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Posts for category: Dermatology

June 10, 2021
Category: Dermatology
Tags: Skin Cancer  

The American Cancer Society estimates that there could be over 115,000 new skin cancer cases in 2021. Understanding your treatment options for skin cancer in Peoria, AZ, can help you make informed decisions about your health. Your dermatologist, Dr. Vernon Mackey of Advanced Desert Dermatology can explain your skin cancer prevention and treatment options.


Surgery is a common skin cancer treatment. Your dermatologist can perform this procedure in their office to remove the cancer cells and surrounding skin. This procedure occurs under local anesthesia so you don't have to worry about pain.

Topical therapy

These non-surgical treatments are sometimes carried out with other skin cancer treatments that target and destroy skin cancer cells. Topical therapies that your dermatologist could prescribe for your skin cancer in Peoria, AZ, include:

  • Photodynamic therapy. Your dermatologist applies light-sensitive medication to your skin cancer and activates it with light to kill cancer cells.
  • Topical chemotherapy. Using this therapy, your dermatologist applies a chemotherapeutic agent to the skin cancer for 3-12 weeks. It's typically effective against superficial cancers.
  • Immune response modifiers. They act by stimulating your immune system to fight skin cancer.


For advanced skin cancers, your dermatologist might prescribe chemotherapy. Your medical team at Advanced Desert Dermatology will develop personalized chemotherapeutic therapy for your skin cancer.

Radiation therapy

Following surgery, your dermatologist might recommend radiation therapy to clear up remaining cancer cells especially in areas where they removed lymph nodes. Radiation therapy could also help treat metastases if cancer comes back. Radiation therapies for skin cancer include:

  • External beam radiation therapy
  • Intensity-modulated radiation therapy
  • Tomo therapy

Targeted therapies

Targeted therapies work by acting on specific features of your cancer cell that distinguish them from healthy cells. These features include specific gene mutations and proteins. These therapies kill cancer cells or improve the efficacy of chemotherapy.


Immunotherapy activates your immune system to kill cancer cells. Cytokines and checkpoint inhibitors are immunotherapy drugs that your dermatologist might recommend for your skin cancer treatment.

Want to learn more about skin cancer in Peoria, AZ?

Schedule a consultation with your dermatologist, Dr. Mackey, of Advanced Desert Dermatology by calling (623) 977-6700.

May 13, 2020
Category: Dermatology
Tags: rash  

You suddenly develop a rash. Should you be concerned? At Advanced Desert Dermatology in Peoria, AZ, your dermatologist, Dr. Vernon Thomas Mackey, sorts through rashes and their accompanying symptoms.You get the best treatment and healthy skin returns.

What does your rash look like?

The appearance and location of your rash tells your skin doctor much about its type and severity. While most rashes are not dangerous or life-threatening, a rash which has additional symptoms likely should be evaluated.

So, consider these rash characteristics and as needed, contact Advanced Desert Dermatology in Peoria:

  • Circular rash pattern (Lyme Disease from a tick bite)
  • Raised blisters on the hands or legs (poison oak, ivy or sumac)
  • Blisters on the eyes, mouth or genitals (herpes)
  • Widespread over the face, chest, arms and legs (often a reaction to medication, such as penicillin or sulfa, or to food, such as shellfish or peanuts)
  • Hives, raised, puffy wheals or bumps which itch and feel very warm (contact, or atopic, dermatitis)
  • Accompanying pus and odor (a secondary infection or impetigo, a contagious staph or strep infection)
  • Itchy, oozing bumps (fungal infection, such as athlete's foot or jock itch)
  • Bruising or duskiness without injury (a blood clotting disorder, such as vasculitis)
  • Accompanying shortness of breath, fever or pain (shingles or chicken pox)
  • Recurring (acne, eczema, rosacea)

Experts at the University of Pittsburgh Medical Center say a rash which continues to spread or lingers is very concerning. It may indicate an underlying medical problem--even cancer.

Treating rashes

Don't try treating a rash on your own. Dr. Mackey will inspect your rash and ask you when it began and what, if anything, seems to help it. He may take a skin culture or biopsy or order blood work.

Your skin treatment plan will depend on his findings. For mild rashes, such as atopic dermatitis, he may prescribe a steroidal cream, cool compresses, and avoiding known triggers such as soaps and irritating fabrics. Refrain from scratching and picking so you don't develop an infection.

Find out more

Your skin is your largest body organ and protects you from many invaders, such as bacteria, so it's important to take good care of it. Don't delay if you develop a rash and bring your rash to Advanced Desert Dermatology in Peroria, AZ. Dr. Vernon Thomas Mackey can help you have your very best skin. He has two offices to serve you. For either the West Thunderbird Road or the West Lake Pleasant Parkway locations, phone (623) 977-6700.

April 07, 2020
Category: Dermatology
Tags: social distancing  
Social distancing may be the most effective strategy to flatten the curve. Here’s how you can practice it!

You’re hearing the term “social distancing” everywhere now. You know that it’s designed to keep yourself and others healthy and to social distancingreduce the spread of coronavirus, but perhaps you’re not exactly sure what social distancing actually entails. From the office of our Peoria, AZ, dermatologist, Dr. Vernon Mackey, here are some social distancing tips designed to keep you healthy and safe during the pandemic.

What is Social Distancing?
Many people are using the terms “isolation”, “quarantine” or “social distancing” interchangeably but they mean something a bit different. Isolation and quarantine are designed to prevent people who are sick or are believed to be infected from being able to come in contact with others. These people may be under self-quarantine or may be confined to a hospital. People with weaken immune systems may also choose to self-quarantine in order to protect themselves from being exposed to the virus.However, social distancing is what the rest of the currently uninfected community should be practicing. Social distancing means avoiding gatherings and public spaces where there are more than 10 people at a time.

Here’s what you should know about social distancing,
  • You can still go out to get groceries, medications, and other things you need to live; however, it’s best to minimize how much time you spend in public, so only go out when it’s absolutely essential.
  • When you’re out in public (e.g. grocery store) make sure to keep at least six feet between you and others.
  • Cancel or postpone events, parties, weddings, and other mass gatherings for the foreseeable future.
  • If you’re sick, it’s important that you stay home
  • Wash your hands frequently and properly
  • If you are over 65 years old or if you have chronic health problems (e.g. diabetes), it’s best to stay home as much as possible, wear a mask if you have to be in public, and have neighbors/family members pick up prescriptions or groceries for you.
Make Social Distancing Easier
We know that canceling plans and having to stay indoors most of the day may feel a little strange at first. But there are ways to make social distancing easier, productive, and perhaps even fun:
  • Been wanting to work out? Now is the perfect time to start! There are tons of trainers, fitness classes, and programs that are providing people with both free and paid classes online. Make your apartment or house your very own gym.
  • There are also tons of chefs that are offering up tips, recipes and cooking courses right now. Choosing a recipe that the family can make together could be a fun at-home bonding experience in the evenings.
  • Still working from home? Designate a bonafide workspace and set your hours each day so you aren’t tempted to get up and do laundry or clean the house instead. Once your set hours are over, then you can kick back and relax or tackle those chores. Make the most of your day even when working from home!
At Advanced Desert Dermatology we are doing our part to keep everyone safe and healthy. If you have any questions or concerns, please give us a call (623) 977-6700.
March 30, 2020
Category: Dermatology

Tired of having to pluck, wax, and shave every few days? Dealing with thick, dark and unsightly hair in visible areas such as the chin or shoulders? If so, a dermatologist can provide you with a more effective solution for getting rid of unwanted body hair faster and easier. The answer lies in laser hair removal.

Plucking and waxing can be painful and shaving can leave you with ingrown hairs and irritation. None of these methods are fun. Plus, you have to keep doing it every few days or every week if you want smooth skin. Why go through the hassle when a dermatologist can help you get rid of hair without ever having to lift a finger?

It doesn’t come as much of a surprise that laser hair removal is one of the most popular cosmetic treatments. This procedure makes it easy to get smoother skin without having to deal with tweezing, shaving, or waxing. This non-invasive laser treatment can treat just about any part of the body; however, it’s most often used to treat the,

  • Chest
  • Upper lip and chin
  • Back
  • Bikini line
  • Underarm
  • Legs
  • Shoulder

Thanks to advanced laser technology, our dermatologist can provide patients with a safe, effective, and comfortable laser treatment to help them target and remove unwanted hair for the long term. Most laser systems offer a built-in cooling system to make treatment as comfortable as possible. Depending on the size of the treatment area, laser hair removal can take as little as 10 minutes for regions such as the upper lip or chin and as long as one hour (for a full back).

Since hair grows in cycles, you will need to get several laser hair removal sessions to ensure that our dermatologist removes as much of the hair as possible. The average person will get anywhere from 4-6 sessions. During laser hair removal, the handheld device will be directed over the skin to target and heat up the hair follicles to destroy them, preventing them from growing back. While laser hair removal will not permanently get rid of the hair, it will help the hair grow back fewer, finer, and lighter so they are far less visible.

If you think laser hair removal could help you feel more confident in your appearance, then your cosmetic dermatologist can give you the smoother results you want before summer hits.

February 24, 2020
Category: Dermatology
Tags: Eczema  

Eczema isn’t curable, and people who suffer from it usually go through remissions or symptom-free periods as well as flare-ups, when their symptoms suddenly appear. It primarily causes itchy and dry skin that when left unaddressed could lead to rashes, inflammation, weepy skin, and blisters. In addition, fungal, viral, and bacterial infections could develop since eczema compromises your skin barrier.

But because there’s still no cure for eczema, the main aim of treatment is the reduction and management of symptoms when they appear. Here at Advanced Desert Dermatology, in both our Thunderbird Rd. and Lake Pleasant Parkway locations in Peoria, AZ, Dr. Vernon Mackey offers various eczema treatment regimens depending on the severity of your case.

Topical Medications for Treating Eczema

The go-to, standard eczema treatment that usually works for many people is topical corticosteroids. When applied to the affected areas, corticosteroid ointments, lotions, or creams can minimize inflammation and reduce allergic reactions. They can likewise decrease itchiness and alleviate soreness and irritation. TCIs or topical calcineurin inhibitors such as Elidel and Protopic may also be prescribed to manage eczema symptoms. These work by minimizing flare-ups and controlling inflammation by suppressing your immune system.

Oral Medications for Eczema

If you have widespread symptoms, your doctor may likewise recommend that you take an oral antihistamine like diphenhydramine, doxylamine succinate, or hydroxyzine. This medication will also help make it easier for you to sleep at night without scratching. If you develop a skin infection due to your eczema, your doctor may also prescribe antifungal, antiviral, or antibiotic medications to address it. Additionally, you may be prescribed an oral immunosuppressant if you have an especially severe case of eczema.

Home Treatments for Eczema

Aside from treatments prescribed by our dermatologist in our Thunderbird Rd. and Lake Pleasant Parkway, Peoria, AZ, offices, you can try to manage your eczema symptoms using these home remedies:

  • Avoid scratching the affected skin and keep your nails short and dull.
  • Use a humidifier when the air is particularly dry.
  • Moisturize your skin regularly with lotions, creams, or ointments without dyes, fragrance, and alcohol.
  • Avoid exposure to airborne allergens like pollen, dust mites, and pet dander.
  • Avoid irritants like manmade fibers or wool, harsh detergents and soaps, and environments or situations that cause sweat.
  • Limit your time bathing and opt for lukewarm or cool water. Use gentle cleansers or washes and pat, don’t rub, when drying your skin.
  • Apply a moisturizing cream right after you dry your skin, preferably when it’s still a bit damp. Opt for moisturizers marketed as barrier repair creams and with ingredients such as ceramides, cholesterol, and fatty acids. These can help manage your symptoms by repairing your skin barrier.

Remember, you can’t cure eczema, but you can manage your symptoms effectively and heal your skin barrier to prevent flare-ups and further damage. You just need to determine the right combination of home remedies, moisturizers, and medications that will keep your eczema under control.

Need eczema relief now?

Contact Advanced Desert Dermatology by calling (623) 977-6700 to schedule a consultation at either our Thunderbird Rd. or Lake Pleasant Parkway in Peoria, AZ. Dr. Vernon Mackey will assess your symptoms and craft an eczema treatment plan that best fits your needs.