Tushar Dabade MD, FAAD is a board certified dermatologist with Burt and Will Plastic Surgery Dermatology, a leading provider of aesthetic treatments around the Western Suburbs. Dr. Dabade believes “Dermatologic care should be individualized to you, and delivered in a trustworthy, professional manner.” Achieve was fortunate to talk with Dr. Dabade on his crucial role in a multidisciplinary medical team.
Achieve: What led you into the medical world of dermatology, describe your journey?
Dr. Dabade: An expected challenge! After medical school, I’d actually started out my residency training in surgery, but after a year of scrubbing into the operating room, my own hand eczema started to flare. I worked with our dermatology department at the Mayo Clinic, where I was training at the time, and ended up making the prudent choice to switch career paths. However, it was a little serendipitous; spending time in the dermatology clinics opened my eyes to the breadth of conditions dermatologists treat, as well as the many surgical and cosmetic procedures we do (there was no Pimple Popper, MD showcasing dermatology at the time). Also, through my own experience with dermatitis, I developed a deeper empathy for patients with skin conditions. So, with a little hard work, I transitioned to a training program in dermatology - and haven’t looked back since!
Achieve: How has the dermatology field changed over the last 10 years?
Dr. Dabade: Dermatology has three main branches – medical, surgical, and cosmetic – and each branch has had some incredible discoveries. On the medical front, “biologic” medications have been a game changer in how we treat the skin rashes of psoriasis and eczema, or atopic dermatitis. These injections can clear skin rashes that literally would cover patients from head-to-toe. Cosmetically, new injectable formulations have revamped what’s possible in facial rejuvenation. There are new versions of Botox to soften skin lines, new lasers which are more effective at treating aging skin spots and wrinkles, and better textured fillers that naturally bring back lost volume in the cheeks or lips. And finally, surgically we have more data and new therapies that drive how we treat skin cancer. Whether we’re treating slow growing skin cancers, like a basal cell carcinoma, or deadlier forms like melanoma, we can offer more treatment options that are backed by science, and provide our patients the answers they’re searching for.
Achieve: What types of dermatology services do you provide?
Dr. Dabade: I see a balance of medical, surgical and cosmetic dermatology, and treat adults and children – basically if I can see it, I can treat it! Patients tend to come in for a skin cancer screenings, various rashes or skin growths, acne, or an interest in rejuvenating some component of their skin. We have a wide range of treatment options that we can draw from, including prescription creams and pills, biologics, a number of lasers, skin peels, microneedling, platelet rich plasma and hair transplants, depending upon what’s needed. I also have the wonderful fortune of working with two extremely talented plastic surgeons - Dr. Tripti Burt (general surgery and plastics surgery trained), and Dr. Neena Will (ear, nose and throat surgery and plastic surgery trained), who perform an array of procedures, anywhere from eyelid surgery to tummy tucks, opening up our patients’ options even further.
Achieve: Can you explain the difference between cosmetic dermatology and medical dermatology?
Dr. Dabade: Medical dermatology generally deals with issues of the skin, hair or nails that can be harmful to your health. This includes problems like skin cancers and melanoma, poison ivy or autoimmune rashes, or skin infections like ringworm. Cosmetic dermatology includes treatments that enhance the quality of someone’s skin or hair, like a laser to get rid of cheek and nose redness, Botox to soften forehead lines, or a hair transplant to give fullness to a man’s hairline.
Achieve: What are the most common medical diagnoses/surgical procedures you see at the clinic?
Dr. Dabade: Medically, I regularly diagnose and treat skin cancers, cysts or atypical growths (often needing to be cut out, or excised), eczema and psoriasis rashes, acne and rosacea, and hair loss. Cosmetically, I’ll treat skin lines with Botox and dermal fillers, and address skin texture, redness or pigmentation, and scars with combinations of laser treatments, creams, injections and peels.
Achieve: What are some common misconceptions you see in your practice?
Dr. Dabade: I’ve found skin cancers in patients of all skin tones and on all locations of the body – from Irish to African American, and from the nose to the buttocks. Anyone can develop skin cancer, and while there are certain risk factors, nobody is “immune!” The other common misconception is that certain foods are the main cause of someone’s acne. There is some soft evidence that simple sugars may exacerbate acne, but there are many more factors that lead to pimples than just that Snickers bar.
Achieve: Skin conditions such as Impetigo, ringworm, herpes, and blisters can be seen in contact sports like Football, wrestling, and hockey. What tips could you give athletes on better protecting themselves from certain skin conditions?
Dr. Dabade: While every sport has its unique rashes, most are skin infections, so focusing on keeping the skin clean and maintaining a strong skin barrier is key. Here’s how: After practice or a game, promptly showering with antimicrobial soap and water, and - equally important – using a moisturizer in areas where the skin tends to get dry or cracked, can prevent infections. Use sunscreen to prevent blistering sun burns. For cuts, ensuring that any debris is removed immediately, and after cleaning the area, applying Vaseline and a bandage to keep the wound moist will help with wound healing. For those prone to athlete’s feet, keeping the feet cool and dry, changing socks regularly, wearing sandals in communal showers, and using an antifungal powder or cream early if a rash develops, is useful. Daily disinfecting of sports equipment and not sharing towels or razors decreases the spread of bacteria and viruses. And finally, if you have a rash, growth, or infection, have it evaluated by a medical professional – for you and your teammates’ health.