Frequently Asked Questions
+ What can I expect at a medical appoinment?
Check in at the front desk and a Medical Assistant will room you. Once roomed, we always do intake- where our MAs note if you take any medications, have any allergies or recent procedures and have you describe the reason you sought dermatological care. New and returning patients can expect this step.
Appointments are normally based off of 2 things: First is that you may be coming in for a rash, spot or specific concern. We will assess the area and give you treatment options best suited for your lifestyle. The second is a full skin exam, where we examine all potentially harmful spots and either test for skin cancer or come up with a plan to monitor these areas.
Our main goal is skin education for the patient. We ask that if you have concerns about a friend or family member, you encourage them to make their own appointment so we can give our full attention at your designated times.
Preventing complications will always save you time and likely money.
+ How does KDC create a comfortable experience?
Our practice’s rule is that there must be an MA in the room at all times, except when they need to gather materials to aid in providing your care. This is a safety rule to ensure that the patient, nor the provider, is in an uncomfortable position.
We will always treat your needs as a top priority and do our best to ensure the approach we use is compatible to your lifestyle while also helping you get better. Read more about our approach.
+ How do I refill a prescription?
Please call our office to request a refill and our staff will give you the following steps. We may require you to come in to monitor the effects of the medication before prescribing more, especially if you have not been seen in over 6 months.
The prescriber is responsible for the patient and we evaluate on a per-case basis. If we have prescribed a medication that is not available OTC, there are FDA regulations in place to monitor your usage. Each medication is different, and some require more in-office care than others.
+ How do I know if a spot needs to be checked?
The basic rules of thumb to pay attention to are the ABCDE’s of Melanoma- Asymmetry, Border irregularity, Color that is not uniform, Diameter greater than 6 mm and Evolving size, shape or color. Follow this link for more information on the ABCDE’s of Melanoma and self examinations in general.
When in doubt, definitely come in to have your spot(s) checked. Ninety percent of the Melanomas I remove are flat, mole-like spots that do not look particularly abnormal.
+ What should I wear to my appointment?
You can wear whatever you want to an appointment. If you know you will need a full skin exam, we do suggest wearing sport underwear to help you stay comfortable while wearing the provided drapes. You may prefer to not get fully undressed and only show specific spots, however that is not advisable as cancerous spots can hide in areas like under the breasts. Remember that your dermatological providers are working to keep you healthy when checking sensitive areas, and it’s only necessary to be checked once per year unless advised otherwise!
+ How should I prepare for my Moh’s surgery appointment?
Stay off all blood thinners for 2 weeks before your surgery and take the medications specified at your previous appointment (usually an hour before your scheduled time). Make sure you eat before your surgery to prevent shock by hyperglycemia. Please wear comfortable, loose fitting clothing, as you will likely be here for a few hours. Please do not wear white or nice clothing in case of unexpected bleeding. Make ride arrangements if you are taking any controlled substances (Valium, Vicodin, Percocet, etc.) for pain or if we’re working on the face, hands or feet. Our front desk staff can help you save time by contacting your driver or a car service slightly before the end of your surgery.
+ What can cause problems with the healing processes?
Surgery sites are very susceptible to infection. Always keep your wound clean, dry and dressed with new bandaging daily. Do not use bar soaps or loofahs in the shower, as they can carry unwanted bacteria. Use clean towels daily.
We will likely set restrictions on physical activity and exercise, especially if treating the hands, arms, shoulders or neck. Do not swim in the ocean or pools until your topical stitches are out.
Do not smoke nicotine or THC products until you are cleared to do so, as these chemicals in your bloodstream will greatly affect your body’s ability to heal. As of now, there is no information stating that isolated CBD is harmful.
Preventing complications will always save you time and likely money.
+ Can my PCP also treat skin conditions?
PCPs can give great input to help improve skin conditions, however they often refer out to specialists like us! It is best to see a Dermatology specialist to ensure that you are receiving a well-rounded variety of options and the most up-to-date care techniques. Derm specialists treat the harshest cases of all skin conditions, so we are well prepared for anything thrown our way.
+ What is atopic dermatitis?
Atopic dermatitis is a specific state of the skin that is mainly associated with allergies and asthma. People who get rashes alongside seasonal, food or environmental allergies are usually experiencing the effects of Atopic Derm. Atopic Derm can often be treated quickly with a couple office visits and a 10 minute Diagnostic Lab Services (DLS) visit (DLS locations on O’ahu). More intense cases may be more of a challenge.
+ Are Psoriasis and Eczema different?
Psoriasis and Eczema, though often similar in appearance, are very different conditions. Psoriasis is an autoimmune condition meaning that antibodies attack the tissue inside the body, thus inhibiting the immune system from doing its best job. Psoriasis is a systemic disease that can damage the heart, heart vessels and joints over time.
Eczema builds allergy or sensitivity like psoriasis builds antibodies, however it does not cause long-term damage to the inside of the body. Eczema appears on the top layers of skin as an itchy rash about 80% of the time when psoriasis is present.
It is very important to treat psoriasis to prevent internal inflammation and psoriatic arthritis. Many people go years only receiving medication to clear the skin/allergy and not to fight antibodies. We can ensure that you are treated for both.
+ How do I get tested for an allergy?
If we think your skin is affected by allergies, or if you would just like to be tested, we will send you out with a lab slip for Diagnostic Lab Services (DLS) and schedule you a follow up appointment in 2-3 weeks. We recommend going to DLS in the morning within a few days of receiving your lab slip (DLS locations on O’ahu). DLS will draw and test your blood then send your results directly to our office within 10 days. We will go over the results at your scheduled follow-up appointment and direct you on how to avoid the sensitivities that show on your lab results.
+ Can diet affect my skin?
Yes. Besides dermatitis outbreaks caused by food allergies, foods can be especially detrimental to acne-prone skin. Acne-triggering foods include but are not limited to nuts (binds oil glands), dairy (fetal growth hormones) and sugar (causes rising cortisol levels). If you are acne-prone we definitely recommend staying away from nut-filled chocolate treats!
+ What is a good basic sun safety routine?
Always use a zinc-based (reef-safe) sunscreen. Use at least 15 SPF everyday on the face and 30+ SPF when exposing the body to sun. Reapply every 2 hours and use and 50 SPF if exposed for over 3 hours. Follow the directions on the bottle if unsure. Always store sunscreen indoors, as the effects will wear if kept in 80+ degrees.
We recommend a patient without family history of skin cancer to reduce their sun-exposure by 50% to avoid sunburn, which would create that risk for skin cancer. As we know this can be difficult, especially on this sunny island, avoiding sunburn will save you time, money and complications in the long run.
A patient with a family history of skin cancer should wear sun-protective clothing at all times. There is a variety of available clothing made of UV-protective materials.
Both groups should never use tanning beds. Always wear a wetsuit during water activities, as the neoprene does not let in sun rays.
+ How do I treat sunburn?
Stay hydrated by drinking plenty of water and use an aloe vera or aloe-infused lotion if that works for you. Manage pain with ice, extra strength Tylenol, aspirin or topical steroids. If blistering sunburn occurs, we recommend silver ointment (available at KDC) to treat burn injury and prevent infection. If skin damage occurs, we recommend Heliocare (available at KDC) to protect against further free radicals and prevent skin cancer.