthy behaviors, to decrease situational stress, to reduce needle phobias, to control harmful habits such as scratching, to provide immediate and long-term analgesia, to relieve symptoms related to diseases such as itching, to accelerate recovery from surgery, and to enhance the mind-body connection to promote healing. Hypnosis can be especially helpful in dealing with skin diseases that have a psychosomatic aspect. Hypnoanalysis may help patients with chronic psychosomatic dermatoses that are nonresponsive to other simpler approaches. Results may occur more rapidly than with standard psychoanalysis.

Hypnosis can reduce anxiety, needle phobia, and pain during cutaneous surgery, as well as reducing postoperative discomfort. Hypnosis may improve or clear numerous skin disorders. Examples include acne excoriée, alopecia areata, atopic dermatitis, congenital ichthyosiform erythroderma, dyshidrotic dermatitis, erythromelalgia, furuncles, glossodynia (tongue pain), herpes simplex, hyperhidrosis (excess sweating), ichthyosis vulgaris, lichen planus, neurodermatitis, nummular dermatitis, post-herpetic neuralgia (post-shingles pain), pruritus (itching), psoriasis, rosacea, trichotillomania (hair pulling), urticaria, verruca vulgaris (warts), and vitiligo.

Thanks to the latest in laser technology, treating unsightly facial and leg veins no longer requires painful injections. Our Cutera® CoolGlide system safely treats people of all skin types. If you have small facial veins, superficial leg veins ("spider veins"), and hemangiomas ("blood blisters") then you are an ideal candidate. Large, deep, and knotty varicose veins do not respond as well. We will carefully examine you to help you determine which vessels can be successfully treated and the best course of treatment.

Mohs micrographic surgery is a specialized, highly effective method for the complete removal of skin cancer. This procedure is named in honor of Dr. Frederic Mohs who created the technique. Mohs surgery differs from other skin cancer treatments in that it permits the comprehensive microscopic examination and mapping of the removed tissue to ensure complete removal of all cancerous cells.


Occupational skin diseases account for approximately 50 percent of occupational illnesses and 25 percent of all lost workdays. These skin diseases affect workers of all ages and all varieties of work settings. The most common occupational skin diseases are dermatitis and skin cancer. Others include keloids, pigment changes, miliaria, folliculitis, tinea, burns, cuts, urticaria, xerosis, frostbite, etc. Most occupational skin diseases can be prevented by using broad spectrum sunblock daily, avoiding irritants, and using protective devices.

The most occupational exposures are related to chemicals, abrasions, burns, sunlight, heat, cold, moisture, poison, electricity, radiation, etc. Dermatologists have the training and expertise to treat and manage patients with any of the above occupational skin diseases and most types of occupational skin exposures.

Most sun exposure occurs before 18 years of age and both sunburns and cumulative sun exposure increase the risk of developing skin cancer. Therefore, it is especially important to protect your children from the damaging rays of the sun. This can be accomplished first by avoiding outdoor activities between 10am and 2pm. When they are in the sun, children should wear protective clothing, including a wide-brimmed hat. Swimsuits are available for children with a t-shirt style top to cover the trunk and shoulders. Sunblock is a last line of defense, and should be applied liberally to all exposed skin.

Look for a broad spectrum sunblock that has both UVA and UVB protection. It should be re-applied every 1-2 hours, more frequently if there is intense sunlight or the children are swimming or sweating. Be creative: Look for shaded play areas and ask your child's school about getting a shade structure over the playground or basketball court.

PUVA and Narrow Band Photo Light Therapy are used for the treatment of various skin diseases and disorders such as psoriasis, eczema, itching and hard to treat atopic dermatitis. The benefits to photo light therapy is the improvement of existing lesions, reduction of new lesions, and in some cases a near total clearing of the disease process. USF Health Dermatology is proud to be one of the few to have this technology in the Tampa area.

Psoriasis is an inflammatory disorder of the skin characterized by a sharply demarcated erythematous scaling plaque occurring most commonly on the elbows and knees, and in the scalp and groin. Mild or limited psoriasis can be treated with topical therapy and/or oral medications. In more generalized cases phototherapy is indicated. In moderate to severe cases oral medications in addition to ultraviolet A exposure, called PUVA, is most effective in the majority of patients. The dermatologist will decide what treatment is warranted for the patient's specific type and degree of psoriasis.

Eczema is an inflammatory condition of the skin characterized by a dry erythematous patchy rash that is irritating and itchy and can be found anywhere on the body. The National Institutes of Health estimates that 15 million people in the United States have some form of eczema. Eczema is not contagious and cannot be cured but can be managed. Eczema will come and go spontaneously usually dependent on external factors. Although the cause is unknown, most believe the skin condition appears to be an abnormal response of the body's immune system. Eczema can be prevented by avoiding triggers and keeping the skin moist. Treatment for eczema exacerbations includes topical medications and no scratching. If the patient needs something to help with itching oral medications may be prescribed. Also, if a patient gets a secondary infection from scratching antibiotics may be prescribed. The dermatologist can develop a plan best for you and your skin upon evaluation.

Allergy skin patch testing is used to identify the allergens that trigger a patient's allergic reaction. This procedure is safe, fast, and accurate. The majority of patients experience little to no discomfort. During this test multiple allergens including fragrance, preservatives, metals, rubber ingredients, and other chemicals that are commonly encounter in the environment and within household items and clothing are introduced to the patient's skin, then after 24 to 72 hours the skin is reexamined for any reaction. If a reaction occurs to the allergen then an allergy is likely. After a patient's allergy has been diagnosed, a physician will recommend a treatment plan to treat and manage the allergy.

Skin cancer is the most common form of cancer diagnosed in the United States. In fact, it is estimated that one in five Americans will develop skin cancer during their lifetime. Fortunately, if caught and treated early, skin cancer is completely curable, which is why it is very important to have your skin checked regularly by a dermatologist. Even if you have never had skin cancer in the past, having your skin checked annually is the best way to ensure that it is caught and treated as early as possible should it ever develop.

Your dermatologist will also be able to answer any questions you may have and provide insight on what to look for when performing self skin examinations at home. By working with your dermatologist, you can ensure that if you develop anything suspicious, it is diagnosed and treated as early as possible, maximizing the chance for cure and keeping your skin as healthy as possible.

Patients with skin of color are particularly vulnerable because any kind of trauma, whether it is something as bad as a burn or something as small as an insect bite, can cause light or dark spots called hypo-pigmentation or hyper-pigmentation. At USF Health Dermatology and Cutaneous Surgery we are very proud to have Dermatologists that specialize in skin of color. Whether it is for general dermatology, cosmetic dermatology or complex issues, we have the experts to take care of your skin.