Dr. Fabrizio Galimberti saw a need.
When he looked at the Grand Strand, Galimberti noticed two challenges: a shortage of dermatologists and a community where people spend many hours on the beach.
“We live in an area with a lot of sun,” he said. “And sun is the No. 1 receptor for skin cancer. Not all of us are very good about sun protection. Eventually, the sun damage accumulates and predisposes you to skin cancer, which is something that is very curable, especially when caught early.”
But to catch the cancer early, that requires a diagnosis. And that typically means a check by a dermatologist.
Dermatology Services in Myrtle Beach and Conway
The two offer a full range of services, including treatments for skin, hair, and nails. They focus on both cosmetic and medical needs, from skin checks that could provide lifesaving cancer prevention to treatments for common conditions such as acne, eczema, and psoriasis.
“We take care of all types of patients,” he said, noting that his patients have ranged from one day old to age 104. “The other thing is we take care of things that are mostly quality of life [conditions] … all the way to things that unfortunately are serious.”
These services are particularly important in Horry County. Nationally, there is a shortage of dermatologists, and this community is considered an underserved area.
“If you look at the distribution of dermatologists, the vast majority are actually located in big cities,” Galimberti said, adding that a single dermatologist can serve thousands of patients. “It’s not unusual that you need to drive a long distance to go to a trained dermatologist or you have to wait for months before you can get a visit. So places like Myrtle Beach, where you do have those risk factors and few dermatologists, they do become like hot spots for skin cancer.”
Both Galimberti and Li bring extensive experience to CMC. She completed a fellowship in cosmetics and has specialized training in caring for patients who have undergone surgery to remove skin cancer.
In addition to his clinical background, Galimberti has a Ph.D. in molecular biology, and his research focused on skin cancer.
“We really offer the entire spectrum of dermatology [services] at this point between the two of us,” he said.
For the couple, treating patients is about both improving health and instilling confidence.
“Skin conditions are, in a sense, different from internal conditions because other people can see that you have that condition,” Galimberti said. “And when it comes to that, there’s a level of stigma in the sense that some people may judge you from what they see on your skin. And similarly, there’s something called self-stigma: the patient sees themselves and maybe doesn’t maybe want to go out … [After treatment], you do really appreciate that they’re better, not just their skin but also their overall outlook on life and how they interact with the world.”