Dermatologist uses holistic approach to skin-care treatment

Patients come first at Austin Dermatology Center.

A member of the prestigious XIMED Medical Group of La Jolla, Bird Rock resident Dr. Erik Austin, a Harvard- and John Hopkins-trained osteopathic physician and surgeon, has had a full-service clinic open at 9333 Genesee Ave., Suite 250, since July 2.

The dermatology center treats a wide variety of maladies on an outpatient basis, everything from skin cancer and acne lesions to eczema, rashes and warts.

There are a number of things Austin prides himself on at his clinic. Not the least of which is the cutting-edge treatment he offers there. "I keep all my medical records electronically," he said. "If I need to print out a prescription, or call up a patient's chart, it's all right here on the computer. All I have to do is click a couple buttons."

Discussing what's unique about the osteopathic approach he uses, Austin noted it looks at the whole person, not just the specific condition or disease they have, but how it interrelates to other (body) processes. "It's a more whole-person perspective, more complete care," he said.

Typically, 12 years of training are completed by both osteopathic, D.O., and allopathic, M.D., physicians. Both D.O.'s and M.D.'s can train in any specialty of medicine. Often, they train side by side in the same hospitals.

Ostopathic physicians, however, tend to take a more holistic approach to medical problems, by looking at the entirety of their patient's experience - their lifestyle, health-risk factors, environmental stressors and toxins, etc. Similarly, treatment is holistic and a multifactor approach is used.

Besides traditional dermatological conditions, Austin Dermatology Center also offers a full range of cosmetic services including laser skin rejuvenation and skin tightening, cosmetic peels, laser hair removal and cosmetic fillers such as Restylane, as well as Botox for facial, forehead and neck wrinkles and for headache treatment.

Austin said one of the most frequent conditions he treats is acne, which can manifest itself long past adolescence, the time of its greatest prevalence.

There a number of ways to successfully treat acne - topical solutions, oral antibiotics, peels, etc. Austin however stressed there are no quick fixes for the skin condition.

"It requires daily treatment," he pointed out. "A lot of people think you can treat it for awhile and take days or weeks off, but acne will flair up again. It takes as little as 24 hours for an acne lesion to form."

Austin said you have to continually combat the two factors that cause acne by eliminating harmful bacteria, and by keeping skin pores from closing up, which leads to the onset of the condition. "Treatment needs to be daily to keep it under control," Austin said.

But what Austin is most proud of about his practice is how he can diagnose and treat skin cancer in all its various forms. He's offering free skin cancer screening exams now until the end of September. He employs a new technological process called Dermascopy. Using a hand-held device, much like a mini microscope, Austin can view and evaluate suspicious skin markings.

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