Dermatologists at Kaiser

Parent Q&A

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  • Does anyone have a dermatologist in the East Bay they'd recommend for annual skin/mole checks? I have Kaiser, but don't feel confident in going to them just for this (please let me know if you have experience otherwise!). I'm looking for just an annual visit to a derm who will do a full-body check and keep track of any changes in moles, etc. I'm in Oakland but willing to drive a bit.

    Thank you!

    This is the bread and butter of dermatologists. Most primary care providers can do it too. I don’t have specific recommendations for Kaiser but I’d stick with your in-network options rather than paying out of pocket. 

    I do not have experience with Kaiser but have been receiving care through Dr Cornelia Pessoa and her NP Helen Chodsky which I feel has been very thorough over the years to track my many many moles. I go to their South Berkeley office which is now part of this practice:

    I swear by Dr. Vikas Patel at Golden State Dermatology, 2255 Ygnacio Valley Road [a little ways past John Muit Medical Center] in Walnut Creek.  He's efficient, on time, very friendly, and good at explaining what needs and what can be ignored.  Well worth the drive.  (925) 945-7005

    I highly recommend Dr Denianke, Dermatologist at Kaiser. I saw him in Richmond but think he sees patients in Oakland too. He was excellent. Thorough, knowledgeable and helpful. My understanding is that your primary care doctor must refer you to Dermotology (once referred you can see and/or email for at least two years). If you decide to go outside of Kaiser, go to Dr. Camilla McCalmont on Fairmont near the El Cerrito Plaza (510-527-8865). She is fantastic as well (went to her for many years before joining Kaiser a few years ago). Coincidentally, Dr McCalmont was Dr Denianke’s first dermatologist (many years ago when she was at Kaiser)!

    I just saw Dr. Silke Heinisch for the first time yesterday for this. She's with Sutter Health and I saw her at an office in Berkeley near Alta Bates. It was my first time seeing a dermatologist and found her easy to talk to, collaborative and encouraging rather than shaming around my struggles to use sunscreen as I should. I had one mole removed and that went smoothly. I'd recommend her. 

    In my experience, Kaiser Oakland is great for this. Just ask your PCP for a referral and the derm clinic will see you annually for this. I have seen a few people and they were all competent and helpful.  

    I see Dr. Terri Dunn at AllSkin Dermatology on Telegraph in Berkeley ( She is great - very thorough, but doesn't try to push treatments (unless needed) or cosmetic improvements. I don't know the pricing because my insurance pays, but I think she is worth it.

    Since you're willing to go outside of Kaiser and drive a bit, I highly recommend Dr. Arianna Browne in Orinda.  Her office is near the Orinda exit off 24 at 8 Camino Encinas.  I have to have skin checks twice a year; I've seen several dermatologists in the last 10 years, and no one has been as thorough as Dr. Browne.  No one.  925-317-1180. 

    Kaiser derm will check your moles.  If they determine the mole is harmless, you may have to pay a bit to get it removed.

  • Tween hair loss

    Feb 3, 2020

    Our  middle school son is experiencing hair loss. My bigger worry is that I don’t see new hair growth. He is an otherwise healthy child and we lead a balanced healthy life. We ran blood work and it looked normal. His doctor said that his Heamoglobin is on the low side of normal and we have upped his iron intake including promoting iron with citrus, and not mixing dairy and iron at the same meal. He uses Renpure shampoo but I am considering switching to Purador. I have asked the doctor (again) for a dermatologist referral and hopefully this time we will get it. We have Kaiser and go to Richmond but for this I can go anywhere if there is a good dermatologist. Also, I am more concerned about his social-emotional wellness because kids in his school have pointed and commented on his hair loss already. Thank you. 

    Try Dr Mirmirami at Kaiser Vallejo. She’s a derm who specializes in hair loss. The other derms at Kaiser are sort of useless. 

    Sorry to hear of your son's problem. I know how distressing hair loss can be. While Dr. Kwame Deniake, Kaiser Richmond Dermatology, wasn't able to do much for my problem (female/aging) he did suggest iron, and that's been surprisingly helpful. I'm recommending him because nevertheless, I found him to be extremely thorough and caring. Also, he does research and seems to be particularly interested in hair loss. It did take a while to get an appointment with him once I had the referral. Previous Oakland Kaiser dermatologists just said "Rogaine" and fluffed me off. 

    Certainly NOT normal! I would be aggressive for an Endocrinologist referral etc! Darn kaiser!

    I'm sorry to say that your son probably has alopecia, and this is a tough condition to have. It can get better, but it's not curable. There are meds that can help. Get him to a super solid PEDIATRIC dermatologist asap. Here is a list of other common reasons kids develop hair loss  Good luck.

    Could it be alopecia? I know when I was in my 20s and experiencing a very stressful situation, my body started to attack my hair follicles. Sorry if you've already gone down this road and have ruled that out. I hope you find some help soon. 

  • Can anyone recommend a Kaiser dermatologist? I am looking for a doctor who will do a full body scan and make note of areas that look suspicious (pre-cancerous) and check those areas Yearly (or more often if necessary). Do doctors do this at Kaiser? If you have gone to Dermatologists in two or more different Kaisers, have you noticed a difference in the level of care and attention to detail? My mother had melanoma; so I am trying to be proactive so I don't end up suffering as she did. Recommendations for dermatologists practicing at Walnut Creek, Oakland and Richmond, as well as any Kaiser doctor in the greater Bay Area, would be fantastic! TIA.

    My Kaiser GP just did this, from stem to stern, as part of a regular checkup/physical. Just email your GP and ask for an appt.

    Kaiser Oakland dermatology is excellent. They will do a full body scan. You may need to get a referral from your doctor to get an initial appointment but with your family history that should not be a problem. Doctor Moskowitz who is no longer in Oakland, caught a basal cell carcinoma on my face that was not even visible to the naked eye. Since he left I have been seeing Estelle Kahn who is great. I have also seen Dr. McKlowski (sp?)

    I am in the same boat as you. I like to have regular full body checks because skin cancer runs in my family and I am fair skinned. My husband is a primary care physician at KP. He says that Kaiser (at least here) doesn't refer out to dermatologists for full body checks, but that your PCP can do a full body check. They should have a dermatoscope that they can use to take pictures of suspicious looking areas and send to Kaiser dermatologists for their opinion/diagnosis.

    As the previous user mentioned, Kaiser dermatologists do not do skin checks.  The primary care doctor does the skin check and then if necessary, she will call in whichever dermatologist is available to consult at the time.  My primary care doctor said that I could request that a Kaiser dermatologist do my skin check instead, but she warned that they don’t have day-to-day experience with skin checks and mostly are called in by the primary care doctor to perform biopsies.

    I have a parent who died of malignant melanoma, so I am considered high-risk for melanoma and I am supposed to get skin checks every 6 months.  However, my Kaiser primary care doctor has only done one skin check in the past two years.  Compared to the skin checks I’m used to getting from an actual dermatologist, my primary care doctor’s skin check was abbreviated and less than thorough.  She did not check my scalp, genital region, or feet.  She had me stand up instead of lie down during the skin check, so she had a close view of my upper body, but not my legs.

    The bottom line in my opinion is that Kaiser does not take skin checks seriously.  I plan to start paying out of pocket to have an actual dermatologist do my skin checks in the future.

    I was very disappointed by how Kaiser handled my request for a full body scan. Like you and other respondents, I have a strong family history of skin cancer and every other doctor/health system I've had has recommended an annual skin check with a dermatologist. My primary care doc at Kaiser Oakland tried to refer me to dermatology and was told she needed to do the skin check, and could call the on-call derm to come in to consult. I felt that the check he did was very cursory and not nearly as thorough as I'm used to. Like one of the other respondents, I am considering paying out of pocket to go elsewhere, and would welcome recommendations on where to go if anyone has found a good alternative! I'm also curious if anyone has had experience paying out of pocket for a skin check, and then if there was anything suspicious, taking the report back to Kaiser for follow up. I'm concerned about going down a dark hole of out of pocket payments for procedures that really should be covered by Kaiser!

Archived Q&A and Reviews

Help! looking for a kaiser dermatologist

June 2013

Hello, I am looking for a good kaiser dermatologist! any recommendations?? thank you for your time! nemesisj

I have been pleased with the services of Mary Ackerman, an NP in the Dermatology Department at Kaiser Richmond. RV

Nancy Franklin Kaiser - walnut Creek Thorough and kind doctor highly recommended. Sophie

Seeking Kaiser dermatologist

Feb 2013

Hello, I was wondering if anyone knows any good Kaiser dermatologists that specialize in hair loss? Thank you so much for your help! N

I can't vouch for whether he's good at hair loss problems, but Dr. Mark Reisman at Oakland Kaiser is among my top favorite physicians of all time, ever. He's a wonderful listener, clearly competent, excellent at explaining options, and a genuinely warm human being. I saw him in the elevator at Kaiser five years after he treated me for basal cell carcinoma, and he still remembered me. Wishing they were all like that...

Seeking Kaiser dermatologist

Dec 2012

I am looking for a great and helpful dermatologist working for Kaiser here in the SF Bay Area? Havn't had positive experiences with the dermatologists at the Kaiser in Richmond. Any suggestions ? I appreciate the help! Nemesisj

I have been seeing Dr. Maya Ponte at the Kaiser Oakland center and I think she is great. Highly recommend. Kathleen

Barry Waldman works in Walnut Creek and is wonderful. In Oakland, Linda Beets- Shay is fabulous, though she may be just for pediatric dermatology, I don't know. Naomi

Hi -- I recommended Dr. Barry Waldman as a dermatologist and I thought he worked in Walnut Creek but then I found his business card and it says Martinez. Dr. Linda Beets-Shay is still great and we saw her in Oakland so I'm pretty sure about her location... Naomi

2004 - 2007 Recommendations

March 2007

Re: Pediatric dermatologist for 2-year-old
Hi - try Dr. Beet-Shay at Oakland Kaiser. She specializes in children and has a no-nonesense approach. Good Luck

Dr Beets-Shay is a female dermatologist at Kaiser Oakland who has special interest in pediatric dermatology, also Dr Becker is a great doc with a very gentle manner who I would also recommend. Kaiser mom

Dr Linda Beets-Shay is a board certified Pediatric Dermatologist at Oakland Kaiser. Thankful Parent

Re: Dermatologist for rosacea and eczema (Sept 2006)
I have rosacea and am very happy with my treatment at Kaiser and I just found out that non-Kaiser members can see Kaiser doctors. I was quite surprised and their rates are reasonable. I saw Dr. Wilkins this week and he gave me unbiased information and referrals, should I pursue them, for treatment for rosacea, spider and varicose veins and other types of laser treatments. He is affiliated with UCSF and also gave me the name of a UC affiliated dermalogist who he thinks is the best in the Bay Area. Private dermatologists want you to use their equipment which is not necessarily the best treatment for you. I am more comfortable getting an opinion from a doctor who is not involved in the treatment Judy

Dermatologist for sun-damaged skin

Sept 2005

Hi, I have Kaiser and am looking for a good,proactive dermatologist to check and probably treat my 50-something fair, sun-damaged skin, due to recent fast escalating problems. I'm willing to go to any Kaiser in the Bay Area if someone has good experiences to report. Also looking for info on docs to avoid. Thanks.

My family has gone to Dr. Ostreicher and Dr. Beets-Shay at Oakland Kaiser and been very satisfied with both of them. NBS

I have had good experiences with Dr. Cornelius at Kaiser Richmond. She is not touchy feely but seems to know her stuff. SM

I can recommend Dr. Reisman at Kaiser Oakland. He is kind, understanding, and gets to business. I think you will like him Susan S

I work in pediatrics at Kaiser and think that Dr. Beets-Shay is a great dermatologist! Rebecca

Dermatologist for poor skin

Feb 2005

I am currently looking for a KAISER Dermatologist in Oakland, but will consider other areas as well. (I am new to Kaiser and not yet sure if I can see Kaiser doctors outside of my area or not). I am 26 and have had crapy skin since I was 8. It consisted of acne (sometimes cystic) hyperpigmation, enlarged pores, etc. Now, my biggest problem is blackheads and hyperpigmation - usually treated via facials with extractions, peels, etc. I also have stretch marks on my hips since I was 12 that turned into dark, raised thick scars. Even now, they can still be painful and itchy impossible. Does anyone know of a good dermatologist that specializes in these issues? Carla

I don't have a great dermatologist reccomendation at Kaier - Kaiser dematologists don't do what they call cosmetic procedures and it is extremly hard to get an appointment with them - however you can go out of network if your problem is serious enough. There is a dermatologist named Greta something in Berkeley who might be pretty good - I think you can find her info in the archives on the Berkeley Parents Network - if you do go to her or any dermatologist ask about the Obagi system - which is awesome for hyperpigmentation problems. I do not reccomend Katie Rodan at all - she is generally not available and not good with hyperpigmentation - I get the sense that she is just a product pusher and her office staff could use some improvement in the courtesey and discretion department which is the absolute deal breaker for me to say the very least. There is a good dermatologist at the San Francisco Laser Center that a friend of mine went to and loved her the link to their website is:

The other thing you might want to try is calling a prominent esthetician named Katheryn Leverette she owns Solutions Skin Center I have been going to her for over seven years and she is great. The number is 510-893-7546 anonymous

I've worked with Dr. Reisman several times and have not only found him to be very good (good listener, straight shooter), but also savvy and willing to help you get through Kaiser bureaucracy (e.g., he prescribed a non-formulary drug but added a notation that allowed it to be covered as a formulary drug). He's in Oakland. Jennie