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July 2008 Briefing - Dermatology

Here are what the editors at HealthDay consider to be the most important developments in Dermatology for July 2008. This roundup includes the latest research news from journal articles, as well as the FDA approvals and regulatory changes that are the most likely to affect clinical practice.

Infections Rare After Mohs Micrographic Surgery

MONDAY, July 28 (HealthDay News) -- Surgical site infections are extremely uncommon in patients undergoing Mohs micrographic surgery for non-melanoma skin cancer or modified Mohs micrographic surgery for lentigo maligna melanoma in situ, suggesting that the routine administration of antibiotics may be unnecessary, according to a study published in the August issue of the Journal of the American Academy of Dermatology.

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Teledermatology Improves Skin Cancer Outcomes

FRIDAY, July 25 (HealthDay News) -- In the management of skin cancer, teledermatology referral leads to clinical outcomes that equal or even surpass those of conventional referral, according to a report published in the August issue of the Journal of the American Academy of Dermatology.

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Tuberculosis Screenings Urged for Psoriasis Patients

THURSDAY, July 24 (HealthDay News) -- Before psoriasis patients are treated with systemic and biologic agents, they should be screened and treated for latent tuberculosis infections, according to a National Psoriasis Foundation consensus statement published in the August issue of the Journal of the American Academy of Dermatology.

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New Laser Technique May Reduce Acne Scars

THURSDAY, July 24 (HealthDay News) -- In patients with acne scars, ablative fractional resurfacing with a novel 30-watt laser that combines carbon dioxide ablation with a fractional photothermolysis system may significantly improve facial appearance with minimal side effects, according to study findings published in the August issue of Lasers in Surgery and Medicine.

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'Tier 4' Drugs Raise Questions About Affordability

WEDNESDAY, July 23 (HealthDay News) -- The emergence of a fourth tier of copayment for expensive drugs calls into question how Americans are going to handle the rising costs of health care, according to a perspective article in the July 24 issue of the New England Journal of Medicine.

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Consequences of Genetic Non-Discrimination Act Examined

WEDNESDAY, July 23 (HealthDay News) -- The Genetic Information Non-discrimination Act (GINA), recently signed into U.S. law, creates a troublesome distinction between those at genetic risk for a disease and those with other characteristics that predispose them to a condition, according to a perspective article published in the July 24 issue of the New England Journal of Medicine.

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Strong Arguments For and Against Sun's Role in Melanoma

WEDNESDAY, July 23 (HealthDay News) -- Whether or not sun exposure is a major cause of melanoma is the subject of two opposing view Head to Head articles, published online July 22 in BMJ.

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Physicians to Get Bonus for Electronic Prescribing

WEDNESDAY, July 23 (HealthDay News) -- Doctors using an electronic prescriptions system will be eligible for a bonus from Medicare from 2009 onwards for four years, according to U.S. health officials.

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Carbon Dioxide Laser Effective for Reducing Wrinkles

TUESDAY, July 22 (HealthDay News) -- The use of carbon dioxide laser resurfacing for treating facial wrinkles is safe and effective, though hypopigmentation can be a common consequence, according to research published in the July/August issue of the Archives of Facial Plastic Surgery.

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Women More Likely Than Men to Remove Tattoos

MONDAY, July 21 (HealthDay News) -- Although tattoo procurement is an increasingly mainstream phenomenon, visible tattoos on women may not be as socially acceptable as they are for men, and more women than men choose to have tattoos removed, according to a study published in the July issue of the Archives of Dermatology.

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Exception Reporting Improves Pay-for-Performance Benefits

THURSDAY, July 17 (HealthDay News) -- Pay-for-performance programs benefit from use of exclusion reporting, whereby certain patients are excluded from quality calculations, and the practice of excluding patients to disguise missed targets, known as gaming, is rare, according to study findings published in the July 17 issue of the New England Journal of Medicine.

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Medical Education Must Adapt to Changing Times

THURSDAY, July 17 (HealthDay News) -- Medical schools must adapt their admission requirements and curricula to changes in scientific theory, and are also facing a challenge to the traditional definition of who is suited to the study of medicine, according to two articles published in the July 17 issue of the New England Journal of Medicine.

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AMA Actions Fostered U.S. Medical Racial Divide

TUESDAY, July 15 (HealthDay News) -- From the post-Civil War years to the civil rights era a century later, the American Medical Association (AMA) made decisions that helped support a division between white and black Americans in the field of medicine in the United States, according to an article in the July 16 issue of the Journal of the American Medical Association.

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Melanoma Incidence Up Among Younger Whites

MONDAY, July 14 (HealthDay News) -- The incidence of invasive cutaneous melanoma among white men and women aged 15 to 39 has significantly increased since 1973, and has more than doubled among younger women, according to a letter published online July 10 in the Journal of Investigative Dermatology.

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Pegylated Interferon Boosts Melanoma Survival Rates

FRIDAY, July 11 (HealthDay News) -- Survival rates for melanoma patients improve if they are treated with a pegylated form of interferon alfa-2 versus observation alone, according to a report published in the July 12 issue of The Lancet.

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Thickness Predicts Squamous-Cell Carcinoma Spread

THURSDAY, July 10 (HealthDay News) -- Factors predicting metastasis of cutaneous squamous-cell carcinoma include tumor thickness, horizontal size and location at the ear, according to research published online July 9 in The Lancet Oncology.

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Health Cash Incentives for Poor People Debated

WEDNESDAY, July 9 (HealthDay News) -- Should disadvantaged people be paid to take care of their health? That's the question of a "Head to Head" debate published online July 8 in BMJ.

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Many Severe Psoriasis Patients Undertreated

MONDAY, July 7 (HealthDay News) -- Nearly 40 percent of severe psoriasis patients are treated with only topical agents, according to the results of a cross-sectional survey of dermatologists published in the June issue of the Journal of the American Academy of Dermatology.

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Multiple Methods Improve Use of Skin Cancer Self-Exam

THURSDAY, July 3 (HealthDay News) -- Several components of the Check-It-Out trial, which entailed a multi-pronged approach to promoting thorough skin self-examination to check for melanoma, were effective, according to study findings published in the June issue of the Journal of the American Academy of Dermatology.

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Cheap Earrings Increase Exposure to Nickel

THURSDAY, July 3 (HealthDay News) -- Exposure to nickel through wearing cheap earrings is a common occurrence in the United States and results in nickel sensitization, researchers report in the June issue of the Journal of the American Academy of Dermatology. This contrasts with decreasing prevalence of nickel sensitization in Europe as a result of the European Union Nickel Directive, the authors found.

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Physician's Briefing