Wednesday, January 25, 2012


What is a Physician Assistant?

Certified physician assistants (PA-C) are medical providers trained formally in primary care and graduating from one of over 100 accredited academic programs in the United States.  Most Physician Assistant Programs last 24-27 continuous months and use the medical school model.  PA’s are trained to provide diagnostic, therapeutic, and preventative healthcare services as delegated by a physician.  Working as members of the healthcare team, they take medical histories, examine, and treat patients, order and interpret laboratory tests, make diagnoses and prescribe medications.

PA’S in Dermatology

Physician Assistants have been providing a wide variety of services in the dermatology field for over 30 years.  Building on their primary care training, most PA’s in dermatology are trained on the job by their supervising physician.  PA’s can treat many common dermatological conditions such as acne, eczema, and warts to name a few.  In addition, all PA’s have suture training and can perform biopsies and simple excisions.

Continuing Education

All states require PAs to pass the Physician Assistants National Certifying Examination.  Only those who have successfully completed this exam may work as a PA.  In order to remain certified, PAs must complete 100 hours of continuing medical education every two years and pass a recertification exam every six years.

Benefits of seeing a Physician Assistant
 Often times, Physician assistants have schedules that are more flexible for patients.  This allows for patients to be seen sooner and most PAs offer appointments for patients to be seen the same day they call.  In addition to flexible schedules, physician assistants often have more time to spend with patients to answer any questions a patient may have regarding their diagnosis or treatment plan. 

PA's at Florida Skin Center
Currently, FSC has one physician assistant, Shirisha.  She has been working with Dr. Badia for over seven years.  Shirisha sees new patients as well as follow up patients.  She also does many of the surgical procedures at the office.  In addition, Shirisha does specialized treatments such as sclerotherapy, laser treatments, and PRP for hair loss.  
Shirisha looks forward to seeing you at your next visit.

Thursday, January 19, 2012

Treatments for Improving the Appearance of Scars

A common question the providers at FSC often get from patients is how to improve a scar. This would be an easy answer if all scars were created equal, but as we know scars come in all shapes, colors and sizes.  Although there is science to prove that genetics do play a role in how we heal, many treatments are available to improve scars.

1.     SPF for Scars. Sun exposure is one of the leading causes of scar hyperpigmentation or darkening, which can become permanent. The best sunscreens for scars contain zinc oxide, which blocks UVA and UVB rays. We have some great sunscreens with zinc oxide available at FSC. And remember, the sun is strong enough to penetrate most clothing so you should still apply sunscreen even if your scar is covered.

2.     Laser Therapy. At FSC we offer laser therapy to patients for scars that are red or pink.  The laser helps take out the color in the scar and helps it to blend into the surrounding skin.  Most patients will need at least 3 treatments to see improvement in their scars.  Treatments are relatively painless and can be done in less than 10 minutes at any visit. 

3.     Steroid Injections.  Often scars can keloid or become bumpy and raised.  These types of scars can be injected with steroids to help decrease inflammation and make the scar flat.  Patients will generally see improvement in their scar within 3-5 days of having the injection done.  The number of treatments depends on the width and type of scar.

4.   OTC Products.  There are many products on the market that claim to reduce scarring.  The common ones used by our patients are Vitamin E and Mederma. All thought there is not significant data to prove these products do help all types of scars do they do hurt to try.

We hope to see you again soon.