By Anthony J. Machcinski
As the local weather transitions from frigid polar vortexes to sunny spring days, the risk of sun-caused skin damage becomes even greater and the staff at Metropolitan Dermatology in Kearny are looking to use their technology to help prevent that damage.
“If somebody had excessive sun exposure in childhood, they should have a baseline skin check,” said Dr. Alexander Doctoroff, Doctor of Osteopathic Medicine.
Doctoroff founded Metropolitan Dermatology in 2004 after spending two years at a larger practice.
“I felt I had more to offer patients, like newer treatments,” explained Doctoroff, who has been practicing dermatology since 2002.
“Dermatology is a very exciting field,” Doctoroff said. “It’s very intellectually stimulating and it offers a variety of things you can get involved with. It’s very exciting. You don’t have to do the same thing every day.
“You can do medical dermatology, surgical treatments, micrographic Mohs surgery, and cosmetic dermatology,” he said.
When Doctoroff created his own practice in 2004, his goal was to be involved in the many different subspecialties within dermatology providing help to many different patients and solving multiple problems.
“If you do one procedure, you can drum up business, but it wouldn’t be as exciting,” Doctoroff said. “For the business aspect, it might not be the best decision, but this is not just a business. We serve people and we want to make life stimulating and interesting for ourselves, while providing valuable service to our patients.”
That variety has helped Metropolitan Dermatology address a large number of their patients’ problems. Some patients are even referred from other dermatology practices.
“I feel that some dermatologists refer the difficult cases to us,” Doctoroff said. “A lot of times there are some rare diseases that some dermatologists are not comfortable to deal with, and a lot of these cases end up in our office. We always try to bring the latest and newest technology to our office to help our patients with these problems.”
Doctoroff has embraced the newer technology, doing anything he can to better treat his patients.
“Science doesn’t stay in one place,” Doctoroff said. “If you have something that is useful to the patients, I feel it’s my obligation to evaluate it and, if it’s going to increase patients’ quality of life, then I should certainly use it.”
Included in the new technology is a treatment used to aid patients with pre-cancerous lesions.
“We have photo-dynamic therapy that is used to treat pre-cancerous lesions,” Doctoroff said. “It’s a medication used with light therapy and it’s something that is very cutting edge. We see excellent results from these treatments in reversing the damage done to the skin by decades of sun exposure.”
In addition, Doctoroff said Metropolitan Dermatology added an Xtrac laser used for patients with psoriasis.
“A lot of patients have responded well to this treatment,” Doctoroff said. “Whenever something new and exciting comes to the horizon, we try to get it to our practice and implement it.”
Most of the providers in this specialty also use dermoscopy (small hand-held microscope) to improve the detection of various skin cancers.
“I feel that method has improved accuracy of diagnosis, and decreased the number of unnecessary biopsies,” said Doctoroff.
Doctoroff, who serves as a clinical assistant professor at Columbia University in addition to running his practice, said the dermatology field isn’t just a job, but a passion.
“This is definitely something that is fun and pleasurable and stimulating,” Doctoroff said. “I certainly have picked the right occupation for me, and it’s very nice to give back by teaching dermatology residents.” He supervises a monthly clinic for dermatology residents at Columbia University Medical Center.
Doctoroff hopes to continue to grow his business in the future, but most importantly, wants to continue providing great patient care. “I get tremendous enjoyment from helping my patients,” says Doctoroff. “Whether it’s saving a life by removing a melanoma or boosting a patient’s selfesteem by improving their appearance, each day I walk out of the office incredibly gratified.”
“My idea was always, ‘if you try to provide excellent service, your business will succeed,’ and so far, it has been working for us,” Doctoroff said.
Metropolitan Dermatology is located in Kearny at 752 Kearny Ave., with additional locations in Teaneck and Clark. To schedule an appointment in Kearny, call 201-997- 8008. For more information, visit www.metropolitanderm. com.