Dr. Josephine Futrell, M.D., Ph.D., Dermatology

Expert skincare and beauty tips

Treating Basal Cell Carcinoma — October 7, 2020

Treating Basal Cell Carcinoma

Basal cell skin cancer is the most common form of skin cancer. Generally, it does not spread all over the body, but it can become large, form ulcers, and do tremendous local skin damage.  

Ideally, it’s best to excise the entire lesion and sew it up. This allows a pathologist to check it and make sure It is completely removed. Sometimes we perform a procedure called electrodesiccation and curettage where we burn and scrape the lesion. This is used primarily for very superficial lesions.

For lesions that can’t be removed entirely because of size, location, or condition of the patient, sometimes radiation, immune modulators or oral medications that interfere with the production of the tumor cells may be used to treat these tumors.  

Your dermatologist can help you identify these skin cancers and direct you to the best treatment.

Take These 5 Products on Your Next Trip — April 5, 2019

Take These 5 Products on Your Next Trip


Summer’s just around the corner. Don’t let your skincare routine take a vacation. Here are my top 5 products to take on a trip:

1. Sunscreen – use it every day
2. Antioxidant serum – something rich in Vitamin C. My favorite is TNS essential serum.
3. Moisturizer for both face and body.
4. Bottled water – don’t let yourself get dehydrated.
5. Packaged hand wipes – plans, trains and autos are huge infection sources.

Use these and have fun!

Melanoma Monday —

Melanoma Monday

Watch our website for information on this event happening at both our ArkLaTex Dermatology locations. Make an appointment, and bring a friend to our free skin cancer screening – 1st Monday in May.

  • SHREVEPORT (318) 212-3440
  • BOSSIER CITY (318) 212-7800

Coming Soon: Melanoma Monday — April 29, 2018
Sunburn Remedy — June 26, 2017

Sunburn Remedy

The beach today was great. You had a wonderful time, and now you have the mother of all sunburns.  AND IT HURTS!  What to do?  


1) Cool your skin with a nice air conditioned environment.  

2) For mild sunburn, topical steroids such as 1% hydrocortisone for 2 or 3 days may relieve discomfort.

3) For more severe burns, Ibuprofen 400 mg 2 times a day coupled with Neosporin 2-3 times a day may provide relief.  

4) For severe burns, see your dermatologist.  

5) Keep skin moisturized while healing, and remember you are more prone to burns while healing.


The Darker Side of Tanning — October 23, 2015

The Darker Side of Tanning

Summer tans are fading. So is it time to move indoors to a tanning bed? ABSOLUTELY NOT!   

Photo credit: meganmillscrm / Foter / CC BY-NC-ND

What are the dangers of tanning? While skin cancer has been associated with sunburn, even moderate amounts of sun or UVA (tanning bed) may produce the same effect. It can also prematurely age your skin, causing sun spots and wrinkles.

Is tanning good for your health? While Vitamin D is formed in the skin, only a minimal amount of sunlight is necessary. It does not require a suntan.

Are people actually being harmed by tanning? The number of skin cancers is rising, especially in those exposed to extra ultraviolet rays. Many of these are melanomas, which are serious and can result in death.

So what are my wintertime options? Consider a spray tan (available in my office) or a self-tanner bought at the drugstore.

Watch my blog for tips on achieving the perfect sunless tan. 



The ABCs of Melanoma — September 9, 2015

The ABCs of Melanoma

Former president Jimmy Carter has been very candid about his diagnosis and treatment for melanoma. Most, but not all, melanomas begin on the skin. However, the initial diagnosis for Jimmy Carter came from removing a 1 inch mass in his liver in August. This probably represents a metastasis (spread) from a lesion that may have regressed or disappeared.

After an MRI of the head and neck, four spots of melanoma were found on the brain. Once cancer has spread this extensively, it is classified as stage IV. President Carter will undergo a very aggressive form of therapy consisting of radiation and a newer drug, Keytruda, to boost his immune system’s ability to fight the disease. He will have four drug treatments at three week intervals.

All of us wish former President Carter the very best. He is a remarkable man.

So what signs of melanoma should you look for?

A) Asymmetry-a mole that has developed an unusual or irregular shape

B) Border-scalloped borders rather than borders that are round and smooth

C) Color-changing color, more than one color, black color

D) Diameter-bigger than a pencil eraser

E) Evolving-any new or changing mole

None of these changes can absolutely diagnose a melanoma, but they may mean you need to have that mole evaluated.