Category Archives: Skin News

The Significance of April as Rosacea Awareness Month

Dr. Bernard Gasch, who specializes in innovative medical and cosmetic skin treatments at the Center for Dermatology and Laser Surgery in Portland, Oregon, announces that April 1 marks the beginning of Rosacea Awareness Month.  Dr. Gasch, who suffers from rosacea himself, takes a moment to draw attention to this extremely common and frustrating condition.

“While rosacea is believed to affect more than 16 million Americans, the National Rosacea Society estimates that as few as 10% are actually being treated for it,” reports Dr. Gasch.  “This is why Rosacea Awareness Month is so important – to encourage those living with Rosacea to seek treatment for the first time.”

“Rosacea is a condition that affects many patients both physically and emotionally.  Beyond the hallmark symptoms of facial redness and swelling, rosacea can hinder a patient’s confidence and self-esteem.”  Dr. Gasch went on to cite additional symptoms, including small bumps resembling pimples as well as a burning sensation on the face, among others.

Emphasizing the importance of seeking qualified dermatological care, Dr. Gasch explained how rosacea can be effectively treated today.  “While there is currently no cure for rosacea, there are new ways to manage the condition.  We begin by identifying a patient’s ‘triggers’, which are lifestyle factors that can cause a rosacea flare-up.  Common triggers include stress, sun exposure, among others.  “In terms of treatments for rosacea, many patients benefit from a combination of oral and topical medications, as well as laser and light treatments.”

In support of the month-long effort, he National Rosacea Society (NRS) released a statement on the importance of public education about the condition.  “Research into possible causes of rosacea continues to grow, and as a result, so do the treatment options. Recognizing that rosacea is a manageable medical condition is the first step for those individuals who feel the sting of a stranger’s stare, or unintentionally disturbing comment.”

Dr. Gasch thoroughly agrees with this statement. “It is very important for patients living with rosacea to realize that they are not alone, and that there are many innovative treatments that will help them manage their symptoms. I know from experience how difficult living with rosacea can be, so I look forward to helping patients with rosacea live a better life.”

Interested in Learning More About Treating Rosacea?

For more information about rosacea, or any dermatology service we provide, contact the Center for Dermatology and Laser Surgery to schedule an appointment with any of our providers. We have two offices conveniently located at St. Vincent Hospital in Portland as well as in Hillsboro, and we can be reached at 503-297-3440.



Effective Options For Brown Spot Removal

Brown spots, also known as age spots or livor spots, are a common skin condition. These spots tend to develop as part of the aging process, and usually occur in patients in their 40s or older. Typically, brown spots develop as a result of prolonged sun exposure over the course of several years or decades. They are most likely to appear on skin that is often exposed to sunlight, such as the face, hands, arms and shoulders.

Though it is easy to confuse age spots for freckles, the spots are usually larger than freckles. A qualified dermatologist can easily diagnose age spots with a routine skin exam. While most brown spots are a cosmetic concern rather than a medical one, a dermatologist may recommend a biopsy of irregular spots to make sure there is no skin cancer present.

Brown Spot Removal Options

Patients who feel self-conscious about livor spots have a variety of treatments available to them. Depending on the severity of the brown spot and the condition of the patient’s skin, a dermatologist will help determine the best treatment suited for each individual. Common treatment options include:

  • Laser
  • Liquid nitrogen
  • Chemical peels
  • Skin bleaching & exfoliating
  • Microdermabrasion

Preventing Brown Spots

The most effective method for preventing age spots is to limit sun exposure, and wear protective clothing and sunscreen when outdoors. For patients who already have brown spots, avoiding the sun and wearing sunscreen can keep existing spots from getting worse and can prevent new spots from forming.

Interested In Learning More About Brown Spot Treatment? Contact The Center for Dermatology and Laser Surgery

For more information about brown spot removal, or any dermatology service we provide, contact the Center for Dermatology and Laser Surgery to schedule an appointment with Dr. Gasch or Dr. Rydzik. We have two offices conveniently located at St. Vincent Hospital in Portland and Hillsboro. We can be reached at 503-297-3440. We look forward to meeting you!

Hair Loss in Women: Causes and Treatment Options

While hair loss is typically considered a problem exclusive to men, many women also deal with hair loss and thinning. In fact, the American Hair Loss Association estimates that women account for 40 percent of Americans who suffer from hair loss.  Women dealing with the loss of their hair may experience balding, patchy spots, or thinned hair. Hair loss to any degree can have a major emotional, physical and psychological impact on a woman. Fortunately, there are a number of treatments available to help promote hair growth.

Causes of Hair Loss in Women

  • Heredity: Genetics is a leading cause of female pattern baldness, accounting for an estimated 30 million cases of hair loss among women in the United States, according to the American Academy of Dermatology. Women who inherit this condition tend to experience hair thinning in their 50s and 60s, and in some cases, hair follicles stop growing completely.
  • Medication: Hair loss can occur as a side effect of drugs used to treat conditions including cancer, arthritis, depression and high blood pressure.
  • Underlying medical conditions: A variety of medical conditions can cause hair loss or thinning including thyroid problems, autoimmune disorders such as Alopecia areata, scalp infections, and other skin disorders.
  • Stress: Many individuals experience hair thinning or hair loss following a period of intense stress or emotion, such as a family death or serious illness, or rapid weight loss.
  • Hormonal changes: Hormones play a large role in the growth of hair, and shifts in certain hormones can trigger temporary or permanent hair loss. For example, many women tend to lose their hair after pregnancy and childbirth, and during menopause.

Hair Loss Therapy

At the Center for Dermatology and Laser Surgery, we are experts in providing hair loss therapy.  We have several different courses of treatment available, depending on the location and severity of an individual patient’s condition. These are some of the most common forms of hair loss therapy we provide, including systemic options:

  • LED light therapy
  • Topical medication
  • Oral medication

Interested In Learning More About Hair Loss Treatments?

For more information about hair loss treatments, or any dermatology service we provide, contact the Center for Dermatology and Laser Surgery to schedule an appointment with one of our providers.  We have two offices conveniently located at St. Vincent Hospital in Portland as well as Hillsboro, and can be reached at 503-297-3440.

CoolSculpting®: Freeze Away Fat Without Surgery

CoolSculpting® is a cutting-edge fat removal procedure designed to help patients who have areas of fat that are resistant to diet and exercise, without the need for surgery or injections. This method, which is effective and FDA-approved, works by using cooling technology to freeze fat cells in a targeted area, which are then broken down by the body in a natural process, creating a smooth contour. CoolSculpting is most effective at removing fat from the abdomen (known as a “muffin top”), flanks (“love handles”) and back area.

The patients best suited for CoolSculpting are those that are in good overall health and close to their ideal weight, with bulges of stubborn fat in problem areas. The procedure is performed in a comfortable setting and usually takes about two hours, depending on the size of the area being treated. Patients are free to resume their daily activities immediately following treatment.

Benefits of CoolSculpting

As a non-invasive procedure, CoolSculpting offers many advantages over traditional methods of fat reduction such as liposuction. There are several ways in which patients benefit from this body contouring technique, including:

  • No needles or incisions
  • Pain-free procedure
  • No anesthesia required
  • No downtime following treatment

CoolSculpting Results

Many patients who undergo CoolSculpting notice some improvement in as little as three weeks, though optimal fat reduction becomes noticeable one to three months following treatment. As the body breaks down fat cells, results can continue to improve for up to six months. CoolSculpting boasts a high satisfaction rate, with patients enjoying a smoother, natural-looking appearance in the treated area.

Photodynamic Therapy: Treatment For Acne and Actinic Keratosis

Most adults know that skin problems don’t disappear once your teenage years are over. Certain conditions such as acne can persist well into adulthood, while other skin issues develop with age. Fortunately, photodynamic therapy (PDT) is a treatment that effectively controls a number of skin conditions, including actinic keratosis and moderate adult acne.

Photodynamic Therapy For Actinic Keratosis

Actinic keratosis is a pre-cancerous skin condition which form as a result of prolonged exposure to ultraviolet rays, usually from the sun or tanning beds. Sun-damaged skin affected by actinic keratosis appears as a dark, rough, scaly patch. If left untreated, it may turn into squamous cell carcinoma, a type of skin cancer.

PDT is a treatment that uses light to destroy the abnormal skin cells that cause actinic keratosis. The procedure is performed in three steps, starting with the application of a topical photo sensitizer, which is left on the skin for a period of several minutes, or up to several days. This is known as the incubation period. After the incubation period, the photo sensitizer is activated by the wavelengths of a light source. During this time, patients may feel a tingling or warm sensation. The area is then washed, and patients are free to go home. Most patients return to work a day or two following treatment. Depending on the severity of the condition, multiple sessions may be required to achieve optimal results.

Blue Light Therapy For Acne

BLU-U® Blue Light Photodynamic Therapy is a non-invasive treatment that controls moderate acne without drugs or antibiotics. This procedure uses advanced blue light technology to kill the bacteria that causes acne, while still being gentle on the skin.

During treatment, patients sit with their faces close to the blue light for a short period of time–usually a few minutes, once or twice per week. A typical session lasts about 16 minutes, however the length of time spent in front of the light and the number of therapy sessions depend on the severity of the acne.

Sclerotherapy: Effective Treatment for Spider Veins

Sclerotherapy — For those people dealing with the unwanted appearance of spider veins on their legs, confidence and self-esteem can be a daily struggle. Spider veins are enlarged blood vessels which appear red or blue through skin. Dr. Bernard Gasch explains how the cosmetic dermatology procedure known as sclerotherapy can effectively treat these unattractive veins on legs.

“Spider veins are an extremely common problem, and although they can develop anywhere on the body, they most commonly appear on the legs,” says Dr. Gasch, “There are a number of factors that contribute to the development of spider veins, including genetics, pregnancy, changes in hormones, and weight gain.”

“While spider veins are not normally known to cause significant physical health issues, some patients may experience leg pains as a result, especially whenever they have to stand for a prolonged period of time.”  Dr. Gasch continues, “spider veins are mainly a source of embarrassment.”

Dr. Gasch, who specializes in general and cosmetic dermatologic procedures, states that sclerotherapy is still the most effective treatment for spider veins. “Sclerotherapy has been used to treat the appearance of spider veins for many years. The actual procedure involves injecting a certain solution into the vein which causes the walls of the vein to become damaged, resulting in the closure of that vein over a short period of time.”  Dr. Gasch explains that although the actual procedure of sclerotherapy has remained similar for decades, the solutions used in sclerotherapy have greatly evolved over time, resulting in much less discomfort than previously.  “Gone are the days of using saline solution for sclerotherapy,” says Dr. Gasch.  “Three years ago, the FDA approved Polidocanol, also known as Asclera, which has resulted in virtually painless slerotherapy with minimal side effects.

In further explaining sclerotherapy, Dr. Gasch states that the procedure is most effective for small more superficial red or blue veins, not for larger bulging varicose veins.  Dr. Gasch reiterates that the treatment does not require any anesthesia and that patients can return to their normal activities within a few days. Dr. Gasch does recommend that his patients wear compression stockings for the first few days following the procedure, in order to improve the results. In addition, many patients will need 2 to 4 treatments to achieve their desired outcome.

Dr. Gasch concludes that “no one should feel like they have to live with or feel embarrassed about having spider veins. Spider veins are easily treatable with sclerotherapy and we have seen great success with it. My patients report a huge improvement in both their appearance and confidence level following their treatments. I encourage anyone dealing with spider veins to consult a board-certified dermatologist in their area who has experience in treating leg veins to learn more about sclerotherapy.”


Now Accepting: CareCredit Healthcare Credit Card

CareCredit Healthcare Credit Card for Cosmetic Procedures

We accept CareCredit, the healthcare credit card designed specifically to help finance your health and beauty needs.  CareCredit can help you move forward with getting the procedures you’ve always dreamed of with special financing on purchases of $200 or more.  CareCredit is the credit card exclusively designed for healthcare services like cosmetic dermatology. Provided you have credit available, you can also use your card over and over for follow-up appointments or for different procedures.*

*Subject to credit approval.  Minimum monthly payments required.  Visit

Cosmetic Dermatology Offers Highly Effective Treatments for Brown Spots

Brown Spots are a common part of aging. Over time, however, they can negatively impact the appearance of one’s skin. Dr. Bernard Gasch of the Center for Dermatology and Laser Surgery offers several options for eliminating or diminishing brown spots and keeping skin looking youthful and clear.

The development of brown spots can depend on several factors, including daily exposure to ultraviolet radiation (UV), injury to the skin, previous sun damage, one’s skin type and genetics. Brown spots usually start to appear in the late 20s, but depending on the patient, they can show up earlier or later on in life.

“Brown spots are also known as age or liver spots, and they are flat, painless areas that are light brown to black in color,” explains Dr. Gasch. “They vary in size, but are larger than freckles and tend to appear on the parts of the body that are most often exposed to the sun, such as the face, hands, arms and shoulders.”

“Fortunately, we offer numerous effective treatments for reducing the appearance of skin discoloration and promoting a more uniform complexion,” Dr. Gasch continues. “These treatments include laser both resurfacing and non-resurfacing, chemical peels as well as bleaching.”

Other procedures that are performed at the Center for Dermatology and Laser Surgery for the treatment of brown spots include liquid nitrogen and microdermabrasion. After the patient’s provider has diagnosed the patient with  brown spots following an examination of the skin area in question, they can together determine the best course of treatment.

Because brown spots are not medically dangerous, removing them is a cosmetic procedure with the main goal of creating aesthetically pleasing results. Deciding which procedure will be best suited for addressing brown spots and attaining the patient’s desired results depends on each person’s unique skin condition and concerns.

It’s never too late to get rid of unsightly brown spots and attain clear, blemish-free skin. Those beginning to see the first signs of brown spots can also consult with our cosmetic providers regarding skincare treatments and regimens that can preemptively prevent the development of more brown spots.

Our St. Vincent Location is Moving Across Campus

Starting June 10th, Tuesday, our St. Vincent location is moving across campus to the East Pavilion Building.

Our new St. Vincent location address is 9135 SW Barnes Rd. Suite 875 Portland, OR 97225.

The East Pavilion Building includes new amenities: complimentary valet parking in the East Parking garage, My little Waiting Room (child care), cafes, gift shops, and pharmacy.

To schedule your next appointment at our new St. Vincent location call 503-297-3440 or click to Book An Appointment.

Significance of Skin Cancer Awareness

Skin Cancer — May 1st marks the start of Skin Cancer Awareness Month.  Dr. Beata Rydzik, a board certified dermatologist in Portland, OR, recently spoke on the importance of prevention and early detection of skin cancer.

“Approximately one in five Americans will be treated for skin cancer in their lifetime,” reports Dr. Rydzik. “13 million Americans are living with a history of non-melanoma skin cancer, and about 800,000 Americans are living with a history of melanoma, a potentially deadly form of skin cancer. These numbers are staggering.  That is why it is imperative that we all become aware of the dangers of skin cancer and together focus on prevention.”

When discussing the different types of skin cancers, Dr. Rydzik had this to say: “Skin cancer can generally be broken down into two categories: melanoma and non-melanoma skin cancers. Melanoma accounts for less than 5% of skin cancer cases, but it represents the deadliest form of the disease.  While non-melanoma skin cancers such as basal cell carcinoma and squamous cell carcinoma tend to be less fatal, they still present a serious medical concern.”

“As summer draws near, it is important for us to be reminded of the ways in which we can avoid skin cancer.  While there are a number of risk factors involved in skin cancer, exposure to ultraviolet radiation is the chief offender,” stated Dr. Rydzik.

Dr. Rydzik also offered the following skin cancer prevention tips: “Avoid sun between the hours of 10AM to 4PM and seek shade. Our risk of melanoma almost doubles after 5 or more sunburns. Avoid tanning beds.  Apply a generous amount of a broad-spectrum sunscreen with an SPF of 30 or above to areas not covered by clothing. Reapply immediately after swimming or perspiration or every 2 hours, whichever comes first. You can also cover up with loose-fitting clothing. Be sure to wear a large brim hat as many of us forget about our ears and scalp.” Dr. Rydzik also added: “Perform monthly self skin exams. Knowing your own skin is crucial to discovering skin cancer early. Be sure to see a dermatologist for a skin check if you notice a growth, mole or spot on your skin that is growing, changing or bleeding.”

Commenting on the importance of this month-long effort, Dr. Rydzik finished with this: “While skin cancer is certainly a serious medical condition, it is almost always treatable when caught early.  We encourage patients to take a hands-on role in their skin health not only during the month of May but all year long.” Dr. Rydzik concluded with this remark: “Be good to your skin.  It’s been holding you together for all these years. If you have concerns or questions do not hesitate to schedule a skin exam.”


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