Parent Q&A

Seeking Dermatologist Recommendations Aug 11, 2019 (1 responses below)
Dermatologist for Rosacea? Feb 2, 2019 (2 responses below)
Dermatologist recommendations? Nov 7, 2017 (5 responses below)
Dermatologist recommendation? Aug 15, 2017 (5 responses below)
Great dermatologist for psoriasis Nov 24, 2016 (6 responses below)
  • Seeking Dermatologist Recommendations

    (1 reply)


    We have just moved to the East Bay and I am in need of a good dermatologist. Could anyone recommend someone that they've seen in the area? Thanks so much!

    Hi, I see Dr. Camilla McCalmont in El Cerrito. She is a medical dermatologist. I have found her thorough, copetent, and straight-forward. She is the only dermatologist I have ever seen who really helped me with my eczema- without steroid treatment.

  • Dermatologist for Rosacea?

    (2 replies)


    I'm having a rosacea outbreak and looking for dermatologist recommendations.  I'm in Montclair but willing to travel for someone good.  Thanks!

    RE: Dermatologist for Rosacea? ()

    Dr. Tomi Wall is fabulous, in Oakland, and her number is: 510.763.2662. Good luck!

    RE: Dermatologist for Rosacea? ()

    I ended up with successful treatment taking OTC Curcumin tablets.  You might explore dietary changes/supplements with a practitioner.  I am not local so cannot refer to a practitioner.

  • Dermatologist recommendations?

    (5 replies)

    I'm looking for an excellent dermatologist on the UC Berkeley HealthNet plan (Blue and Gold HMO) who can monitor my skin carefully..... I've had two melanomas and was very well taken care of the second time at UCSF, but my current insurance does not cover UCSF. 

    I prefer a dermatologist who does not sell any fancy skin care lines or do cosmetic surgery.

    Dr. Richard Glogau at UCSF has helped me for the last 18 years with my rare cutaneous lymphoma - yes, he is an innovator in botox etc, but he is a serious and exceptional dermatologist, routinely in the "best doctors in the Bay Area, in the US" etc...he may be in or out of your network...I've gone to others when I had Kaiser, went to Stanford etc...just go see him...and he usually has an associate...don't see the associate, you want to see him.

    And Marcey Shapiro MD 510-525-2200 is on Solano Ave and she helped me in a holistic way- ex'd "Wholly Immune" and helped me in general

    And the Ida and Joseph Friend Cancer Resource Center at the old Mt Zion campus in SF helped me research my optimum nutrition, and they have folks who will research things for free for you

    And, last but not least, Optimum Health Institute in San Diego is a place I have gone sometimes...week long retreat...both intense and peaceful at the same time, very positive...

    Best wishes on your journey

    I'm also on the UC HealthNet Blue and Gold HMO but am a little puzzled by you saying that your insurance doesn't cover UCSF. I've selected my medical group as Hill Physicians/UCSF, so my primary care doctor and most of my care is at UCSF. But even if you haven't selected Hill Physicians as your medical group, your primary care physician is able to refer you to *any* doctor in Canopy Health (Hill Physicians, John Muir and Meritage). Page 3 here explains: Also, this document explains the relationship among HealthNet/Canopy/Hill/etc. very well and emphasizes that all UC doctors are part of HealthNet Blue and Gold: I would suggest giving HealthNet a call to better understand your options and how you can continue to get care through UCSF.

    I've been seeing Dr Graham at Affiliates in Dermatology in Oakland. He seems to be very thorough and has a good bedside manner. He's never tried to sell any products to me and I've never asked him about cosmetic surgery, so I don't know if he does that or not. I've been very happy with him. There's melanoma in my family, but I have not been diagnosed myself, so I don't have direct experience with melanoma treatment. You'd have to ask whether they take your insurance, though. Their number is 510-652-8091. 

  • Dermatologist recommendation?

    (5 replies)

    Can anyone recommend a dermatologist who will do a thorough and careful full-body mole check? The Kaiser dermatologist I saw did what I considered a cursory check, and I am ready to pay out of pocket to see someone else for reassurance. Berkeley/Oakland preferred. Thank you!

    RE: Dermatologist recommendation? ()

    Jason Fung is great! He is thorough and skilled with biopsies.

    RE: Dermatologist recommendation? ()

    I had a good experience with Terri Dunn at All Skin Dermatology in Berkeley - she was very thorough! 

    RE: Dermatologist recommendation? ()

    Not in east bay, but Dr. Glogau at UCSF is the best!

  • Great dermatologist for psoriasis

    (6 replies)

    I'm switching out of Kaiser to a PPO and I'm looking for a great medical dermatologist who can advise me on my lifelong psoriasis and the latest treatments. (Not looking for a cosmetic derm.) Any recommendations? 

    I have Aetna PPO and see Dr. Littman in Oakland. My psoriasis is treated using Enbrel (biologic/injectable). Prior to having children, I was on it for about 5 years with no issues. I took a 5 year break for babies and breastfeeding and just started it again. Good luck!

    I go to Jennifer Krasnoff in Pinole. It's a drive but you can get an appointment quickly and parking is free.

    Dr. Robert Greenberg has two only medical dermatology offices.  One is located in San Ramon and the other is in Livermore.  He is the Director of the East Bay Psoriasis Treatment Center and I cannot urge you to see him more.

Archived Q&A and Reviews

Reviews More Reviews of Dermatologists Advice from parents about ...

July 2012 Note: Dr. Warren Dotz is no longer accepting new patients, according to email received by BPN.

2011 - 2013 Reviews

Terri Dunn, dermatologist

Dec 2013

Hi, I'm looking for people's experiences with Terri Dunn as a dermatologist. I need a doctor who will do very thorough skin checks. margarita

I did not have a great experience with Dr. Dunn. I have had eczema for most of my life and had not seen a dermatologist for 5-6 years and finally got myself referred to one because I was having pretty bad eruptions and my current meds weren't working. I went in for a consultation and expected her to at least look at my lesions - she didn't even ask to look (and actually declined when I offered to show her one on my side that had been pretty hard to control). She gave me the standard schpeel about moisturizing and then proceeded to recommend beauty products that her office was selling. Maybe it would have been different if my skin problem was more unusual. I ended up going to see Dr. Jason Fung (paying out of pocket) and he was much more thorough in my opinion, and I didn't feel like he was pushing products or rushing me out of the appointment. Good luck with finding a derm that works for you - I know how hard it is to find the right person! No Longer Itchy All the Time
I do not have a high opinion of Dr. Dunn. Advice consisted mostly of ''if it's dry, keep it moist. If it's moist, keep it dry.'' She prescribed fungicides for me, which did not do the trick. The thing that made me never go back to her, however, is that she started to try to sell me some ''special'' cream from France. When asked what the active ingredients were, she explained that it was made from water from a special spring that had helped many people. I said, unless this water is radioactive, it seems unlikely to be vastly different from other water you can put in a cream. Even if it has a high mineral content, that is analyzeable and reproducible. She shrugged and said she knew it seemed strange, but she felt the cream was worthwhile. The cream was very expensive. And available only through her office. anon
I don't know Terri Dunn, but a reply on 12/2/13 noting that Dr Dunn recommended an expensive French cream with special water in it caught my eye, and I wondered if it wasn't the Avene brand. If so, I will put in my 2 cents and say it might be worth a try. I always thought my French family members were a little nutty with their Avene mineral water vaporizer bottles - until I spent a summer there and my 5 yr old got so many bug/mosquito bites she looked frighteningly speckled such that I thought maybe she had chicken pox. It was just vicious bugs in the end. Family, dermatologist, and 2 local pharmacists recommended Avene mineral water and an Avene cream. Within days she was back to normal skin, whereas hydrocortisone was barely making a dent. I was amazed. No longer poo-pooing the $8 spritz

Dermatologist recommendation from limited list

Nov 2013

I've needed to switch to a new insurance that has only very few East Bay providers. I need someone who will do excellent, thorough skin checks, due to a personal and family history of skin cancer. Can anyone recommend (or suggest I avoid!) one of the following dermatologists: Doux or Ju (San Leandro), Holman or Weiss (San Leandro), A. Keller, E. Bloom, R. Graham, L. Hilger, or D. Paslin (Oakland), or T. Dunn (Berkeley). Many thanks! -freckle-faced gal

My husband and I have been seeing Dr. Hilger for a few years for skin checks. We cannot recommend him highly enough. He is extremely thorough. Anon

Looking for a *REAL* Dermatologist

Nov 2013

Having suffered through - and solved the mystery of - a horrible rash last year, I now have to deal with the problem of raw, damaged skin that needs special attention. My skin is sensitive and often extremely dry, and I am tired of trying to address it by reading online reviews of creams or going to dermatologists who are so focused on laser resurfacing or selling a particular line of cosmetics that they don't have time to deal with patients with basic skin problems. Any recommendations for a thoughtful derm in Oakland/Berkeley/Alameda who really takes time with his/her patients and isn't impossible to get an appointment with? My skin thanks you! Seeking Skin Savior

I have eczema, so I am (unfortunately!) familiar with a couple of different dermatologists in Oakland. I currently see Dr. Julia Graves, who I recommend -- she has never tried to sell me on anything not eczema-related. Her office runs on time, which I love. In terms of getting an appointment, I only see her about every 6 months, so I haven't had trouble setting up those appointments in advance. I don't think I had a huge problem getting in to see her in the first place, but can't remember for sure.

I do not, however, recommend Dr. David Paslin. He certainly doesn't try to sell you on laser resurfacing or anything like that, but I found him to be brusque to the point of being flat-out rude. I also found that he constantly ran late (I once had a 9:30 a.m. appointment where I wasn't even called back until 10:30, and didn't actually see him until closer to 11). I also had trouble getting test results from his office, including a MRSA culture while I was pregnant -- I wouldn't have known it was positive if I hadn't repeatedly called his office. Much happier with Dr. Graves

I recommend Leslie Hilger. I have Irish skin so I have been seeing him for 30 years. He has never promoted laser or any cosmetic proceedures, nor does he sell cosmetics. He has offices in Alameda and Oakland. His Oakland number is 510-652-8091. Freckles
Try Kaiser. I've had a great experience with dermatologists at Oakland Kaiser and they certainly are not going to sell you cosmetic potions and procedures. What's more, it's easy to get an appointment - I recently got a same day appointment after my GP looked at my rash and decided I should see a specialist. Kaiser fan

Dermatologist for adult acne and scarring

Nov 2013

Hi, Can anyone recommend a good dermatologist or other type of doctor for adult acne and scarring? I am asian so someone with a lot of experience with asian-type skin and adult acne would be a plus, but anyone highly recommended would be appreciated. I am also interested in laser-resurfacing if there are good recs for that as well. thank you!! musicmommie

I really love my dermatologist, Cornelia Pessoa. Her RN Helen is also very good. They have helped me with a range of skin issues, including both cosmetic and other problems. For cosmetic things I has also used Christine Brozowski, but that office is very expensive (more spa-like than a doctor's office) and focused solely on cosmetic, not medical, problems. Oakland Mom

Female dermatologist in Berkeley/Albany/Orinda

April 2013

I'd been seeing Dr. Cornelia Pessoa, in Berkeley, for years (possibly decades). She is fabulous but is now booking three to four months out and won't even see me for a suspicious-looking growth. She instead offers her physician assistant but bills for this at the same rate. Time for someone new. I am seeking a female dermatologist in Berkeley, Albany, El Cerrito, or Orinda who is patient, gentle, and smart and is not booking more than a month out. Anon

I see Dr. Jennifer Fu, MD at her El Cerrito location (she also has an office in Vallejo). She is kind, gentle, and seems to really know her stuff. She removed a basal cell tumor and it is healing nicely. Here is the website for her office: Jennifer R

Need a good dermatologist for juvederm

April 2013

Hi there everyone, does anyone have a recommendation for a local (Oakland, Berkeley areas or across the tunnel in Lafayette area) for a doc or dermatologist who does Juvederm Rystaline injections? I had a bad experience with a nurse who left me very very bruised and it was a painful experience to say the least. The results were good once the bruising wore off, but I could never face that experience again. I'd also like to find someone who doesn't charge more than the going rate or has reasonable rates. Thanks for chiming in if you can. anonymous

Go see Dr. Elizabeth Lee. I met with and looked at the work of many different doctors before settling on Dr. Elizabeth Lee and I am extremely happy with my choice. She has a stellar reputation for good reason. You asked for a dermatologist but she is a cosmetic surgeon and to me, that in itself was an important distinction. She *knows* the face and its anatomy. You don't just want someone who can inject fillers into some lines; that is easy. You want someone who is VERY well trained and experienced with these procedures and has an eye for aesthetic beauty and symmetry. You can fill holes but that doesn't always make you look the way you want. She hears what you want and creates it. Dr Lee knows exactly where to inject and how much to inject. She has the eye of an artist. She will make you look well rested, beautiful and natural. Go talk to her. You won\xc3\x82\xe2\x80\x99t be disappointed. Natural looking 46 yr old mother of three!

Please recommend a good dermatologist!

March 2013

I need a dermatologist for a variety of skin issues including rosacea and seborrheic dermatitis. I'm looking for a doctor who is not overly invested in cosmetic treatments or their own line of skin care products. Also, a doctor who is observant, thorough, listens, and takes time with patients. I've been thoroughly frustrated with past experiences. I live in the Lamorinda area but am willing to go anywhere in the Bay Area for a good dermatologist. Thank you!

I can recommend my dermatologist: Dr. Ani Tajirian at 510-839-2937. She is one doctor in a group which practices in Oakland as well as in Lafayette (925-283- 4820). In addition to regular and cosmetic dermatology, she is experienced in mohs micrographic surgery. Always willing to listen to my issues, she is calm and reassuring. She is very good. Roger
I highly recommend Dermatology Associates of the Bay Area in Hercules. They do some cosmetic dermatology, but their main focus in on medical dermatology. They treat infants to adults and will do a thorough full body skin exam to screen for skin cancer or other abnormalities. All their dermatologists are board certified and they perform Mohs surgery for skin cancer. You won't get any hard sell for skin care products. If you can't get in with one of the doctors, make an appointment with their PA. She is knowledgeable, friendly and has a more open schedule. Amy

Dermatologist for Adult Acne

Oct 2012

UGH! I'm a 43 year old woman and my adult acne is terrible. I need a great dermatologist who can help me get through this. I'm looking for some current recommendations on doctors (east bay preferably but will take whoever you think is awesome!) and treatments that have helped you. GAHHHHHHH! Help!!

After years of suffering sever adult acne (beginning in my 30s) and seeing a couple of dermatologists I finally went to one at Kaiser and was prescribed Metronidazole. I still have an occasional pimple breakout but it is mostly under control...especially compared to what it had been I put on 2x day as prescribed and the doc said I will have to always use it. Anon
Use studio abasi in Berkeley. Shannon can work miracles. Not a dermatologist but fixed me cystic acne!

Dermatologist rec for adult ezcema?

Oct 2012

I'm seeking a more current recommendation for a dermatologist in the east bay or SF to treat my adult ezcema. It comes and goes and recently I had a huge flare up with my pregnancy. If possible, would love a dermatologist who thinks broader than just steroid creams, and preferably someone not affiliated with a ''skin care'' or beauty clinic as in my experience I found those derms to be pushy about products rather than talking about root causes. Also, due to the eczema I've developed some unsightly patches of dark skin and would like someone who can advise about that issue. Thanks for any leads you may have! Itchy Mama

I would try Meinda Myers in Walnut Creek. She cured my eczema with a combination of antibiotics, skin care and short-term potent steroids. Eczema is a lifelong condition so moisturizing well and minimizing exacerbating factors like stress can really help. Jason Fung is also great! A derm patient and surgeon

Dermatologist in WC for adult female acne

Nov 2011

Struggling with adult (35+) acne, may be hormonal? On cheeks and forehead primarily. Looking for someone in Walnut Creek area. anon

She's not a dermatologist, but Pamela Swartz at the LumiPlexion Acne Treatment Clinic has a great history of working with adult acne sufferers. She's been in business since the late 1980s. Good luck - I have the same struggle at 36 (since I was 10). Thanks, hormones. xxx
I can highly recommend Dr. Daniel Wall in Walnut Creek. I haven't seen him for acne, but he has handled other skin issues for me quite well. A friend's entire family sees him for a variety of issues, including adult acne, and they like him very much, too. (They recommended him to me.) His office is right across from John Muir hospital. Contact info: Wall Dermatology 110 La Casa Via, Suite 205 Walnut Creek, CA 94598 Phone: (925) 952-9003 E-mail: info [at]

Looking for a good dermatologist for rosacea

Oct 2011

I've had rosacea for over 15 years now and have tried various treatments (mostly the prescription facial creams ) on and off for many years. The rosacea seems to be gradually getting worse as I get older. Anyone with rosacea out there who could give me an up-to-date recommendation for a dermatologist who would help me manage it better? Thanks!

We love Dr. Adam Wallach at Wallach Derma Center in Danville. He is compassionate, patient, and very well respected by his patients and other doctors in the area. His office number is 925-837-8848. Good luck! Jen

Dermatologist for skin cancer check

July 2011

I need a good dermatologist to check what I think is skin cancer on my face. Can someone refer one in either (1) the San Francisco Financial District or (2) Union Square or (3) in Oakland close to Bart or (4) anywhere in Lamorinda. Thank you. Lisa

My husband and I both use Dr.Bortz in Walnut Creek, on La Casa Via by John Muir Hospital. He's was recommended to us by an oncologist after being treated for melanoma. Other friends have used him for skin cancer checks and he has done surgeries on them (Mohs). His skin checks are very thorough. Sue

2010 - 2009 Reviews

Feedback on Dr. Fung

March 2010

I have just scheduled an appointment with Dr. Fung for May 21, 2 months away! Just wondering if anyone has had any experience with him and if it is worth the wait. Thanks! Impatient patient

Dr. Fung was Derm to my family and he is absolutely worth the wait. A previous Dermatologist had scarred my husbands arms with freon(sp?)saying he had warts - totally incorrect. Dr. Fung diagnosed what was really going on and gave him treatments that actually worked. He is still scarred from the previous Dr. but they are better now and do not itch unbearably any longer. He gave my young daughter a cream to get rid of warts on her feet and it worked! Painless and no scaring. And he diagnosed some small basel skin cancers on both me and my husband and was able to take care of them right in the office. You only have to wait long for the very 1st appointment. After that they keep you scheduled for your next appointment for check ups and follow up. BIG Fan of Dr. Fung. JM

Looking for the Best Dermatologist Ever for skin cancer

March 2010

The recommendations for skin cancer screening docs are pretty old on BPN. I want a doctor who will take my well founded fears about skin cancer seriously. My dad died from it and my sister had a dreadful bout on her face in her early thirties. I've been to 2 doctors who just give a 5 second glance from 5 feet away, and say I'm fine. I had an awesome doctor in San Diego who would look at my skin with a magnifying glass and found many pre-cancer spots to burn off. I miss her, and want another one like that.

We think Dr Mark Ruben is amazing! Very careful, observant, thorough, and a really nice guy, too. He's at 6431 Fairmount in El Cerrito, 510-527-8865 Judy in Berkeley
I've been very happy with Dr. Tomi Wall (3300 Webster, Oakland; 763-2662). I have an extensive family history of skin cancer as well as reoccurring skin cancer on my face (under the care of other doctors), and she did a *very* thorough exam. I was certain that the cancer had reappeared on my face and while she didn't agree she promptly did a biopsy (which was unfortunately positive). She then referred me to the best Mohs surgeon ever (Dr. Jeffrey Bortz in Walnut Creek). Good luck! Anon
If you are willing to go to San Francisco, the best dermatologist is Natalie Mar. You will think she is very young and wonder if knows her stuff, but she did the most thorough skin cancer check I've ever had and also helped me with some tricky skin allergies and removed a little mole under my eye with nary a scar. She's excellent. Shannon
I highly recommend Dr. Graham with Affiliates in Dermatology. He's discovered a few pre cancerous spots on my face and referred my son over to UCSF for a serious skin condition. He's very nice, easy to talk to, and takes your concerns seriously. Location: 460 34th St., Oakland phone 510-652-8091 Jackie
In downtown San Francisco, I have been impressed with Dr John Epstein and have also heard good things about his daughter Dr. Beverly Epstein, both who work out of the same office on 450 Sutter Street (Phone is 415-781-4083). Dr. John Epstein is an older doctor, which might not be for everyone's taste, but I found his sincerity and bedside manner to be very refreshing. Dr. John Epstein is very knowledgeable and in my experience his office staff have gone out of their way to be helpful.

I strongly recommend AGAINST going to Berkeley's Dr. Cornelia Pessoa. I am not normally negative in this manner, but since I went to her based on an old BPN recommendation, I feel the need to say something. First, its impossible to see Dr. Pessoa personally without a very long, month or so wait. I was surprised by this since I had never had to wait much more then a week to see other dermatologists. Second, the office failed to give me some important information which lead to an unsightly rash spreading on my face, which unfortunately occurred right before a job interview and took weeks to go away. The office staff was not all apologetic about their failure to give me the information and although Dr. Pessoa could have done something to help, she made absolutely no effort to do so. I understand that it is stressful to run a medical practice, but I feel that Dr. Pessoa could do more to be sensitive to the needs of her patients. I will say that I did like the nurse practitioner Helen, who does seem like a caring and competent professional. However since Dr. Pessoa has the final say on most decisions regarding your care, you may find yourself in the same situation I was in where I really needed Dr. Pessoa's help and she is both inaccessible and unsympathetic. Anon

Dermatologist procedure for improving complexion

Nov 2009

I have many small white scars on my face due to acne and have an uneven skin surface. If anyone can recommend a dermatologist and a procedure to improve my complexion, I would be very grateful. I am considering microdermabration and to see either Dr Terri Dunn or Dr Warren Dotz. If you have experience with getting a cosmetic treatment from either Dr Dunn or Dr Dotz, I would also be very interested in hearing about your experience. Thanks Unhappy with complexion

I, too, sufferred with acne scars. Mine were pitted, some light and some dark. I tried microdermabrastion and I would strongly recommend that you don't waste your money or time. I liked the idea at first and was very hopeful that it would work. But you have to get MANY treatments to see anything at all, and even the minimal changes are short-lived. It seems to be a very superficial treatment, great for ''freshening up'', but not if you are trying to actually solve a problem! I ended up going to Isis Skin & Body in Oakland (Summit Hospital area) and got a combination package of the Vi Peel and the Genesis face rejuvenation. The Vi Peel alone did more than over 10 microderm treatments! Your scarring does not sound as severe as mine was, so you may do fine with just the Vi. But the combo with Genesis did the trick for me (it also took away some fine lines I was starting to get and shrunk up my big pores!). They explain things very thoroughly at Isis, they seem to really know their stuff, and I would suggest at least going for a consultation (it's free). My scarring is basically gone now, and I still have 1 peel left in my package. I cannot begin to tell you what this has done for my overall confidence and comfort. It makes a BIG difference when you feel good about your face. Best of luck to you! happy with my mirror

Dermatologist for tired eyes

Oct 2009

Am looking for a dermatologist who can help treat my tired-looking eyes. I am a mom in my early 40's and have found that although I am finally back to sleeping enough, the dark bags under my eyes have not gone away!! I know there can be a number of underlying causes for this kind of thing and I would really like to see someone knowledgeable about treating this. I'm not really into the whole plastic surgery route and am hoping to find someone who will consider other options.

I have the same problem, and I think it's just a genetic thing. That said, I've never asked my dermatologist about it. I know that there are some injectable fillers which are used for this, but the bruising and potential negatives are significant. I have tried the Neti Pot, allergy meds, and other sinus-oriented things, but to no available. But if you do want to talk to a dermatologist, I highly recommend mine - the office is Dr. Cornelia Pessoa, 2500 Milvia St, Berkeley, CA 94704-2636. (510) 486-1700. I usually see her nurse practitioner, Helen Petros, and she's amazing. I still have bags under my eyes, but my skin looks better than it has in years. Mom in Berkeley

Dermatologist & Plastic Surgeon for acne scars and moles

Sept 2009

I need some recommendations for both a dermatologist and a plastic surgeon. Preferably in Oakland or Berkeley...east bay essentially. I need a REALLY good dermatologist that can help with adult acne and also the spotting you get on your face from breast feeding and pregnancy. I also need a REALLY good plastic surgeon to remove some moles that are on my face. Thanks in advance!

I posted a couple of weeks ago about removing a mole from my lip; I was trying to decide between having it done by a dermatologist or plastic surgeon. I'm glad you're going with a plastic surgeon to remove moles on your face--any scarring will be minimized.

I ended up having my mole removed by Dr. Elizabeth Lee in Berkeley ( since she was recommended on BPN. I have been very pleased so far with the results. The only physical reminder of my surgery is another line in my lip (it's still red and recovering) but the dermatologist would have left an obvious scar by shaving off the mole rather than doing a clean surgical excision of the mole. I found Dr. Lee to be very down to earth, warm and friendly, and a straight shooter--I highly recommend her. anon

I absolutely LOVE my dermatologist. His name is Dr. Ervin Epstein. His office is on 30th Street in Oakland 510-444-8282. I go to him for my annual mole check and some poison oak incidents, but have sent my boss and her two kids to him for acne and other things and they were really pleased. I got his name from my dad, who is a dermatologist in another part of the country but knew Dr. Epstein by reputation. Vicki

Dermatologist in Oakland/Berkeley for skin cancer checks

March 2009

I am looking for a new dermatologist, preferably in the Oakland/Berkeley area, although I'd be willing to travel for someone very good. I had a basal cell carcinoma removed in my mid-twenties so need regular skin checks now. I've tried several local doctors, and found some wanted to biopsy everything (something I'd rather avoid if possible, since most of the spots are on my face) and others left the decision up to me. I'm really looking for someone in between, who's willing to make the call to biopsy when something starts looking suspicious. I have a Blue Shield PPO plan. Thanks for your recommendations! anon

I really like Cornelia Pessoa, 2500 Milvia #104, Berkeley, 486 1700. It can sometimes take a while to get in to see her, but it's worth it. Linda
There is a new dermatologist that I really like named Tomi Wall. She previously worked and trained at Harvard and has been in Oakland for just a few years. She is thorough, listens to all of my concerns, and great at explaining just what I need. Although her expertise is in laser surgery, she is great at both medical and cosmetic dermatology. I recommend her highly!! Her office number is 510-763-2662. Kathy
I go to Dr. Mark Ruben in El Cerrito, and think he's fantastic. Very friendly and caring, and thorough. I was recently diagnosed with a basal cell carcinoma right in the middle of my nose (how embarassing!), and Dr. Ruben sent me to a Mohs specialist, Dr. Geisse in Vallejo who did an excellent job of removing the cancer (though I found his attitude a bit negative). --a basal cell carcinoma survivor
My husband and I both see Dr. Fung and are extemely happy with his care. 510-452-0330, his office is located on Pill Hill/3300 Webster building. We both had a basel cell cancer removed by him in the last 18months. We are both light skinned, used to lay out in the sun to get a tan and have lots of freckels and moles. He checks us closely but is able to determine exactly which ones need to be sent to the lab. I actually went to him for a mole I thought was suspect but he was able to determine it was not a problem at this time (more a callus than a mole) but that we would keep it under survielance - LOL checking all spots
I am new to the area and have a similar skin cancer history as you (just had Mohs surgery for the second time on my face). I also have a Blue Shield PPO plan. I saw Dr. Tomi Wall in Oakland (3300 Webster St.) for the first time in November, and was very pleased with her. She was thorough, listened to my concerns, and offered a sound opinion re: biopsy or not (ultimately she did do the biopsy, and it was positive for basal cell). I would recommend her highly. Good luck. cb in alameda
I highly recommend Dr. Mark Rubin. His office is on Fairmount just across from the El Cerrito Plaza. 510-527-8865. Brenda

Dermatologist for mole checks

March 2009

I'm looking for a dermatologist in Berkeley/Albany/North Oakland or downtown San Francisco who does excellent mole checks. I have a family history of melanoma, and would like to find someone who is thorough and conservative and takes photographs. Thank you.

Christine Avakoff MD 510-625-9930 I didn't realize that I hadn't had a true mapping until I saw her. sunburn, freckle and mole queen
Camilla McCalmont is your doctor. 510 527 8865. She's located in El Cerrito and is one of the most recommended docs (by other docs) for cancer-related dermatology. She even goes through your hair to check your scalp which I've never had anyone else do. She spotted a basel cell carcinoma on my shoulder that everyone had told me was just eczema. She's fabulous and I see her every 12 months religiously. Not great bedside manner but she's incredibly thorough.

I need a good Dermatologist in East Bay

Jan 2009

I am looking for a good dermatologist to help me with the following issues: removal of facial mole, color spots from my pregnancy, and adult acne. Does anyone have a really great recommendation? I would like some one who is perhaps also open to combining western and more holistic methods of treatment. Thanks!!

I really like Cornelia Pessoa in Berkeley. 2500 Milvia, Ste. 104. 486-1700. She's very caring and takes a lot of time with you. Linda

2008 - 2007 Reviews

Dermatologist that uses more natural methods?

Sept 2008

Does anyone know of a good Dermatologist that uses more natural methods,or at least has those tendencies? Karen

I've been very successfully using what is the most natural means available: sunlight, or the exactly equivalent through UV lights. There aren't too many dermatologists who use this -- the machines are very expensive -- but the 'big guy' in the Bay Area is Dr. John Koo of the UCSF dermatology clinic and skin care center in SF (415-476-4701). They have a dozen or more state-of-the-art UV cabinets, friendly nurses, and Dr. Koo himself is quite accessible. (Intriguingly, he practiced as a psychiatrist before going into dermatology many years ago.) john

Kelly Hood

Feb 2008

I recently went to see Dr. Kelly Hood, Dermatologist in Lafayette, for a simple procedure. I found her to be kind and easy to talk to and I am thinking about continueing with her. I wanted to know if anyone else has had any experience with her and how they felt about it. Thanks for any input. need a good local derm

Dr. Kelly Hood in Lafayette is a highly skilled, knowledgeable and WONDERFUL dermatologist! I have been going to her for several years for various minor procedures, a ''filler'' called juvaderm (she is an artist with this!), and botox. No one can even tell I've had it - they just say I look well-rested and my skin looks great. Dr. Hood is extremely careful and gifted, as well as sweet and easy to talk to about sensitive issues. I never have to wait more than 5 minutes in her well-run office (she doesn't over-book), and I look great as a result of her work. Of course, she is also known for surgical removal of skin cancers and other non-cosmetic dermatology. She is more reasonably priced compared with some other dermatologists in the East Bay. I even brought my little boy in for a plantar's wart on his foot, and she was very gentle and comforting to him. Happy with Dr. Hood

Dr. Ervin Epstein for skin cancer?

Oct 2007

Does anyone have any detailed comments about the dermatologist Dr. Ervin Epstein, particularly in the area of skin cancers. My husband has had a skin condition for several years and needs an excellent Dr. who will be aggressive with a diagnosis as the biopsy indicated the possibility of a type of unusual cancer. My husband has had poor experience with other dermatologists in the east bay, failure to be thorough, lack of knowledge, etc. He will see Dr. Epstein in a month and he'd like to know if he'll be seeing a top notch dermatologist or whether he should look elsewhere. anon

Though I can't comment on his expertise with skin cancer issues, my husband did see Dr Epstein about two years ago for an severe, full body rash.

What one GP had diagnosed as exfoliative dermatitis, Dr Epstein called ''a variety of excema'' based on a visual examination only. He refused to discuss cause, saying ''these things just happen'' and dismissed the idea that it might be from a food allergy, which we determined to be case later through another practitioner. He prescribed prednisone, a cortisone cream, atarax, and an antibiotic plus UV rays in his office sunbox which ended up giving my husband sunburn. The treatment worked eventually, but had a lot of side effects, and didn't allow any way for my husband to stop using the products without huge flareup, particularly since it didn't address the root cause, only the symptom.

Furthermore, he seemed to use a magnifying headpiece like glasses. If we had relied on Dr Epstein's judgment, my husband would likely still be using the cortisone cream and returning to his office regularly. anon

My both children have been patients of Dr. Epstein for years and only had good experiences with him.

Although we mostly see him for annual melanoma checkups, he gives his patients lots of attention, medical and personal. My older daughter also had a bothersome skin condition that other doctors couldn't treat, and Dr. Epstein handled it well and helped us get rid of it.

We like Dr. Epstein. Maria K

looking for a good dermatologist

Sept 2007

I love Dr. Cornelia Pessoa, in Berkeley, 2500 Milvia #104, 486-1700. She's very personable and a great doctor, very caring and competent. Linda

Seeking current dermatologist recommendations

May 2007

I am looking for a current recommendation for either Dr. Leslie Hilger or Dr. David Paslin. I am in the Alta Bates Medical Group and have Pacificare HMO plan. Thanks for any information. eva

Dr. Paslin is wonderful. He's very matter-of-fact, and he'll spend as much time as you want answering questions and explaining anything you ask. He has a very gentle touch and very good at distracting nervous patients with conversation about other things. (We talked about medieval English history!) I can't recommend him highly enough. Kathleen
Dr. Kathy Fang (pronounced 'Fong') is an amazing dermatologist. And the all-woman office loves kids; they practically drool over them! :) There are stickers and kids magazines in all the rooms (including many in the waiting room), and lots of blank pads and pens to use for creative inspiration while waiting for the doctor. As far as Dr. Fang is concerned, she is wonderful with kids, speaks fluent Chinese, and has an intuitive sight for dermatological issues. She has been in practice for over 10 years, and is a well-known and well-liked dermatologist in the Bay Area. As far as medical insurance is concerned, she takes almost all PPO's, and HMO's affiliated with the medical groups Alta Bates/Sutter Health, and Affinity. Another lovely dermatologist joined the practice last August. The only negative thing I can think of is the wait time--they are scheduling for the beginning of July, but they do get cancellations.

The office loves kids: babies, toddlers, 'tweens, teens, and the Older Teens. :) They have been known to happily hold or entertain the smaller, more fussy ones. And their medical assistants are always happy to converse with a younger member of society on the niceties of Barbie, the color pink, Thomas the Tank Engine, Power Rangers, why we should not eat play-doh, which 'Sponge Bob' character is best, and other important issues. The two medical assistants and Dr. Fang have kids of their own, and are intimately familiar with 'kid stuff'.

My suggestion is to make an appointment with either doctor, and be put on a waiting list in case of any cancellations.

The office is located in Albany (right on the border of El Cerrito), and there is PLENTY of parking because we're on the edge of the El Cerrito Plaza parking lot. Good location, and things to do if you inadvertantly arrive an hour early for your appoitment by mistake. It happens!

The number is 510-524-0224.

By the way, if this seems even slightly biased, it is. I work for them, and am happy to give a glorious recommendation for the office. love my dermatologist

I love Dr. Ralph Bennett in Hayward. He is knowledgeable and kind. He deals with skin, hair, nails, allergies, and cosmetic procedures. He used to be a professor of dermatology at UCSF. Also, he is great with kids and teens.

Dermatologist for skin cancer

May 2007

My daughter's doctor diagnosed a lesion on my daughter's face next to her eye as cancer, and referred her to a dermatologist. My daughter has Medical. When she called the dermatologist she was referred to, she was told the first appointment available is in February of next year. Her doctor was able to get her a slot sooner at the end of November. The lesion on her face is very active (goes through this cycle of getting bigger, crusty then drying up and peeling) about once a week. I am very concerned that she should wait so long to be seen by a specialist. Can someone recommend a dermatologist, clinic, someone to call and advocate for her, anything, so she can be seen sooner? Thank you concerned mom

To the mother whose daughter has a skin cancer lesion on her face: My father has skin cancer, and has for a long time. He lives in Berkeley and commutes all the way to San Leandro, cuz he trusts one doctor, only, and has gone to him for YEARS! The Dr. is very skilled at what he does and from what I can tell, VERY LITTLE MARK is left by any burning or minor surgery that has been performed on my father. The Dr.'s name is John Doux, MD, 13851 E 14th St # 308, San Leandro, CA 94578, (510) 895- 0510. Good Luck Jessica
I had a skin cancer (basal cell) very near my eye as well. Just to put you at ease, if your daughter has been diagnosed with basal cell, basal cell is often very slow growing and waiting several months to get it removed probably doesn't put her in danger. Of course, when I was told that, it didn't make me feel better. I wanted mine removed ASAP. While I only had a basal cell, I opted for Moh's surgery to remove it given its proximity to my eye. I went to UCSF's dermatology clinic, and they were wonderful. I got an appointment for surgery within a month. If you all can't use UCSF, you could keep trying other dermatologists. While they often have long wait times, some dermatologists reserve ''emergency'' appointment times and you can ask for one. Good luck to your daughter Rebecca

Dermatologist that excels in skin cancer screenings

Feb 2007

Hello, I need a dermatologist that especially excels in skin cancer screenings. I am very fair-skinned, and my brother (29 yrs) and father have already had several suspicious moles removed. I need to begin a yearly screening, and expect that I'll need some 'work' done, so want to find the very best dermatologist for this kind of thing. Anyone know who the best in the Berkeley/East Bay is? I have Blue Cross insurance. Thank you for your advice. Annie

I highly recommend Dr. Kathy Fang in El Cerrito. She is both an MD and a PhD. My husband and I (both very fair skinned) have been seeing her for years for skin cancer screening and treatment of pre-cancer spots. She removed a squamous cell carcinoma from my back. She's great. I've also seen Dr. Wen (sp?) in her office and she was great too. They can be reached at 524-0224. Burr
My husband has skin cancer and goes to Les Hilger in Oakland. He has been great and is quite personable. He is very difficult to get into, but I would try. linda

2006 - 2005 Reviews

Dermatologist for rosacea and eczema

Sept 2006

I am seeking recommendations for a thorough, investigative dermatologist in the Oakland/Berkeley area. I am an adult who suffered from eczema as a child, have continued to suffer from skin disorders, and am still being treated for eczema. I am actually wondering if my problem is more rosacea than eczema, and I desperately want a doctor to really help me get to the bottom of my skin problems and what is triggering them. Insurance is not an issue, as I can check the coverage of any doctors recommended. Thanks Not liking the skin I'm in

I recommend Dr. Christine Avakoff, on Webster Street in Oakland, 452-0330. She is currently treating me for rosacea, and I appreciate her approach. My previous dermatologist said the only thing that would help was a topical antibiotic cream. But it did nothing for me. Avakoff has prescribed a variety of treatments, from topical creams to cleansers to vitamins. She's also open to hearing what works with over-the-counter products because not everyone responds the same way to the same thing(for me the big change came when I started taking an Omega 3-6-9 oil suppliment). Anyway, I've been trying various combinations of things with Avakoff's help, and think I finally have my rosacea under control. Avakoff also does various skin treatments that are mostly cosmetic but have been shown to have a benefit for rosacea. I may try one one of these years. anon
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

David Paslin

April 2006

Has anyone used Dermatologist Dr. David Paslin in Oakland? There is a chance Dr. Paslin would do the surgery on my father's finger and I'm concerned - both in extracting the entire mass and in making it as cosmetically appealing as possible. Anyone who has advice regarding Dr. Paslin, please pass it on. Concerned Daughter

Dr. Paslin is great! He's very matter-of-fact, which can lead to the appearance of callousness, so your view of his ''bedside manner'' will probably depend on your own personality. That said, I found him to be kind, capable, helpful, and considerate. He's certainly a very good dermatologist. I'd recommend him highly. very satisfied customer
When my son was an infant, our pediatrician referred us to Dr. Paslin for a relentless case of cradle cap. Subsequently, I went to Dr. P to have a mole/cyst biopsy and removal. I have rarely met such a genuinely caring and kind doctor -- clear yet very comforting. I will/would return in a heart beat. Highly recommend. the skin-ny
I have seen Dr. Paslin twice in the last 5 years for skin cancer checks. I have never had him perform surgery on me. He was quite professional, and his advice jived with what other dermatologists have told me in the past. He is an older gentleman, which might put your father more at ease. I have switched dermatologists because I was interested in having some cosmetic work done, and I felt better in the hands of someone who had that line of work as a specialty. LR

Cosmetic Dermatologist for Sun Damage

October 2005

Growing up in the South has left my face and chest full of sun spots and I'm tired of looking 10 years older than my age and wearing more make up than I'd like. I'm not interested in Botox or fillers, but I would like a dermatologist that does chemical peels and uses lasers for sun damage. Is there a Dr. out there that has worked wonders on your skin?

On the subject of great dermatologists, my pick is Dr. Edward Becker in Walnut Creek. (925-945-7005.) I've seen several because I grew up in Hawai'i 55 years ago, before sunscreen. I've had peels, cryosurgery, and now I get real, put-you-to-sleep plastic surgery. If you have insurance (mine's from Cal), I can't recommend this talented, personable dermatologist highly enough.
Dr. Terri Dunn at 2828 Telegraph Avenue, Berkeley, is a fantastic dermatologist! She regularly checks my fair skin for skin cancer. She provides mole removal, botox treatment, skincare advice, and much more. She is also a parent of young kids and can give advice for how to keep their skin healthy. Her number is (510)848-8404. Rachelle
Dermatologist Cornelia (''Cate'') Pessoa in Berkeley is very careful about cosmetic interventions. She just ''froze'' off numerous sun spots on my face (in 5 minutes) -- way easier and less costly than laser treatments and peels. You'll have dark spots for one week max where each spray of freezing is done (ugly, but it's just one week). I highly recommend Dr. Pessoa. Have her check you all over for any suspicious moles, etc. 510-486-1700.
Happy patient
Unless you are stuck on the idea of a dermatologist, I would recommend visiting Lynn at Face Magic in Albany. She is a wonderful, kind person, highly professional, very knowledgeable, and great at what she does -- all sorts of skin care, including laser peels and dermabrasion. younger skin thanks to Lynn
Dear Spotted: I am a plastic surgeon in Berkeley, and I work with the skin care line Obagi NuDerm. I have written about it previously on this site, and I believe some of these are archived. In short, what Obagi does is make your skin healthier by stimulating the deeper layer of skin to rebuild its own collagen, elastic fibers and water holding molecules. What make this line really work is that they hold the patent on an agent that delivers the active ingredients through the skin. Remember that skin functions as an organ to keep things out. Your skin holds moisture better, is firmer and more elastic because it is healthier. The products also treat hyperpigmentation beautifully. I want to caution you against looking for peels or laser treatments. If your skin is really damaged, you thin it further with these treatments rather than making it stronger. If you want more information, feel free to call the office at 510 704-2170 or check out the website at Hope this helps. Elizabeth Lee, MD

also recommended: plastic surgeon Elizabeth Lee

Spider Vein Removal

March 2005

Any recommendations on the best place/practitioner to remove spider veins? This is less a medical than a vanity concern, so I imagine insurance won't cover me. anonymous

I recently had large varicose veins removed non-surgically by Dr. Mark Isaacs. He also does surface spider veins. His work was great. His service professional. All of the people on his staff are very nice and very competent. I highly recommend him. His office is in Walnut Creek but it only takes about 15 minutes to get there. One thing I really liked about him is that he always runs on time. He does not overschedule. Since I was squeezing in appointments between work and picking up/driving kids, it was nice to be able to count on him to be prompt. Good luck. I wish I had taken care of these things years earlier. His office is called Vein Specialists of Northern California (925) 945-8656. He has a website Anon
I wholeheartedly recommend Dr. Mark Isaacs (Vein Specialist of Northern California) for spider vein therapy. The veins aren't actually removed -- instead, a solution is injected into the veins, causing them to collapse and eventually disappear. If you do a web search you'll find his site. My treatment took three sessions and $1800, but I am very happy with the results. Dr. Isaacs has a wonderful best-side manner and a great staff. I met with another Berkeley physician but chose Dr. Isaacs despite his Walnut Creek location. Veins are all he ''does.'' I actually found Dr. Isaacs through a recommendaton on UCB Parents, so I second the recommendation! Maria
Those lovely spider veins...I had mine worked on at Dr. Katie Rodan's office in Oakland. Both she and her staff are fabulous. My legs look so much better now! Although you should know before you go the following(which I wasn't fully aware of):
1) It is painful (like lots of bee stings)
2) For best results you have to wear these awful compression panty hose for 3-4 weeks all day. The type of hose rec. is a very expensive ($140) hose from Johnson MEdical supply.
3) The bruising can last 3-5 weeks before you see the results.
4) Stay out of the sun after the procedure
5) Best to do this procedure in the winter when it is cold b/c the compression hose is very hot and uncomfortable. I had my veins done last April during a Bay Area ''heat wave'' type weather and I was miserable. Nicer legs now
Feb 2005

Re: Serious Skin Care Advice Needed!
I started having some pretty serious complexion problems two years ago, and tried a lot of things, including multiple trips to my primary care physician. She actually told me to do things that exacerbated the condition, and I finally went to Dr. Warren Dotz, a dermatologist whose office is right next to Alta Bates. I was very impressed by him. He was absolutely scrupulous in looking over my skin, inquiring about my history, and coming up with a diagnosis. He is unhurried and thorough during appointments. My skin looks quite nice now! Elizabeth

2004 - 2003 Reviews

Peels & lasers for sun damaged skin

Dec 2004

Has anyone had any of the following procedures - glycolic peels; Obagi blue peels; laser light pulsing? What experience did you have? Was there a recovery time? Did it really make a difference? How much did you pay? What doctor did you use and did/do you think s/he was understanding and helpful? I have a lot of sun damage that has not changed with use of RetinA.

I had a small red spot on my face removed by laser pulsing by a dermatologist (Dr. Bloom). I had a very visible bruise (substantially larger than the initial spot) that did not heal completely for 3-4 weeks. The spot disappeared for a while, but it or another one, has since taken its place. anon
I have been using the Obagi products, but not the blue peel, for dark pigment sun damage. it has been great. I got it from the Epi-center Med Spa in San Francisco. I had tried several thing prior, like glycolic peels that didn't work. I love the Obagi stuff and highly recomend it. I htink I spent about $500 on a few appointments and enough products to last about 1 yr. They also included Retin-a in the regimen, it didn't work for me alone, but combined with the Obagi is great. bigmac
I am a plastic surgeon practicing in Berkeley. Although I am a surgeon, in my practice, I see many people who are not interested in surgery, per se, but who have a lot of sun damage to their skin which increases risk for skin cancer and may make them appear older than they actually are. I work with Obagi NuDerm skin health system in helping to correct this damage. This is not a superficial, feel good program. It restores health to the skin by stimulating the deeper layers to correct damage from aging and sun exposure. Unlike peels such as glycolic acid treatments which treat only the surface of the skin, Obagi treats the entire thickness of the skin.

The skin's function as a body organ is to keep things out, so when you apply Retin A by itself, it is only getting into the most superficial layer of the skin, the epidermis. What Obagi offers that is different than everything else out there is an agent that delivers the Retin A through the skin so it reaches the dermis, the deeper layer where a majority of sun damage and aging changes occurs.

The Obagi Blue peel may be done as an adjunct to the NuDerm treatment. It can treat dark spots and wrinkles which do not respond completely to the skin care alone. You must pretreat your skin with the NuDerm system for at least 8 weeks prior to the peel, and I must say that a majority of patients who come in specifically for the peel find the improvement with the 8 weeks of prep to be so remarkable that they decide not to have the peel at all!

This program is physician supervised only, it is not available over the counter or from astheticians. It is the only skin care I use in the office, because it helps my patients, unlike most of the other lines out there which are expensive and feel nice to use, but don't make any permanent improvements in skin health and appearance. You can research the products at

Glycolic peels are very superficial and 'freshening' equivalent to rubbing your face with a dry washcloth. They will do nothing to permanently improve your skin's health.

The IPL laser is not really a laser, and also has very temporary results. The deeper layer of the skin can be stimulated to create more collagen and elastin, improving wrinkles and firmness using the correct laser. The best one out there now is the V-Beam by Candela. You can visit them on the web at We are using this laser in the office.

Local Plastic Surgeon

Dermatologist for Sebaceous Cysts

Nov 2004

I am in Berkeley and looking for a dermatologist who can remove several sebaceous cysts from my scalp. Has anyone had ''things'' removed and can suggest someone...I am nervous about being left with bald spots on the head. Thank You.

My husband had a lump that he was told was a sebaceous cyst removed by a plastic surgeon, Glen Lau. It turned out not to be a sebaceous cyst and Dr. Lau was very kind and helpful. I've heard from others Dr. Lau has a good reputation. Fran

Top Rate Dermatologist for Skin Care

Sept 2004

I'm desperately looking for a great dermatologist in the East Bay Area. My chief complaints...visible facial capillaries, enlarged pores, mild acne scarring, sun damage...and the list could go on and on. Is there hope with such a long list of flaws...I hope so!!! Now that 40 is just a few years away, I'd love to really start on a long term skin improvement where I will be able to enjoy visible results. I'm really a newbie to this (have heard about lots of things like Retin-A, laser facials...but haven't tried any) Ideally, I would need a very proactive doctor who takes my concerns seriously and offers tried and true solutions. Any advice you have would be very much appreciated! If you have any of the same skin concerns and have found things that work, I would love to hear your suggestions. Holgie

I highly recommend Julie Billings in Oakland (she also has a Lafayette office). She is booked many months in advance, but there's good reason for it -she's fabulous. She's helped me with acne problems and I've seen her anti-aging work on friends who look great! I recently had a baby and have an appointment to deal with the many new varicose/spider veins on my legs. She's not cheap, but she's the best dermatologist I've ever worked with. Good luck!
I highly recommend Dr. Katie Rodan. She deals with everything you mentioned and is totally comfortable that you want better looking skin. I got tired of ''clinical'' dermatologists and went to her a few months back. My insurance does not pay, but it was worth it. She is the same doctor who created Proactive and Radiant - both of which I use with fantastic results. She's located near Summit Hospital at 3300 Webster st. at (510) 763- 2662. Anon
I've seen many dermatologists around the Bay Area and am curious to hear responses to this post. I have many of the same skin issues you mentioned and, though I can't recommend any one dermatologist (most I've seen were just okay, some were terrible), I did want to give you a heads-up on what to expect. Many dermatologists now sell skin care product lines and will give you a salesman's pitch to buy them. I'm not saying that these products won't help your particular needs but they are pricey and there were times that I wished I hadn't booked an appointment with a doctor only to feel like I was at the Macy's cosmetics counter. That has been my personal experience and I hope that yours will be better one. Best of luck to you. - felt pressured to buy

Hi - I like you, have had crap skin all of my life. In my mid- 30s I decided I had to do something about it. All the dermos could do was address my rosacea, and prescribe drying, one-size- fits-all creams, such as Retin-A, which really didn't do anything for me. Then I started seeing an escthetician (I can't spell it!) for regular facials and treatments and the results have been excellent! She immediately exfoliated my skin and got me onto a good, non-oily daily sunscreen. I couldn't be happier. My skin is clear and fresh looking, and I've even gotten comments on how much better it's looking. There are still long term issues, like acne scarring and sun damage, but I'm planning (and saving up for) microdermabrasion this winter that will help diminish these flaws. I like the idea that my facialist knows my skin intimately. Is it pricey? It can be, but it's worth it. I try to get in for a facial once a month. I just turned 40 and my skin hasn't glowed like this since I was pregnant! Rosy Cheeks

Dermatologist in the Walnut Creek Area

July 2004

I am new to Walnut Creek and am looking for a dermatologist to perform micro derm and/or a glycolic peel. Possibly botox, too! Please let me know if any one has had a positive experience with someone in or around the Walnut Creek area. I had a really bad experience with a day spa so I would rather stick to an actual dermatologist. Thanks! Kathy

Try Dr. Melinda Myers in Walnut Creek. She is amazing. I have used her as my dermatologist since I was a teen and she knows all the latest about skincare procedures.
I highly recommend Dr. Christine Lee. Her phone number is 925- 932-9389. She's located off of Ygnacio Valley Road by John Muir Hospital. My skin has improved since I've gone to her. mberestka

Cosmetic Dermatologist to remove basal cell carcinoma

June 2004

I am seeking a top notch cosmetic dermatologist to remove a basal cell carcinoma that is on the tip of my nose. Given the very visible placement of this cancer, I want to find someone who has a great deal of experience. I have been told MOHS surgery is the best any dermatologist who is experienced in this method would also be great. Finally, I need someone who's with Alta Bates. I'd greatly appreciate any recommendations! I've checked the archives, but need someone with experience in this type of technique AND who belongs to Alta Bates. Thank you. Appreciates the Tip

I need to have a basal cell carcinoma removed. Can anyone recommend a dermatologist in the Alta Bates Medical group for this type of procedure? I'm particularly interested in comments on surgical skill, apparent medical knowledge/diagnostic talent, and quality of office staff. I've seen the recommendations for Warren Dotz, but he is not currently taking new patients. Comments are welcome on any dermatologists affiliated with the Alta Bates Medical Group, but from comments posted here and my PCP's recommendation, I'm focusing on Ervin Epstein, Kathy Fang, and Terris Dunn. Thanks. Anon.
My mother saw Dr. Kathy Fang in El Cerrito recently to remove a suspicious growth (turned out to be benign). She was very pleased with the doctor and the office staff. Best of luck. Ruth

Dermatologist for scarring & wrinkles on face

April 2004

i am looking for a dermatologist and or laser surgeon for my face. i have sensitive/fair skin with lot's of broken cappliaries, mild scarring and more wrinkles than i should for my age- i would love a product and or procedure that would address some of these issues- anyone out there had success? skin obsessed

I use Dr. Robert Aycock on San Miguel in Walnut Creek. He and his staff are all wonderful. The laser surgery is an outpatient process that only takes about 15 minutes per session and then you can go right back to work. He also did some more extensive procedures for me and everything came out great! kl
UCSF Dermatology and Laser Center at Union and Sutter in SF is an excellent place to go. I got my severely scarred face resurfaced by laser surgery conducted by Dr. Roy Grekin. He did a fantastic job. The surgery was primarily for scarring, but took care of uneven skin tone, sun damage, wrinkles and overall skin quality as well. I am very fair skinned and grew up in the Southwest. The acne scars are not completely gone but unnoticeable to most people. My skin glows and is young looking. People usually guess that I'm about 10 years younger than I actually am. It was a difficult decision to make and Dr. Grekin would only do the surgery if I understood the risks and was certain, because the recovery phase is difficult and long, and there are risks. The skin takes months to heal and can be very difficult to go through psychologically, and it is for some people very painful. (Though, for me there was virtually no pain and I didn't need any post-surgical pain medication.) It can take up to a year to a year and a half for full recovery (i.e., results are completed - so your skin is always improving.) Any of the surgeons at UCSF Derm and Laser Center can give you a consultation and I understand that all of them are ranked as high as Dr. Grekin. Dr. Grekin was listed as one of the top laser surgeons in the US in San Francisco Magazine last year. For me it was worth the effort and expense ($5000). Good luck! Happy Face

Recommendations for spider vein removal

March 2004

looked in the archives and couldn't find any recent recommendations for spider vein removal. I''m looking for a referral, and for feedback on the success and discomfort of the procedure itself. Has anyone had any success with laser? anon

I recently had this procedure done by Dr. Isaacs, a specialist in Walnut Creek. I also had a consult with another doctor in Berkeley but felt Dr. Isaacs had far superior experience with spider veins. Although laser was in vogue for a few years, Dr. Isaacs and the other doctor I spoke with don't use it because it hasn't been shown to be as effective as schlerotherapy. Unfortunately I can't tell you about the end result of my treatment because I am in the middle of it. The procedure entails at least three visits. It wasn't as painful as childbirth but it wasn't a picnic either. If you are interested in hearing how it came out, feel free to check back with me in a couple of months. maria

Dermatologist who can monitor me for skin cancer

Jan 2004

I'm looking for a knowledgeable dermatologist who can monitor me for skin cancer (I'm in my 40s and high risk) and also offer some measured advice on procedures to improve the look of my skin. I don't want somebody selling a bunch of pricey skin care products or abrasion procedures so they can pay for their latest laser gizmo. Anywhere in the Bay area. Thanks for any ideas! Jan

My in-laws (who are in their 60's and lived in Miami for 35 years until recently moving out here) turned us on to Dr. Binstock in Mill Valley at the Aesthetic Dermatology & Cosmetic Surgery, Inc. at 535 Miller Ave. Both have had great success with Dr. Binstock removing skin cancer cells from moles on their face/head etc..My husband and I both just recently visited him to remove questionable moles on our faces. He does wonderful work...he removed a mole that I've had on my face since about age 2 that had become suspicious of late. After visiting with other dermatologists who were afraid to remove the mole and took that ''wait and see'' attitude(which is disconcerting after so many years).Dr. B took one look at it and removed it,no scarring,no pain, and quick! He did a wonderful reconstruction of my mom's nose that was riddled with skin cancer that other dermatologists had ruined over the years (not removing all the cancer cells and allowing it to keep growing etc..) Now we can't even tell that she had anything wrong with that area of her nose...I guess that's the added benefit of having a derm. and plastic surgery practice. there # is 415 383 5475 moniz
I recommend Dr. Hilger of Affiliates in Dermatology. I went to him for years and sadly had to quit him when my insurance forced me to change primary care physicians. He is thorough, very kind, and really enjoys educating his patients on their skin and/or the drugs he prescribes. I went through my forties with him when I wanted all kinds of cosmetic things done. He was patient, explained the benefits and limitations of different procedures and, in the end, we did a few nonradical things that helped but didn't cost me my life's savings. He is generous with his time and he gives free samples, which was nice. His front desk staff is overworked but there is a friendly feel to the office environment. The downside is trying to get through on the phone. He's in Oakland and Alameda. Susan
Hi: I can recommend Cornelia Pessoa, M.D. She is in her late 40's and is located at Milvia & Dwight Way in Berkeley. She has monitored my moles and my sister's moles for many years as both of us are at high risk for skin cancer. My 11 year old daughter has begun seeing her for acne. Dr. Pessoa conservatively treats conditions and does not recommend any kind of cosmetic stuff unless she is specifically asked. Her office does have a laser technician that comes in once a month with laser equipment to do some cosmetic treatment, if you're interested. My daughter had a suspicious mole removed which required a couple of stitches. She did a great job (and only removes moles if she really thinks its necessary, however, I've requested that some moles be removed for cosmetic reasons and she has no problem with that.) bad skin expert
April 2003

Re: dermatologist for sun-related rash
I would recommend, very highly, the dermatologist, Julie Billings, M.D., offices in Orinda and Oakland. She may be closed to new patients, but is possible that one of her associates may be able to see you. Because Dr. Billings is so good, her office colleagues tends to be good, as well.

April 2003

Re: Plastic Surgery for Acne Scars
The best person to help you with what and who your options are would be an excellent dermatologist who does not have a vested interest in what procedure you go with. Julie Billings, M.D. in Oakland and Orinda is a superlative dermatologist, and though she may be closed to new patients you might be able to finagle your way in for a one-time consultation--explain that to the receptionist. Julie is very academic, very knowledgeable, and very lovely to deal with--she will know the best resource for your particular type of scarring. My fear regarding going straight to the plastic surgeon is that you might be talked into a less-than-ideal procedure for your particular problem. I wish you luck--I know that medicine has made a lot of advances with mitigating, even obliterating, scarring.
Knowledgeable M.D

Spider vein removal on legs

April 2003

Does anyone have any recommendations for someone who does spider vein removal on legs? My dermatologist recommended UCSF, and I admit that the fact that they're a hospital lends a sense of security about the quality of their services (real or imagined), but they are VERY expensive! I don't know where else to try, so I can compare prices, procedures, etc. I don't even know if there are different methods being used, or if the only method is to inject (saline, I think) at the site of each visible vein, as I have heard. Any information, recommendations or warnings would be greatly appreciated. I feel too young to retire all my skirts and dresses! Anon

I went with a friend to the EpiCure Laser Medical Center at 500 San Pablo Avenue, Albany, 527-3739, who was having some rather large veins lasered. She saw Dr. Mamiko Kawai who was extremely friendly and comforting. Their website is My friend was very happy with the results. It was I believe $150 for a consultation. ANON

Dermatologist for Aging Female skin

Feb 2003

Has anyone seen a dermatologist that helped her with the usual aging skin, eg. sun spots, wrinkles and the like? Someone up on all the procedures like microdermabrasion, etc? I prefer someone in the alta bates or summit areas. Lisa

I doubt that a dermatologist will be as helpful as you hope re aging skin. MD's don't tend to know much about nutrition and are generally overly cautious re supplements. That isn't their specialty, medicine is. I take some wonderful and not expensive supplements that I know have improved my skin... (it's an inside job too!) Am glad to share my resource. As an RN, I believe them to be safe and effe lf

2002 & Earlier

Oct 2002

Regarding a dermatologist: I would highly recommend Dr. Wm. Crain on Webster in Oakland. My son likes him and he helped clear up my son's acne. Both my husband and I have also gone to him and found him to be excellent.

Spider Vein removal

July 2002

I'm thinking of having sclerotherapy done on my spider veins and looked at the website for recent recommendations. I found lots of recommendations for dermatologists, but none specifically for treating spider veins. I'd also be interested in hearing pros and cons from anyone who has had this treatment. Thanks.

I highly recommend vein specialist, Dr. Mark Issacs in Walnut Creek for sclerotherapy on spider veins. I got great results. I had a large number of spider veins on my legs and big blue veins (not vericose) behind my knees. Not only do my legs look so much better, but the heavy achy feeling I had (especially during my periods) is virtually gone now! It's not cheap, and recovery takes some work - but it was worth every penny!!

I can recommend a dermatologist in the East Bay. She's treated me for a few minor conditions. Her treatments were appropriate and effective. She has an up front and kind manner. Dr. Cornelia Pessoa 2414 Ashby Ave. Berkeley 510-486-1700 -- Rachel H.

I second the recommendation of Cornelia Pessoa, dermotologist. She's cautious and knowledgeable, as well as extremely personable. She really takes her time with patients, too Linda
April 2000

We're also on UHC (Choice) and both my son (at 4 mos.) and myself (mom) saw Dr. Camilla McCalmont. Her office is in El Cerrito. She was one of the few dermatologists on our plan who could see us within 3 weeks.

I *highly* recommend Lesley Hilger; he's the best, I feel. Melissa
I really like Cornelia Pessoa at Telegraph and Ashby. Her no. is 486 1700, 2414 Ashby. Linda
I have been extremely happy with my visits with dermatologist Warren Dotz. His office is in Berkeley near Alta Bates. I am a nurse practitioner and think it is a compliment to Dr. DotzFs reputation and abilities that many of my colleagues choose to see him as their dermatologist too. Dr. Dotz has been very caring and friendly (actually he has a dry sense of humor which can be quite amusing) on all my visits so far which has included a skin cancer as well as several cosmetic procedures. What I especially like is his intelligence and concern for detail. He has been sensitive to my concerns and I have appreciated his confident but cautious approach to my care (he tells me my options and risks).

I recently had the opportunity to refer my teen-age nephew to him for a severe acne problem. I saw my sister's son the other day and the results were truly remarkable! Totally clear, beautiful skin. We are all very grateful and my nephew is thrilled.

Warren Dotz is my dermatologist. I highly recommend him. He has a very nice office in a professional building near Alta Bates Medical Center in Berkeley. I first saw him for a problem I was having on my wrist for which several doctors, including another dermatologist, had given me cortisone creams. Dr. Dotz examined it with a microscope of some sort, told me it was an uncommon fungus infection and gave me some salve for it. Sure enough it went away within days. I was very impressed!

Since that visit I have seen him a few more times. He is very pleasant and courteous. I like his sincere, straight forward, New Yorker style. Seems to have a great memory because he actually reminded me about a conversation we had on a previous visit about my daughter. I feel very fortunate to have found him as my dermatologist. He also has a nice staff who were very helpful fitting me in on one occasion.

My internist is in Alta Bates Medical Group so he sends me to dermatologists affiliated with that group. After having two previous dermatologists drop out of the plan (who I thought were so-so), I was sent to Dr. Warren Dotz. I have found him to be an excellent doctor and I have felt that I am in very capable hands----since skin cancer runs in my family.

Dr. Dotz has a very direct approach which I like. If you are looking for a doctor who tells jokes he is probably not for you. However, I have found his bedside manner to be warm and sincere, friendly and respectful. I am a person who likes explanations and Dr. Dotz seems very willing to do so. I think he realizes that skin cancer checkups are stressful to me. So he has been very reassuring. He has gotten to know my family (my husband and daughter see him too) and always asks me how they are doing. Little conversations such as these makes for pleasant office visits. All in all I have been extremely pleased with my care with Dr. Dotz and am happy to recommend him.

Jan 2000

I think Dr. Dotz is a wonderful dermatologist. My wife and I have been seeing him for many years and we could not be more pleased with the treatment and advice we have received. We have recommended him to several friends with similar feedback. Dr. Dotz is always willing to take the time to comprehensively discuss and explain issues that arise during our visits. He never fails to introduce all the available current medical information we need to make informed judgments. He is one of the few doctors that we've seen who presents us with all the possible benefits as well as side effects of prescribed medications. We appreciate the effort he makes to treat us as educated and valued patients. He really cares about treating the whole patient. For example he is the first doctor I ever had who always calls me personally to give me test results. My wife had a potentially dangerous and unsightly mole removed from her face several years back with remarkably successful results. I too have had very successful skin treatments of what I had been previously told were hard to treat skin conditions. All in all we have found Dr. Dotz to be a warm, dedicated and totally professional physician. We think he is a terrific doctor.

Nov 1999

I wholeheartedly recommend Dr. Warren Dotz who is my dermatologist of five years. I was referred to Dr. Dotz by several friends and my internist (who said that he sends his wife and children to Dr. Dotz). What I liked most about him is that he is very smart, sincere and explains things well. He was the first dermatologist that we've see that actually recommended and took photographs of my husbands moles. I also appreciated his approach to my daughter... treating her complexion but always engaging her in a conversation about her interests. Lastly, his staff is very friendly and can be very helpful in making appointments as Dr. Dotz seems to be very much in demand these days. Cheryl

April 1999

I've had nothing but great experiences with Lesley Hilger, dermatologist. And this after my previous dermatologist, whom I also greatly liked (Greta Clarke), quit HealthNet. From: Melissa

Feb 1999

I have my skin checked annually (lots of moles!) and have had a couple of moles removed by Dr. William Crain in Oakland. He seems competent and is very straightforward. He shares his office with a woman dermatologist who someone recently recommended to me, too. I have to be referred by my primary doctor first, but I guess that might vary depending on your insurance plan. He's located in the medical building near Summit Hospital at 3300 Webster Street, with parking downstairs. Nicole

I can highly recommend Dr. Camilla McCalmont on Fairmont Ave. in El Cerrito. She is very competent and professional. If you want more information, please contact me. Linnea
July 1998

i really like my dermatologist: Cornelia M. Pessoa, M.D. on Ashby Avenue near Telegraph (549-4503). She was very friendly and even did mind my spirited 2 year old hanging around for the appt. carrie