Dr. Charles Camisa Top Doctors Profile

2015 Top Doctors Profiles

Hear from a leading area physician who made Castle Connolly’s list of Top Doctors along the Gulfshore this year.

Dr. Charles Camisa

Dermatologist, Riverchase Dermatology


Southwest Florida patients who suffer from psoriasis, a painful and disfiguring skin condition, can be treated by the guy who wrote the book. Literally.

The medial staff at Riverchase Dermatology includes Dr. Charles Camisa, author ofThe Handbook of Psoriasis. He additionally has authored a number of peer-reviewed articles published in major medical journals.

And if that doesn’t credential him enough, Camisa has a disease named for him: Camisa’s Syndrome, or Camisa’s Disease. The doctor discovered a rare genetic variation of Vohwinkel’s Syndrome, a disease that causes honey-comb like callouses on the hands and feet. Sufferers of Camisa’s Disease would experience a thickening of the skin in the little toe or pinky finger so pronounced they’d lose circulation. Working with biochemists and molecular biologists, Camisa found the gene mutation responsible. There’s still no cure, but Camisa’s genetic finding helped chart the course for further research.

Camisa hadn’t intended to go into medicine—not human medicine any way.

“When I went to college, I was most interested in becoming a veterinarian,” he says. That is, until he went to visit the veterinary medicine school one day. “When I went inside, I was not able to tolerate being around (the animals).”

Turns out, he’s allergic to everything from horses to dogs. Lucky for people.

Camisa went to medical school instead and discovered a knack for dermatology—a good visual perception that allowed him to diagnose what was presented to him with relative ease. He also liked that the specialty was limited enough that he could research “virtually every skin disease that affects humans.”

“There are over 5,000 of them, but by now I think I know them all,” he says. Psoriasis, though, remains his primary area of focus, and the reason many patients seek him out.

Before coming to Southwest Florida, Camisa worked at the Cleveland Clinic in Ohio. He transferred to what was Cleveland Clinic Naples, now known as Physicians Regional Medical Center on Pine Ridge Road. Camisa stayed for a while but decided for-profit hospitals weren’t for him and moved to Riverchase.

Today, he is heartened to see the advancements in the treatment of psoriasis.

“I really have to acknowledge the whole field. I am a small component of it,” he says. “I think it’s only a matter of time before a cure is discovered. We are getting so close to understanding the mechanism of the overgrowth of skin and the inflammation of the skin.”

—Jennifer Reed

To read the entire Gulfshore Life article, click here.