Orcas Medical Center expands skin treatment

“Most skin conditions that cause Orcas Island residents to make appointments with mainland dermatologists now can be addressed at Orcas Medical Center,” said the Medical Center’s Dr. Anthony Giefer, “thanks in part to equipment such as our new palm-sized Dermatoscope.”

Dr. Giefer continued, “We’re able to do annual skin checks, diagnose and prescribe treatments for conditions such as eczema (dry, itchy skin), rosacea (pronounced rose-ay-shah, a persistent redness of the skin), psoriasis (silvery, scaly build-ups often on the scalp), precancers (most common is actinic keratosis, a small crusty bump or horn that arises on the skin) and do minor surgery to remedy many skin conditions.”

“Of course, we screen for skin cancer in every annual physical,” added Giefer, “but there’s no need to wait for an annual physical if a patient has a concern. We’ll gladly do a thorough skin check at any time.”

When a physician (MD) or physician assistant (PA-C) detects a condition that requires additional evaluation, the Orcas Medical Center has a referral network that includes top Northwest dermatologists.

Giefer continued, “The Dermatoscope, our newest piece of equipment, was made possible by a generous donation from the Orcas Island Medical Guild. It allows us to illuminate and magnify an area on a patient’s skin surface. It also gives us a dimensional view of any skin lesions. So we literally ‘see beneath the surface.’”

Both Dr. Giefer and Dr. Tom Frazer have years of experience with skin-related issues, as do Physician Assistants Micheal and Jean Bried. In addition, Dr. Jeanne Olmsted, a longtime island pediatrician affiliated with Orcas Medical Center, is experienced in skin conditions specific to children.

Orcas Medical Center, located on Mt. Baker Road, is open Monday through Friday and during the summer from 9 a.m. to noon on Saturdays. The phone number is 376-2561.