Q&A with sharon fang, MD FAAD
Get to know Oak Dermatology’s board-certified dermatologist, Sharon Fang, MD, FAAD. Dr. Fang is skilled in all areas of medical dermatology, including the diagnosis and treatment of skin cancer, acne, eczema, psoriasis, and other skin conditions. She also performs various dermatologic procedures for both benign and malignant neoplasms of the skin. Dr. Fang enjoys seeing patients of all ages at our Joliet location. We are incredibly lucky to have Dr. Fang part of the Oak Dermatology team.
Dr. Fang is skilled in all areas of medical dermatology.
Dr. Fang has over 20 years of experience in dermatology.
1. Why did you choose dermatology as your specialty?
I love the transformations you can make as a dermatologist and being able to see the happiness on each patient’s face. Whether you’re getting rid of a stubborn wart, clearing acne, eczema, psoriasis, or treating skin cancer, it's wonderful and gratifying to see patients' health and well-being improve so tangibly. The skin is directly accessible - I can see the morphology (size, shape, structure) of lesions with my eyes which helps make the diagnosis. Labs and skin biopsies help to make/confirm a diagnosis. Microscopic cells on pathology correlate to what I see on a clinical exam. Then I can provide treatment and watch the condition improve with the patient. Beyond using my eyes, I also get to work with my hands for injections, biopsies, and excisions. Skin and hair can be a window to many underlying conditions.
2. What skin concerns have you seen consistently throughout your career?
Skin cancer and chronic inflammatory skin conditions such as acne, atopic dermatitis, and psoriasis. Although there are still no cures for atopic dermatitis and psoriasis, it has been very exciting to see the advances in therapy over the past two decades; the discovery of biologics has been effective at managing these chronic skin conditions with fewer side effects.
3. What do you enjoy best about practicing at Oak Dermatology?
We all truly enjoy working together and we function as a team to provide the best, personalized care possible for our patients.
4. What #1 piece of advice would you give to patients looking to improve their skin’s health?
Sunscreen, sunscreen, sunscreen. Every day. About 80% of visible facial skin aging is caused by sun exposure. Sunscreen is the ultimate ingredient for younger-looking skin. Use an SPF 30 or higher daily, even in the winter. Remember to also apply sunscreen on your ears, hairline, lips, neck, décolleté area, and hands.
5. What factors may affect skin health that most people wouldn’t think of?
Habits such as smoking, drinking alcohol, and eating too much sugar have a number of negative effects on one’s overall health, including the skin. Smoking can make your skin thinner, duller, more wrinkled, and less able to heal. Drinking too much alcohol will dehydrate the skin and cause wrinkles and pores to appear more visible. Alcohol is also pro-inflammatory and can trigger or aggravate rosacea and psoriasis. Diets heavy in sugar can speed up the aging process as harmful free radicals called advanced glycation end products (AGEs) are produced, which then can damage collagen and elastin in the skin.
7. What is your go-to skincare product?
ISDIN Eryfotona Actinica SPF 50 - this is a very elegant, lightweight mineral sunscreen that can also repair existing sun damage, thanks to DNA Repairsomes.
8. What activities do you enjoy outside of work?
I love spending time with my daughter and husband. We enjoy arts and crafts, cooking/baking new foods, and reading books together.
Dr. Fang performing a skin check on one of our patients.