Dr. Gregory Piro

Dermatology & Cosmetic Surgery

1155 Byron Road
Howell, MI 48843
Call Now    (517)545-2300

7575 Grand River
Brighton, MI  48114
Call Now   (810)227-8500

Our  Blog will focus on the most current news in Dermatology & Skin Care.
If there are other things that catch our interest like local events and happenings, we might cover that too.

On your cell phone, scroll to the bottom for photos & videos

What's New in Dermatology

Goat yoga-Detroit and now Williamston

Ashley Pickering, PA-C / 4-24-2018

This past weekend I was able to have a one of a kind experience doing one of the things I love most, YOGA! But it wasn't just any yoga session, it was GOAT YOGA!!! At Pingree Farms in Detroit, there are several sessions each spring with the adorable baby goats raised on the farm. It's not a typical yoga class, honestly most of it is just playing in the barn with a bunch of adorable baby goats. But it could be one of the best things you could ever do for your health, at least mentally. You will laugh more in this class than any other yoga class. News on the street is that goat yoga is now coming to a farm near you, around the corner in Williamston.

Myth: Base tans are a necessity

Ashley Pickering, PA-C / 4-19-2018

A question we as dermatologists are regularly asked is whether or not it is a good idea to get a base tan before a trip to the land of sunshine? For years the myth has floated around that it is best to bronze before you leave for that trip to the beach. We are quick to answer NO to this age old question. No tan is a safe tan. Any tan no matter where it is derived, a booth or the sun, is damaging the skin with ultraviolet radiation. Study after study have been performed only to result in the conclusion that a base tan gives you the protection of an SPF 1.5. A t-shirt tops that at an SPF 5! So as the sun finally breaks through the clouds and we make our way into spring, be safe, get a spray tan, use a gradual tan lotion or just embrace your beautiful skin and use an SPF 30+. UV radiation can cause skin cancer and wrinkles!!!

Bestie Brain Waves

Dr. Gregory, D.O. / 4-17-2018

The New York Times is reporting that researchers at Dartmouth  have found that two peoples social bond could be predicted by brain scans alone.

Researchers have long known that people choose friends who are much like themselves. Similar age, race, religion, socioeconomic status, education level, political leaning, pulchritude rating, and even hand grip strength.

The brain scan results suggest friends might be similar in how they pay attention to and process the world around them.


How to save on rising prescription prices

Ashley Pickering, PA-C / 4-12-2018

As prescription prices are rapidly rising many of us are searching for ways to afford the medicines we need. This is becoming harder and harder to prescribe especially in the specialty of dermatology. Here's a few tips on how to save a buck or two and still get the meds you need!

1-Discuss with your doctor the possibility of eliminating medicines.

2-Ask your doctor for the generic version of your prescription

3-Shop around! All pharmacies have different prices and resources like goodrx.com are helpful in finding that bargain.

Ghostly Brew

Dr. Gregory Piro, D.O. / 4-10-2018

One of the best places to have a summertime beer in metro Detroit is Atwater in the Park. Apparently a ghost lives in the renovated church and patio that serves delicious beer brewed by Atwater in Detroit.

Channel 4 Detroit has video of the ghost flying around in the link below:


Mandatory Kratom Recall

Ashley Pickering, PA-C / 4-5-2018

Kratom has been in the news recently for concerns over its effect on the body's health. Many people claim that Kratom has been a savior when it comes to pain management. It has "helped" people get off opioid pain medicines and manage pain that was otherwise untouched by other methods. The FDA has still not approved this over the counter supplement for use for pain, although it is readily available online and in gas stations around the nation. There is a fear of the unknown, what effect could this supplement possibly have on the body? As the FDA determines the next step with this potent supplement, an FDA mandatory recall has been set on a certain brand of Kratom which has possibly been infected with salmonella. So, the warning is there, with products that aren't regulated please be careful!

Bracketology Genius

Dr. Gregory Piro, D.O. / 4-3-2018

March madness is over and Casey is the winner of this years college basketball office pool.  If gambling were legal she would have won some money. Hehe

No Alzheimers for fit women!

Ashley Pickering, PA-C / 3-29-2018

University of Sweden is taking fitness seriously! It appears that in recent studies women who are "fit", meaning some form of exercise and raising the heart rate daily, have less cognitive impairment than those with a sedentary lifestyle. This doesn't mean that all women need to get out there and start training for a marathon, but something as simple as being able to ride a bike for a few minutes or taking the stairs could significantly reduce your chances of Alzheimers!  Exercise helps preserve brain cells.


Dr. Gregory Piro, D.O. / 3-27-2018

We were intrigued when we saw this come up on social media.  Gummies that  can help you tan????

It appears that they have some natural ingredients like beta carotene that make carrots orange and can deposit color in the skin. Apparently the public is intrigued too. They are SOLD OUT.


Caitlyn Jenner "Wear your sunscreen"

Ashley Pickering, PA-C / 3-22-2018

As of Tuesday Caitlyn Jenner revealed a picture of her nose on social media preaching the word of dermatologists far and wide. "Wear your sunscreen." She says. The picture shows her face without any makeup and a large scab on the tip of her nose. Turns out that she recently had a pretty decent sized basal cell carcinoma removed. So, as a public service announcement to all, wear your sunscreen while you're young. Any sunscreen that is broad spectrum and SPF 30+! Save your nose!!!

Cheese & Bacon Shampoo

Dr. Gregory Piro, D.O. / 3-20-2018

Everybody loves cheese and bacon.  But in a shampoo???


Office Bracketology

Ashley Pickering, PA-C / 3-15-2018

And it begins, March Madness is in full swing! We all have our brackets in and are waiting to see who takes the cake this year.  Who will the upsets be? Will MSU go all the way? The journey begins today.

Spring Forward Health Issues

Dr. Gregory Piro, D.O. / 3-13-2018

Last Sunday was the time to spring forward into day light saving time. The time change can mean more than just being late for work.

 Losing that hour of sleep can throw a monkey wrench into our circadian rhythm. Studies have shown a ten percent increase in heart attacks and an eight percent increase in strokes within the first few days of turning the clock forward one hour. 

Make sure to get to sleep early to keep healthy.

Why is Alexa laughing at me?

Ashley Pickering, PA-C / 3-9-2018

Have you ever woken up in the night with the feeling that someone is watching you, or been home alone and thought someone else is in here?!? Well, people have been reporting incidents of creepy laughing in the night. Turns out, it is coming from their Alexa devices!!! A glitch in the system has caused Alexa to let out a creepy laugh at inappropriate times. So, for a while, I'd consider unplugging my Alexa until things are updated!

FDA approves at home test for Breast Cancer gene

Ashley Pickering, PA-C / 3-6-2018

For a while now we have known about testing for the BRCA1/BRCA2 genes for breast and ovarian cancer.  Options are given to patients for genetic testing and counseling based on family and personal history. BUT NOW! the FDA has approved an at home test with the at home genetic testing system called 23andME. So now, with the curiosity of our ethnic roots, we can discover health risks as well!

IBS No More!

Ashley Pickering, PA-C / 3-1-2018

Many of us deal with undiagnosed digestive ailments like being gassy and bloaty all falling under symptoms associated with irritable bowl syndrome.  Recent trends have found people jumping on the gluten free bandwagon and finding that their digestive ailments are disappearing. But is gluten really the bad guy in this situation? Celiac disease is actually not all that common, but IBS sure is! Recent trials have shown that its not the gluten causing these issues, but rather specific sugars found in these foods that are causing these ailments. Therefore, a diet that is low in "FODMAP"s is the way to go! What are FODMAPs? Well in chemistry terms this is fermentable, oligosaccharides, disaccharides, monosaccharides and polyols which are all all very difficult or impossible for that small intestine to digest/absorb. In real human terms this means check out this list of all the high and low FODMAP labeled foods and see if you can make yourself feel a bit better with a little diet adjustment. Your bowels will thank you.

Doctor Robot

Dr. Gregory Piro, D.O. / 2-27-2018

Amazon is getting into medicine. The company that changed the retail industry with stream line package distribution is now turning it's eye towards health care. Their success comes from eliminating people and using robots to handle tasks. The doctor's office of the future maybe the telemedicine kiosk, outfitted with touch screens and medical screening devices.

Smurfed by a bath bomb!
Ashley Pickering, PA-C / 2-22-2018

We've all had those days where you just want to come home and unwind with a nice quiet bath. Unfortunately a recent incident with a "galaxy bath bomb" from Kroger left one woman more stressed post bath than she was before she got in. She claims on twitter that this specific blue bath bomb dyed her skin blue from the neck down! She'd been smurfed after only five minutes in the bath tub! Lesson learned, after a long hard day think twice about the bath bomb you may use to help you unwind.

Want to live until your 90?

Dr. Gregory Piro, D.O. / 2-20-2018

University of California research tracked data on people that were in their nineties. They found that modest drinking and carrying a few extra pounds was associated with longevity. Those who spent at least two hours a day on a hobby, had two glasses of wine and two cups of coffee a day were at lower risk for premature death.

Newly approved blood test for concussions/brain injury

Ashley Pickering, PA-C / 2-15-2018

Concussions have been the center of health news for a while now. The most interesting new news on concussions and brain injuries is that there has now been an FDA approved blood test to quickly identify whether a concussion/brain injury has occurred.  Currently the only way to check for brain injury in the hospital is with a drawn out CT scan, this new blood test has the potential to streamline the process to diagnosis and could save lives. 

Leave the mole removal to the professionals!

Ashley Pickering, PA-C / 2-08-2017

We all have pesky moles that we don't want. They annoy us, catch on things, and look unsightly. Is an at-home mole removal device really the answer though? Absolutely NOT! These at home devices are actually cautery devices that are just burning the surface of your skin. In removing these moles at home there is the chance to leave a nasty scar, cause a bacterial infection or even make a mole indistinguishable to the dermatologist which can be detrimental to your health. In other words, using this device could disguise something as dangerous as a melanoma! So, if you do have a mole that is bothering you, just do us and yourself a favor and come on in for this quick and nearly painless procedure!

I'll take two large fries please.

Dr. Gregory Piro, D.O. / 2-06-2018

Last year we learned a group of medicines called Jak inhibitors, were able to grow hair in patients that were suffering from alopecia areata. Even someone completely bald could grow hair by taking Xeljanz.

Today scientists in Japan report a chemical used in McDonalds french fries can grow hair. Maybe the next time we are at McDonalds we should order one large fry to eat and another to rub on our head.

Super Bowl LII-2018

Ashley Pickering, PA-C / 2-1-2018

Whats your prediction for Super Bowl 52 ?!? Will the Patriots and their vegan Tom Brady take the win or will the underdog Eagles with Nickfolean Dynamite pull off the upset? Hope you have your party plans in place, as the game is quickly approaching. We all want a good football game to wrap up the season, but what makes this day so special is that there is a little something for everyone! The notorious Super Bowl commercials, the exciting half time show, which celebrities made the trip and of course the infamous party food and brews. Look out for some famous fans as Justin Timberlake takes the stage this year! 

Winter Skin Care Reminder

Dr. Gregory Piro, D.O. / 1-30-2018

It's important to remember during the winter months to use a gentle soap while showering and washing hands. Our favorites are Dove Sensitive Skin bar soap or Aveeno moisturizing bar soap for dry skin.

Australia Day 2018!

Ashley Pickering, PA-C / 1-25-2018

You are probably wondering why we are celebrating another country in our American office?!? My husband is from the great land of Australia and we celebrate each and every year. Every January 26th is a day similar to our July 4th. Australians around the world celebrate their heritage and their beautiful land they call home. Most celebrate with family and friends, a nice bbq or some native meat pies and sausage rolls! So to all those out there Australian or not, here's to you, Happy Australia Day!

2018 Auto Show

Dr. Gregory Piro, D.O. / 1-23-2018

We encourage everybody to get downtown and check out this years auto show. With Detroit's resurgence there are dozens of super hip bars and restaurants close to Cobo Hall. It's usually the coldest blizzard filled week of the year, but we are having a heat wave with temperatures in the 30's and 40's.

2018 Flu Epidemic

Ashley Pickering, PA-C / 1-18-2018

As many of you have seen on the news recently, this years flu has been detrimental to our society. This year its not just the old and young who have to worry about the flu. Unlike years past this has been found to be an extremely quick acting heavy hitter. Fit spunky children and healthy middle aged adults have died within 48 hours of showing flu symptoms. The CDC has come up with some simple rules to help avoid the flu with their "Take 3" actions.

1-Take the time to get your flu vaccine (although it doesn't cover against all strains of the flu, it gives you a fighting chance)

2-Take everyday actions to help prevent the spread of germs (wash hands, cover your mouth when coughing/sneezing, stay home if sick,  avoid eye and mouth contact, disinfect surfaces, avoid those you know are sick)

3-Go to your doctor if you have flu symptoms and TAKE YOUR FLU ANTIVIRALS! (this could be the difference between life and death)

150 MPH

Dr. Gregory Piro, D.O. / 1-16-2018

An Associated Press report from London warns that stifling sneezes may be hazardous to your health. Sneezes come out of you at 150 miles per hour. Holding them back has caused collapsed lungs and ruptures in the back of the throat. We suggest to just let them rip.

Health Alert!

Ashley Pickering, PA-C / 1-11-2018

Scary new results out regarding men's testicular health/fertility and use of ibuprofen.  After just two weeks of ibuprofen use, men's testicular physiology was altered causing temporary infertility.  Although reversible after short term use, the concern lies among young athletes who have used ibuprofen for a significant long term period. No long term results are known at this time.  At this time we would surely recommend Tylenol over Motrin/ibuprofen for our young boys and athletes.


Dr. Gregory Piro, D.O. / 1-9-2018

Celebrating Veganuary 2018 with a plant strong diet consisting of several vegan days a week. Just received my first monthly UrthBox that was a Christmas gift from my staff.   It's full of delicious plant based treats like Vegan Bob's Brussel Sprout Puffs and Organic Pink Himalayan Sea Salt Popcorn.   It even came with a delicious Coconut Mojito Mix because most cocktails are vegan.

Gene Therapy Sticker Shock

Ashley Pickering, PA-C / 1-4-2018

As interesting as all of that gene therapy news was, an new article was just released that gave us all a bit of sticker shock! The blindness gene therapy mentioned in the earlier article costs a shocking $850k!!! Yikes. Hope this starts to go down as time goes on, insurance companies are going to have a field day with this.

Nike's NBA Fashion Faux Pas

Ashley Pickering, PA-C, 12-28-2017

Just this week Nike released the annual alternate jerseys for the NBA. Many have significant meanings behind them and look really interesting, but some are just straight up bad! Check them out on ESPN's website and form your own opinions. I'd say our local Motor City jersey is awesome! Way to go Pistons.

ESPN NBA Jerseys


Dr. Gregory Piro, D.O. 12-16-2017

In the dermatology office we are always suggesting brief showers with warm water and a mild soap. The New York Times has an interesting article on the benefits of showering in the morning, at night, or both.

New York Times article

Gene Therapy in 2018

Ashley Pickering, PA-C

For years now researchers have been trying to perfect the art of gene therapy, treating chronic ailments with a simple alteration of a gene. But ultimately it has not been that simple. There are still many questions to be answered and diagnoses to treat, but there are very promising results that have come from this research. In one new instance spinal muscular atrophy type 1, a genetic disease that paralyzes babies and usually causes death by the age of two has been targeted with incredible results. In this study the vector for this gene therapy is actually a virus. This in and of itself is groundbreaking! Allowing the therapy to cross the blood brain barrier after infusion through a vein rather than direct injection into the spinal cord. With this study, all 15 babies with SMA1 treated with this therapy have survived past 20 months and most are now sitting and even walking which should be considered a miracle with such a lethal disease. There is more to look forward to with gene therapy in the coming years, but read more about this case and more with this article from Science Magazine.