Hot New Findings in Rosacea
Increased exposure to sun and hot weather, as well as a variety of common heat sources, can inflame rosacea, results of a new survey suggest. In the recent survey of 431 rosacea patients conducted by the National Rosacea Society (NRS), 80 percent of respondents said they had suffered a flare-up of rosacea symptoms as a result of being out in the sun, and 80 percent said their condition was aggravated by hot weather. Excessive indoor heat was a trigger for 56 percent of those surveyed, while 55 percent said heavy exercise had set off a rosacea flare-up. Fifty-four percent of respondents said a hot bath had induced an outbreak of rosacea signs and symptoms, and 42 percent said heated beverages had done the same. Heavy clothing had triggered a flare-up for 32 percent of individuals, and 26 percent cited menopausal hot flashes.

“Although medical therapy is available to help control this widespread and chronic disorder, it is also important for rosacea patients to identify and minimize any environmental or lifestyle factors that may trigger or aggravate their symptoms,” noted Joseph Bikowski, MD in a statement. Moreover, he said that he advises his rosacea patients to keep a diary of flares and potential triggers in order to determine what factors might be affecting them individually.

Breaking News
Use of systemic retinoids, such as isotretinoin, now has been shown not to be associated with fracture risks, contrary to earlier reports (Arch Dermatol 146(5):551-553). Given the fact that high doses of vitamin A had been implicated with adverse skeletal events, researchers evaluated 124,655 patients with fractures during the year 2000. A register of medications purchased at pharmacies was then used to determine the use of systemic or topical vitamin A analogues. Results indicated that neither topical nor systemic vitamin A analogues were associated with the change in fracture risk at any skeletal site. There were no trends with increasing medication dose or with longer treatment duration. Notably, even large daily doses of vitamin A analogues were not found to be associated with an increased risk for fractures.

FTC Approves Settlement on Tanning Claims
Following a public comment period, the Federal Trade Commission has approved a final settlement order in the matter of the Indoor Tanning Association (ITA) and its agreement regarding false and misleading claims about indoor tanning. FTC sent letters to members of the public who submitted comments on the order. The final order settles charges that the association exaggerated the benefits of indoor tanning and falsely denied that indoor tanning increases the risk of squamous cell and melanoma skin cancers.

Rosacea Patients Demonstrate Empowerment
In efforts to identify differences in patient responses to different types of diseases, researchers recently examined the dependency between the level of sense of coherence and the strategies of coping with stress in two groups of patients: those suffering from depression and dermatological patients with rosacea (Post Dermatol Alergol 2010; 2: 90-95). Generally, a positive sense of coherence is associated with feelings of confidence that one's environment is predictable and things will work out reasonably well. A total of 98 rosacea patients were evaluated, and researchers learned that dermatological patients had a higher level of sense of coherence than psychiatric patients. Rosacea patients were also shown to seek information and support and take problem-solving action at a higher rate than depressed patients.

Save the Skin
With summer in full swing, sun safety and skin cancer awareness are as important as ever. So La Roche-Posay has started its Save Our Skin campaign, a public awareness and educational initiative to inform the public and bring about behavior change in individuals' daily routines. The campaign will use all major media components to reach people via in-store events and offline initiatives with dermatologists, pharmacists, journalists. The goal of the initiative is to teach, impact, and promote action, the company says.

The campaign website (sossaveourskin.com) contains information about the dangers of UV exposure and the importance of UV protection, as well as videos by dermatologists, journalists, and skin cancer survivors. In addition, La Roche-Posay will make a donation every time someone joins the SOS cause, as well as when anyone purchases an orange SOS ribbon in support of the cause. The proceeds go to organizations such as the Women's Dermatologic Society and the Skin Cancer Foundation.

Drug Prices on the Rise
Consumers were hit with nearly 10 percent increases in brand name drug prices over the 12- month period ending in March of this year, a new AARP Rx Watchdog report found. The 9.7 percent jump in manufacturer prices for brand name drugs widely used by people on Medicare was the largest 12-month spike since AARP began tracking drug prices in 2002. By comparison, general inflation during the same 12-month period was nearly flat at 0.3 percent. AARP's Public Policy Institute also found that prices for specialty drugs widely used by people on Medicare climbed nearly as quickly— 9.2 percent—as brand name drugs. Specialty drug costs (which includes biologic and injected drugs) can range from $1,000 to more than $20,000 per month, according to AARP.

Acne Awareness Month
June has once again been named Acne Awareness Month by the American Acne and Rosacea Society. For information and ideas, visit AcneMonth.com.

FDA Enlists Docs in Effort toClean Up Drug Marketing Materials
The FDA hasn't gotten around to finalizing a new sunscreenmonograph yet (October publication is now anticipated), but itis rolling out a new effort to thwart misleading drug advertisementsand other marketing materials intended for physiciansand other prescribers. The “Bad Ad Program,” billed as an educationaloutreach effort to help health care providers recognizemisleading prescription drug promotion and provide an easyway to report this activity, essentially turns physicians intoFDA watchdogs.

The program, administered by the agency's Division of DrugMarketing, Advertising, and Communications (DDMAC), in theFDA's Center for Drug Evaluation and Research, will be rolled outin three phases. First, the FDA will engage healthcare providersat specifically-selected medical conventions and partner withspecific medical societies to distribute educational materials.

Some observers worry about the nature of anonymous reportingunder the program. FDA says it will accept anonymous complaintsbut prefers that tipsters provide identifying information—and hopefully hard copies of the questionable materials.

Reports can be made via e-mail (badad@fda.gov) or by calling(877) RX-DDMAC.

Sun and the City
Results of a survey recently unveiled by the AAD suggest that59 percent of Americans have never been screened for skincancer by a healthcare provider. The Academy conducted thesurvey in multiple cities around the US to determineknowledge, attitudes, and behaviors toward tanning, sun protection,and skin cancer detection. A total of 26 cities wereranked based on residents' answers to several questions in eachcategory.

The highest-ranking “sun smart” cities included:

  • Salt Lake City
  • Hartford
  • Denver

The lowest-ranking cities were:

  • Cleveland
  • Chicago
  • Pittsburgh

Those dermatologists practicing in low-ranking cities may beencouraged to emphasize UV protection and skin cancer detectionstrategies among patients and encourage peers in generalhealth to do the same.