Eczema. Psoriasis. Acne. They could be called the Big Three of skin problems?and the team at North Coast Dermatology Medical Associates, led by Dr. Stacy Tompkins, deftly handles all of them. But that doesn't mean that they have no time for other cosmetic concerns. They also combat signs of aging with dermal fillers, improve skin texture with chemical peels and Pixel resurfacing, and eradicate stubble with laser hair removal, rather than hiding it beneath a tattoo that says "Nothing to See Here." The experts can target maladies that extend below the skin's surface, too: during Mohs surgeries, they remove skin cancer with microscopic precision.
When people are ill, they usually either make a doctor's appointment or lie in bed and wait it out. Pharmaca Integrative Pharmacy has created a third option. Visits to its stores, which are scattered across the western US, are more casual than a doctor's visit but less passive than bed rest. Each location's team of health experts, including credentialed pharmacists, naturopathic doctors, herbalists, nutritionists, and more, consult with customers—no appointment needed.
But Pharmaca aims to serve its customers every day, not just on sick days. Its stores have been drawing droves of clients since 2000, partly because they meet so many needs in just one spot. In addition to a full-service pharmacy, Pharmaca offers organic and food-based vitamins from MegaFood and New Chapter; professional-grade skin care and cosmetics from Jane Iredale, Sanitas, and Dr. Hauschka; and therapeutic-grade supplements from Metagenics and Thorne Research. Customers can also choose from an assortment of homeopathic remedies, herbal formulations, medical supplies, toiletries, gifts, and fair-trade chocolates.
Before shoppers at Carlsbad Ranch Market even step into the store, they are greeted with fresh produce resting in wooden crates just outside the door. Whether or not they decide to pause and check out the cornucopia of fruits and veggies, once they step inside they’ll face mountains more. The family-owned shop is dedicated to sustainability, bringing local and seasonal produce and locally made household goods to its customers as affordably as possible. The store’s stock of produce also fills an in-house vegetarian salad bar and a soup-of-the-day selection, which, like an un-oiled tinman doing the macarena, rotates regularly.
At CB’s Cupcakes, the customer has complete and total control, and founder and owner Connie Barham wouldn’t have it any other way. The cupcake connoisseur opened the shop under the premise of why not let the customer choose—even for walk-in orders—and she’s been operating that way ever since. She spirals five frostings, such as chocolate buttercream or peanut butter, across the top of five types of cake: vanilla, chocolate, red velvet, key lime, and the flavor of the month, such as blueberry or cran-orange. Then, she tops off the mini or muffin-sized cakes with an array of fixings, such as sprinkles, graham-cracker crumbs, or mini M&Ms.
Connie, who sells the handheld treats at her two storefront locations and at various fairs around the state, doesn’t mind feeding furry companions either. She welcomes dogs to wait outside her colorful Victorian-themed shops, offering them water bowls and even bakeing them canine-friendly cupcakes made from healthy ingredients.
At San Diego Vascular Center, a team of specialists led by board-certified vascular surgeons presides over med-spa treatments focused exclusively on spider and varicose veins. Sclerotherapy’s fine needles inject a deactivating solution into the vein, while EVLT uses lasers to do the same work. Each of these treatments is less invasive and painful than surgery, and results in less downtime, ensuring that patients can soon resume their daily routine of walking backward on a merry-go-round for hours.
Dr. Peter Do and his highly trained staff gently exorcise debris from teeth to unearth the pristine smiles of patrons kicking back in front of a flat-screen television. Exams investigate the overall health of teeth and gums, letting hygienists peek around molars before whisking away grime lodged in the nooks between pearlies. X-rays of jaw lines ferret out hidden health issues or loyalties to taffy to encourage earlier treatment. By tending to only one patient or set of wind-up dentures at a time, Dr. Do grants undivided attention to pieholes in appointments scheduled during the week or between 8 a.m. and noon on Saturdays in a professional office ringed by earthy hues and potted plants.