Medical Dermatology

Dr. Swati Kannan is a double board-certified dermatologist and Mohs (skin cancer) surgeon, with extensive experience in treating various dermatologic conditions from minor skin rashes to complex disorders.  She uses a comprehensive yet tailored approach, with evidence-based medicine and in-office procedures, to provide effective and holistic care.  During your consultation with Dr. Kannan, you will be able to discuss the diagnosis, treatment options and prognosis.

Here are some of the conditions she treats:

Acne San Diego, CA


Acne occurs when the pores in your skin are blocked with oil, bacteria, and dead skin cells. These skin cells, sebum (oily, waxy matter secreted from your glands), dead skin, and hair clump together to plug pores, causing an infection and resulting in inflammation, referred to as pimples. Acne is not discriminatory, and for most people, pimples and acne start to appear during puberty and last well into adulthood. There are also hormonal influences that can trigger or worsen acne.

There are several topical, systemic and integrative treatments for acne. Dr. Kannan will go over these options with you and tailor a regimen that fits your skin profile.

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Rosacea is a common skin condition, that can affect any skin type and color. It presents with facial redness, dilated blood vessels, flushing, burning, skin sensitivity or acne-like bumps. There is no cure for rosacea but we can provide various types of treatments including topical medications, systemic medications and laser treatments to drastically reduce the burden of rosacea. Additionally, Dr. Kannan also uses an integrative approach to rosacea, addressing common dietary issues that can flare rosacea.

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Actinic Keratosis

Actinic Keratosis is also known as solar keratosis and is a crusty, scaly growth caused by UV radiation damage. These spots are referred to as “pre-cancers,” and they are typically found on the face, lips, ears, bald scalp, shoulders, neck, back of the hands, and forearms. Actinic keratoses are a sign of extensive sun exposure throughout your life. We treat these with liquid nitrogen, photodynamic therapy (PDT), chemotherapeutic creams or a combination of all three modalities. Laser resurfacing can also help with these pre-cancers, but it’s not covered by insurance.

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Skin Cancer

Dr. Kannan is board certified and fellowship-trained in Mohs surgery (special form of skin cancer surgery) and dermatologic oncology. This makes her a skin cancer expert.

There are three main types of skin cancers, including basal cell carcinoma (BCC), squamous cell carcinoma (SCC) and melanoma.

BCCs and SCCs tend to present as non-healing, red sores or patches that can bleed spontaneously. But these usually grow slowly and do not pose a threat to one’s life. Melanoma, on the other hand, is one of the more dangerous skin cancers and usually presents as a mole that is changing or is becoming asymmetrical in terms of color, shape or size. It can also present as a new mole that can be brown, black, blue or pink.

For most Caucasian patients, yearly skin checks are recommended especially if you have been living in sunny climates. If you are ever worried about a spot, don’t hesitate to make an appointment for further evaluation.

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Eczema is an umbrella term for various and common inflammatory skin conditions that cause itchy, red, scaly rashes or cracked, fissured skin.  It can present in many forms, anywhere on the body, and is one of the most common skin conditions Dr. Swati Kannan treats. Eczema is not contagious and can be induced by a predisposition in your genetic makeup, environmental factors, or even stress.

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Melasma is a common skin condition wherein brown or grayish-brown “patches” develop. It typically develops on the face across the cheeks, nose, forehead, chin, and upper lip, but it can develop anywhere the body receives ample sun. It can also be triggered by hormones, and is not an uncommon pregnancy symptom sometimes called “the mask of pregnancy.” It is a harmless and painless condition that affects women more often than men and can linger for decades once it develops. Those with darker skin are more likely to develop melasma, as their skin contains more pigment-producing melanin.

One of the biggest ways to reduce your risk of developing melasma is to protect your skin from the sun. Although hormones can also play a part in its appearance, sun damage is the number one contributor. Applying a daily sunscreen that uses physical blockers such as zinc and titanium dioxide is one way to protect yourself. Another way is to invest in a comfortable, wide-brimmed hat to shield your face from extended sun exposure.

Dr. Swati Kannan understands that sometimes these measures aren’t enough to prevent it. While it is not a health risk, it can sometimes lead to frustration over its presence which is why she offers solutions to help improve the aesthetic appearance of melasma. If you have questions about whether you have melasma and how we can help, please set up an appointment with Dr. Kannan. 

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Warts are noncancerous growths that appear on the skin of patients who are infected with one of the many strains of the human papillomavirus (HPV). The HPV virus triggers unnecessary new cell growth which makes the outer layer of the patient’s skin become thicker, resulting in a wart.

Warts are most likely to grow on patients’ hands and feet, but they can grow on any part of the body and can spread via skin-to-skin contact. People with open wounds and cuts are prone to an HPV infection if left untreated, and are the most susceptible for an affected area to develop into a wart. The treatment of warts varies from dermatologist to dermatologist. Most warts are physically harmless but can be cosmetically unappealing, embarrassing, and occasionally painful if poked or disturbed.

Merely waiting for a wart to go away may result in the wart getting bigger or risking the chance of giving it to someone else. There is no cure for HPV, so even if the warts are removed, the virus may still be in your body. In any case, if you have a wart, we recommend removing it.

Common treatments for wart removal include:

  • Cryosurgery: We apply liquid nitrogen to the wart to freeze the tissue. Later, the warts and frozen skin will blister, crust, and naturally fall off.
  • Cantharidin: This method involves applying medicine to the wart which causes a blister underneath the wart. After a short period, the blister dries, and the wart will come off along with the blistered skin.

All of these wart removal procedures can be done in our office. For more information on warts or to request an appointment, please don’t hesitate to contact Dr. Swati Kannan today.

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Hair Loss San Diego, CA

Hair Loss

Hair loss can be the result of several underlying conditions, stress, or improper hair care. Many patients request an appointment once they notice that their hair is thinning or falling out, but sometimes, hair loss is not obvious.

When you come into the office for hair loss, Dr. Kannan will examine you and determine what type of hair loss you have. Based on this diagnosis, we have several treatment options including topical treatments, PRP, and systemic therapies.

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