“I don’t treat skin cancer; I treat people. That’s what it’s about,” stated Dr. Daniel I. Wasserman, who opened his own practice “Skin Wellness Physicians” at 8625 Collier Blvd in Naples in July.
Daniel I. Wasserman, MD, FAAD, and a Board Certified Dermatologist, practiced locally on Marco Island and Naples for three-and-half years. “Marco Island has a family atmosphere, and the interconnectedness is really nice,” he said.
His new location will provide a highly specialized level of treatment with an onsite surgical suite for people in Southwest Florida dealing with skin cancers and port wine stains. As a fellowship-trained laser and skin cancer surgeon, Dr. Wasserman studied an extra year in lasers and light medicine at Harvard Medical School with the renowned Dr. R. Rox Anderson who invented a laser for removal of vascular malformations, known as the pulsed dye laser. The process is called selectivephotothermolysis. “The laser allows us to treat younger patients, even babies. This is the best time to treat a port wine stain with the hope of complete and permanent removal,” he explained.
Following his stint at Harvard, Dr. Wasserman spent another fellowship year practicing Mohs surgery under Dr. Gary Monheit in Birmingham, Alabama. This procedure is considered to be the single most effective technique for removing squamous cell carcinomas and basal cell carcinomas, the two most common skin cancers. Mohs surgery spares the greatest amount of healthy tissue while expunging the cancer cells with a success rate of 98 percent or higher when done by an American College of Mohs Surgery fellowship trained Mohs surgeon.
Living under the Florida sun translates as “living at ground zero for skin cancer” for Dr. Wasserman. Melanoma is the most common cancer for young adults between the ages of 25-29. “Five ormore serious sunburns in your youth can increase your risk of developing skin cancer by 80 percent,” Dr. Wasserman added.
The two “dogmas” for the possible development of skin cancers are infrequent high-intense exposure or cumulative exposure, translated as sun exposure over long periods of time. No one can predict whether or not they will fall victim to melanoma, but Wasserman warned that a combination of sun damage, bad luck and family history adds to the overall risk factor.
He recommended donning a textile or chemical “suit of armor” before spending time in the sun. Treated clothing is a good preventive measure, according to Dr. Wasserman, along with applying sunblocks containing zinc oxide or titanium.
How much product is enough? “Use a shot glass amount and reapply every two hours,’’ Dr. Wasserman suggested, or simply double the amount you currently use. He also noted that spray sunscreen products couldbe used to reapply after a good base of traditional sunblock.
Dr. Wasserman was recognized in September by “Gulf Shore Business Magazine” as one of the “40 under 40” distinguished professionals in Southwest Florida. He is a member of the American College of Mohs Surgery, the American Society of Dermatologic Surgery, the American Academy of Dermatology and serves on the Board of the American Cancer Society and the board of the Jewish Federation of Collier County. He and his wife Julie have three children: Sari, 7; Jaron, 6; and Jordan, 4.
“I am looking to improve the wellness of your skin,” Dr. Wasserman said of his new solo practice. “If I am running behind, it’s because I’m taking the time to talk to you and listen to you. I treat people; that’s what it’s about.”
Dr. Wasserman will conduct complimentary skin cancer screenings for new patients in December. Call 239-732-0044 for more information and an appointment.