The Ultimate Tan Not Your BFF…

Published in Inspired Health Magazine Volume 2…(


Dr. Charles Fishman checks Tamara Ferdon for Skin Cancer.


In the 45 years Dr. Charles B. Fishman has practiced dermatology, he has witnessed major improvements in treatments developed for patients with skin diseases. And although he believes people are more aware and even diligent about regular check-ups, he is not surprised by the increased incidences of Melanoma Skin Cancer.

Dr. Fishman identified the obvious culprits were sun burning at an early age, our quest for a golden tan, and the invention of the tanning booth. “The main changes I see are a lot of skin cancers — more and more diagnosed with malignant melanoma,” he said. “Five years ago it was an automatic death sentence. Now with early detection there are new drugs to block the cancer and keep it under control for months – even years, but patients are still dying from it.”

Dr. Fishman is well known among colleagues and patients for his quick wit and positive attitude. All the same he’s no-nonsense when he advises basic skin protection and regular check-ups for skin disease prevention. “As early as the late teen years, the best protection is to catch it early. Fair skinned (people) need to be checked every three to six months especially if a mole looks like it is growing. With darker skin three to five year checks unless there is history of skin cancer in

Meanwhile, Dr. Fishman is adamant we avoid exposure to ultraviolet rays all the time – even on a cloudy day. “The best sun protection is clothing. Wear a hat,” he said. And he’d most likely want it repeated. WEAR A HAT! “I’m seeing more incidence of women over 50 with thinning hair having issues with scalp melanoma.” He recalled one patient he’d seen for years while providing cosmetic botox treatments. One day she asked him to check a growth on top of her head. Luckily the huge melanoma was caught in time and treatments have extended her

Applying sun screen should be part of our daily routine. Dr. Fishman advises that the longer we plan to be out in the sun the higher the SPF rating should be. “When sun screen trials are done they lather them on thick,” he explained. “Since we don’t, make sure you have 30-SPF to 50-SPF if only running out for errands. If you’re hiking or on the golf course all day, use 85-SPF to 100-plus-SPF.” He suggests women apply sun screen before their make-

Dr. Fishman admitted San Luis Obispo has a doctor shortage, but advised, “If a mole is growing or something doesn’t look right call and tell the receptionist. I hope any office would fit you in. I know our office

If new to the area or need to establish with an office, but the wait seems too long? Dr. Fishman suggests scheduling with a licensed physician assistant. “Today they are well trained and often have many years of experience.  For example, “Gary (Westbrock) has been with me for eleven years. He’s very good.”

Forty-two years ago, Dr. Fishman opened his private practice in San Luis Obispo. He is the owner of Skin Enhancement Center of SLO, which offers a full spectrum of services for the skin, including mole checks, treatment of rashes, skin cancer surgery, treatment of veins of the legs and  face, VBeam laser for broken blood vessels, facial fillers, and Botox/

With multiple certificates and industry recognitions, Dr. Fishman remains active in numerous dermatology educational societies. He founded the California Central Coast Dermatological Society in 1976 and continues as its president.

An 1968 graduate from Indiana University School of Medicine, Dr. Fishman interned at Wadsworth-VA-UCLA in 1968-70. Originally, he thought he wanted to go into Internal Medicine but once he discovered Dermatology he knew it was his preferred specialty. He liked that he could examine, diagnose, treat, even perform surgery, and the reporting was clear-cut as he continued to monitor his patients. After two years as a doctor in the U.S. Army, he completed his residency training in Dermatology at the University of Colorado School of Medicine in Denver in 1975.

Dr. Fishman strives to be a good example for his patients maintaining an active lifestyle to stay healthy. He intends to keep working. At this stage in his life, he plays more golf than tennis. If he plays all eighteen holes, you can be sure he’s applying 100+SPF several times.




























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