New SPD Resources Available
The Society for Pediatric Dermatology (SPD) recently released a new video, produced by SPD’s External Marketing Committee, that offer parents perspective about their child’s skin conditions while dispelling several common misconceptions. The short video highlights the importance of seeing a qualified physician and the role of SPD physicians in treating pediatric skin diseases.
The society has also initiated work on a series of handouts, aimed at providing reliable information to pediatric dermatologists, dermatologists, pediatricians, family practitioners, and internists to share directly with patients and families. The handouts are available on everything from acne to warts—the newest handouts are for indoor tanning risks, mastocytosis, and diaper care. Visit pedsderm.net to download the handouts for your office.
Female Skin Cancer on the Rise; Prevention Education Crucial for Young Girls
Skin cancer in women is on the rise, and indoor tanning may be to blame, according to new research presented at the 2019 American Academy of Dermatology Summer Meeting in New York City.
Between 1970 and 2009, rates of melanoma increased 800 percent among women ages 18-39, making it the second most common cancer in young women. During a similar timeframe, basal cell and squamous cell carcinoma rates have also sharply increased by 145 percent and 263 percent, respectively.
“Because there’s a delay between UV exposure and when skin cancer appears, most women don’t think it will happen to them,” says M. Laurin Council, MD, FAAD, FACMS, an associate professor of dermatology at Washington University in St. Louis, in a news release. “This data reveals the disproportionate rise in the number of skin cancers in women and the need for further education regarding UV exposure.”
Continued use of indoor tanning devices by Caucasian girls and young women is of particular focus, as researchers estimate that it may cause more than 400,000 cases of skin cancer in the US each year. Even one indoor tanning session can increase a user’s lifetime risk of developing melanoma by 20 percent, squamous cell carcinoma by 67 percent, and basal cell carcinoma by 29 percent. The risk increases for younger users; indoor tanning before age 35 can increase one’s risk of melanoma by 59 percent. This risk increases with each use.
Dr. Council recommends that parents be counseled to talk with their children about limiting UV exposure, which is the easiest way to prevent skin cancer. This means practicing sun-safety habits, such as seeking shade; wearing protective clothing, including a lightweight, long-sleeved shirt, pants, a wide-brimmed hat and sunglasses; and regularly applying a broad-spectrum, water-resistant sunscreen with an SPF of 30 or higher. Parents should discourage the use of indoor tanning devices.
“Everyone should be happy with the skin they were born with and protect it,” says Dr. Council. “It’s important that we modify risky behaviors such as UV exposure to prevent the occurrence of skin cancer.”
Society for Pediatric Dermatology Looks Forward
Ensuring a pediatric dermatology workforce, increasing education about pediatric skin disease, and advocacy top the priorities of the Society for Pediatric Dermatology, according to society president Dawn Davis, MD. She spoke with Practical Dermatology® magazine during the 44th Annual Meeting of the Society, held in Austin, TX last month.
The meeting featured the launch of a new leadership development course for junior members. “I’m proud to say that we are currently meeting to develop leadership content in a separate course for mid-career pediatric dermatologists and also senior career pediatric dermatologists, because we want to make sure that we foster growth of our subspecialty society members over the entire course of their careers,” Dr. Davis shares.
Dr. Davis notes that “the pipeline starts early,” and says it’s important that medical students and potential medical students be aware of pediatric dermatology as a field of specialization. Increased awareness of the specialty overall, as well as improved access, are keys to improving patient care, she suggests.
With the SPD now more than 40 years old and with an established subspecialty board certification and fellowship program, “I think that we have very good awareness of our subspecialty within the umbrella of dermatology,” Dr. Davis says. “We want to make sure that our primary care colleagues are aware that pediatric dermatology is a subspecialty.” To that end, SPD collaborates with the American Academy of Pediatrics. “We have a subsection committee within the American Academy of Pediatrics now for dermatology. Multiple members of our society are dual-boarded by the AAP and the AAB as well as for ped derm, and we’ve collaborated with the AAP this year by putting our educational materials for our patients and families on their website. They graciously accepted our content, and we’re very grateful for that,” Dr. Davis explains.
WATCH IT NOW
Pediatric Dermatology: What’s Hot
At the 2019 Summer Meeting of the AAD, Lawrence Eichenfield presented on what’s new in pediatric dermatology. He says the biggest advances currently are in atopic dermatitis—from better understanding of the disease to improved treatments. He discusses the new systemic medication—dupilumab— approved for adolescents 12 and older with atopic dermatitis, which he describes as a “very exciting, revolutionary change in our treatment.” He also talks about promising research on topical crisaborole in patients 3 months to 2 years of age, as well as potentially disappointing news about use of emollients in infants and its impact on the risk for developing atopic dermatitis. Watch the full video for more on this as well as updates about acne, hemangiomas, and more.
Of course, it’s essential that the public at large be educated about pediatric skin disease and the availability of pediatric dermatologists to treat it. The society is also advocating for access to existing medications and supporting research into new therapies. The Pediatric Research Alliance and other initiatives focus on treatment of diseases like pediatric atopic dermatitis and psoriasis. “In addition, we have a large consortium of providers and institutions through the Pediatric Dermatology Research Alliance working on hemangiomas and vascular malformations and growths, where they are making good progress regarding the etiology of these vascular tumors and also discovering medications that can help stop their growth or cause reabsorption of the growth,” Dr. Davis says. “That way the tumors do not cause morbidity for our patients.”