American Academy of Dermatology, March 21-25

The American Academy of Dermatology 72nd Annual Meeting

The annual meeting of the American Academy of Dermatology was held from March 21 to 25 in Denver and attracted more than 15,000 participants from around the world, including clinicians, academicians, allied health professionals, and others interested in dermatology. The conference highlighted recent advances in the diagnosis and management of dermatologic conditions.

During one presentation, Jonette Elizabeth Keri, M.D., Ph.D., of the University of Miami Leonard M. Miller School of Medicine and the Miami Veterans Administration Hospital, encouraged physicians to not be afraid to treat pregnant acne patients, especially those with scarring acne.

"It is safe to treat during this time, but if the physician feels uncomfortable, they should remember to ask for help with systemic medications from other dermatologists or the obstetrician. All with the goal to prevent acne scarring," said Keri. "I presented a quick reference for discussions, documentation, and therapy which dermatologists can easily refer to for help when they see such a patient."

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During another presentation, Delphine J. Lee, M.D., Ph.D., of the John Wayne Cancer Institute in Santa Monica, Calif., provided an update on metastatic melanoma and the current therapies for local-regional spread and distant metastases so physicians can have helpful discussions with their melanoma patients. The key topics included a review of the current American Joint Committee on Cancer staging criteria that included a discussion of the clinical features that influence prognosis and survival risks at each stage. The bulk of the presentation was a discussion regarding the therapies available based on the National Comprehensive Cancer Network guidelines, the mechanisms of these treatments, and their side effects.

"The clinical approach to metastatic melanoma is drastically different, with new therapies allowing us to target the tumor directly and improving immune responses against the tumor so that there is hope for our patients," said Lee. "The impact on our clinical practice as dermatologists will be that our patients should have longer survival with these diagnoses."

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Nicole E. Rogers, M.D., of the Tulane University School of Medicine in New Orleans, provided insight into the popular trends in hair care today, specifically to aid dermatologists in understanding which products are beneficial and which have little efficacy. Topics included hair thickening agents, hair growth ingredients, Brazilian keratin treatments, sulfate-free shampoos, and ionic technology. While hair growth ingredients and keratin treatments appear to be somewhat effective, hair thickening agents only last for a short period of time, and sulfate-free shampoos and ionic technology have no supportive data.

"I ended by telling the audience that heat is real, and that patients often come in complaining of hair loss or hair shedding when their real problem is breakage due to flat iron overuse," said Rogers.

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Rebat M. Halder, M.D., of the Howard University College of Medicine in Washington, D.C., discussed natural ingredients used in new topical treatments for hyperpigmentation, including soy, niacinimide, ellagic acid, and lignin peroxidase. During the discussion, Halder cited supportive data for the use of these ingredients and highlighted that these ingredients are not associated with a high risk of allergies. He also provided insight into some additional skin lighteners, including arbutin, kojic acid, and licorice, but these have been associated with a higher risk of allergic reactions.

"Those affected by hyperpigmentation who would like to use a topical treatment to lighten their skin should consult a board-certified dermatologist who can help separate fact from fiction in terms of product claims," Halder said in a statement. "It's important to remember that even topical treatments backed by science do not work overnight, as it takes time and consistent use to produce a noticeable improvement. Consumers should also be cautious about ordering skin-lightening products via the Internet, as the country of origin for the active ingredients might be unknown -- raising questions as to the purity or effectiveness of these ingredients, as well as the product's overall quality."

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AAD: Self-Treatment Methods Harmful for Skin Cancer

TUESDAY, March 25, 2014 (HealthDay News) -- Home mole removal and skin cancer treatment is associated with poor cosmesis and negative outcomes, according to research presented at the annual meeting of the American Academy of Dermatology, held from March 21 to 25 in Denver.

Abstract No. P8027
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