For those of you that know me at all you know I can get pretty excited about some things. I’m a high energy person and that energy explodes before vacations, when my family is having fun and with anything dermatology. The past 5 days I have been at my favorite educational conference of all time, Maui-Derm. It is a conference for NP’s and PA’s in dermatology. A LOT of the big names in dermatology are there to speak and it is so much fun learning about new advances in dermatology and networking with peers. I was honored to listen to Dr. Zirwas, the world’s leading expert on hot tub allergy, Dr. Zone who has published over 100 original articles and over 40 book chapters related to immune disorders in the skin, Dr. Rosen who has a resume I can’t even fit in this blog post, Dr. Rich who is a founding member of the Council of Nail Disorders, Dr. Marghoob, the world’s leading authority on dermoscopy, and so on and so on and so on. Who I came in contact with this past week made me feel what I would imagine is the equivelent feeling a 13 year old girl feels when she meets Justin Beiber. So this week I would like to share with you some of the exciting news in dermatology and “pearls” that I heard about this past week.
1. New Drugs- You have all seen the commercials for Enbrel and the other injectable medications we use for psoriasis. Well there are a lot more in the pipeline. Medications for people with chronic urticaria (hives that won’t go away), topical prescription products for brittle nails, Dalvance, an antibiotic like Vancomycin but less toxic. I mean we are really getting some cool drugs in the derm world which is exciting for people that haven’t had any luck with what has been available.
2. Arkansas made a top 10 list- Okay so during the venereal disease talk they put up a list of the top 10 states with the most syphillis and Arkansas was on that list. Sigh
3. Coconut Oil- With the world becoming a greener place people often ask me about natural products. We reviewed a research article that tested coconut oil against mineral oil for dry skin relief. It found that coconut oil showed 68% improvement versus Mineral oil’s 38% improvement. I wish they would have tested it against my favorite, petroleum jelly, but they didn’t so moral of the story is, go ahead, use coconut oil for a moisturizer. Seems to work well.
4. Hidradenitis advances- Hidranenitis simplified is a chronic problem where you get “boils” commonly in the groin and armpits. It can be scarring, painful and REALLY difficult to treat. Some people have surgery to get rid of a large portion of skin and it still comes back. We reviewed studies about new treatments including new antibiotic combinations, metformin, (a medication for diabetes) and biologics (medications for psoriasis, bowel diseases and bone diseases). Hopefully we are getting better answers for people that suffer from this horrible disease.
5. Women use 12 skin products with 168 ingredients per day. Enough said. Please let Johnson Dermatology trim down your products. Help us help you save your skin and pocket book.
6. Gonorrhea- There is a new gonorrhea that recently made it to America that is drug resistant. That means we don’t have a good treatment to rid it like we do with the traditional Gonorrhea. Oh, and it is believed to be passed by oral sex. Not cool.
7. Nail Melanoma fact- 25% of nail melanomas are amelonotic. That means they don’t have that black, brown color in them. Frightening! Please keep your skin cancer checks at least yearly so a dermatologist (the skin experts) can help catch skin cancers early.
8. Scary Treatments- The main cause of death from the autoimmune blistering disorders is side effects of oral steroids. One in 300 people who have a sentinel lymph node biopsy will have a stroke related to the procedure. Although oral steroids (example-prednisone) and procedures can be very helpful in mutliple diseases these things have side effects and all clinicians should be reminded of that often, to do no harm.
9. Patients don’t fill prescriptions- Historically speaking people have said studies show that 50% of people fill the prescrition they were given from their doctor. Hmmmm, I know ALL my lovely patients fill their prescriptions. My patient’s are perfect!
10. Melanomas are changing- Most people know the ABCDE of melanoma and how it helps to spot melanomas. But now, some of the top expert dermatologist are using a different acronym called “looking for the ugly DUC”. The D stands for different then all the other moles, U is for uneven. Uneven in any of the Asymmetry, Border or Color of the traditional ABCDE. Lastly the C stands for Change. Any mole that is changing warrants a biopsy. Just another reason you need a skin expert in your life.
That wasn’t even 1% of the exciting things I did this past week. So come see me at Johnson Dermatology and I can give you an ear full of the other 99%! You will see me get excited if nothing else!
Hey, did you know Johnson Dermatology is having a hashtag contest this summer? Use #Johnsondermatology this summer in any skin related post and you could win a prize. I’ll be watching on social media so be sure to follow us on facebook or my personal twitter @skinnyonskingal
Dance the week away (in sunprotective clothes),