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Make-Up Artist to the Stars Allan Avendaño Opens Up About Life With Psoriasis

Make-up artist Allan Avendaño spends his days airbrushing Hollywood A-listers, including Zendaya, Sarah Hyland, Jodie Turner Smith, Joey King, and Vanessa Hudgens.

And while he is accomplished and sought after today, the road here was an uphill one.

Mr. Avendaño was diagnosed with plaque psoriasis as a child and is just now starting to share his story to help educate and instill confidence in others who are living with this chronic inflammatory skin condition as part of a new campaign sponsored by Amgen.

The Inside Look campaign encourages people to go beyond the surface of plaque psoriasis and learn more about the importance of treating the condition from within.

“Psoriasis is really on the outside, but your confidence comes from the inside and knowing who you are,” he tells Practical Dermatology® magazine. “I know that I am so much more than psoriasis, so it’s not a big issue anymore.”

It took Mr. Avendaño a while to build up such confidence. He was bullied in middle and high school because of his skin but thanks his family for providing the type of unconditional love and support that got him through those challenging years.

“They helped me to stay positive, and I think that’s why I love the Inside Look campaign,” he says. “The campaign allows me to share my story and help others with mild to severe plaque psoriasis to remain positive.”

It was difficult when he first started seeing clients and had visible plaques on his hands. He quickly explained what it was—psoriasis—and what it wasn’t—contagious—which allayed any fears. “I am very fortunate. I have incredible clients who are compassionate and who don’t see my psoriasis anymore.”

As a way of giving back, Mr. Avendaño is helping people with psoriasis learn how to look their best even during a flare. “We don’t fully cover plaques, but we bring out the feature that a person loves about her face to switch the focus to something else,” he says.

This may mean brushing out the brows, curling the eyelashes, or wearing a bold red lip, he suggests. “Highlight your favorite parts of yourself, and don’t focus on what’s not so great.”

To learn more about the campaign, visit

Amgen, IFPA Launch UPLIFT Innovation Challenge in Psoriasis

Amgen has partnered with the International Federation of Psoriasis Associations (IFPA) to launch the Understanding Psoriatic Disease Leveraging Insights for Treatment (UPLIFT) Innovation Challenge. The new global initiative aims to foster the development of actionable solutions to address a challenge that people living with psoriatic disease and health care providers continue to face.

Amgen and IFPA created the UPLIFT Innovation Challenge in response to the undertreatment and strong disconnect between patients’ perceptions and standard measures of disease severity documented in the 2020 UPLIFT survey. Data from UPLIFT were presented virtually during the 6th World Psoriasis & Psoriatic Arthritis Conference (WPPAC).

Current applicants are invited to submit innovative ideas that address the challenge question: “How can we unite people living with psoriatic disease and their health care providers to achieve optimal health outcomes?”

The challenge is open to all local, regional, and national psoriasis- and psoriatic arthritis-focused patient organizations worldwide. Entrants must submit applications by 23:59 EDT on Monday, August 30, 2021. Rules and additional details are available at The successful applicant will receive a one-time donation or grant valued at $25,000 to support the execution of their proposed solution.

The UPLIFT survey was designed to measure the effects of psoriasis and psoriatic arthritis on people living with these conditions. Data recently presented at WPPAC affirmed and refined findings of the 2012 Multinational Assessment of Psoriasis and Psoriatic Arthritis (MAPP) survey. In a comparison of UPLIFT and MAPP survey findings (abstract ID: 35700), fewer people with psoriatic arthritis reported seeing a health care provider for their disease in the past year (50 percent in UPLIFT vs. 83 percent in MAPP) and 74 percent surveyed in UPLIFT perceived their disease as moderate-to-severe despite 83 percent receiving treatment.

“Nearly a decade after the MAPP survey, during which more treatments have become available, the UPLIFT survey suggests unmet needs in patient care persist. It also revealed an ongoing disconnect between patients’ perceptions of their disease severity and how health care providers categorize their disease using common measures of disease severity,” says Darryl Sleep, MD, senior vice president, global medical, and chief medical officer at Amgen. “With these findings in mind, we are proud to launch the UPLIFT Innovation Challenge with IFPA to encourage much-needed dialogue and support the development of potential solutions to help address the gaps in the treatment journey for this community.”

Study Finds Most Dermatologists, Plastic Surgeons Perform Injections

The majority of dermatologists and plastic surgeons do not delegate cosmetic injectable procedures in their offices. In fact, findings from a study published in Dermatologic Surgery show that 80 percent of dermatologists and 75 percent of plastic surgeons perform cosmetic injections in their practices rather than delegate them to other medical staff. The survey included 492 dermatology and plastic surgery practices in US metropolitan areas.

Study co-author Ashley Decker, MD says that as demand for aesthetic injectable procedures increases, trends could shift toward more delegation and advocates for patients to ensure they receive injectable treatments from board-certified dermatologists.

“We know that physicians are delegating to non-physician providers, including physician assistants and nurse practitioners, but the current practice patterns are unclear,” Dr. Decker says. “We developed this study to look at the injectable practice pattern here in the United States.

“I think patients need to know who’s doing their injections. I think patients also need to understand the differences between physician and non-physician providers so that they can advocate for themselves when they’re seeking these minimally invasive cosmetic procedures to really ensure the quality and safety.”

Alma Launches Alma Hybrid

Alma Hybrid, the first laser platform to include an ablative 10,600nm (CO2) laser and a non-ablative 1570nm laser for skin resurfacing, is launching in the US. The system received FDA 510(k) clearance.

Alma Hybrid offers physicians a comprehensive solution to utilize each best-in-class laser independently or, for the first time, customize the treatment pattern by combining both wavelengths. HyGrid introduces an entirely new injury pattern unseen with any other device on the market, the company says.

Alma Hybrid is the only device to feature high performance delivery known as HyPer. In HyPer delivery, an ablative CO2 injury is followed by a non-ablative 1570nm injury in random pattern, significantly reducing treatment time and improving patient experience.

“The combination of an ablative CO2 laser and a non-ablative 1570nm laser in one platform already makes Alma Hybrid unique. But the unmatched level of flexibility and customization makes this device the ultimate resurfacing tool,” says Jeffrey Hsu, MD, a dermatologist at Oak Dermatology, in the greater Chicago area. “I can fly through a full-face skin resurfacing treatment in 15 minutes with HyPer delivery, and the synergy of CO2 and 1570nm gives me the best possible combination of effectiveness and safety.”

Barrier Supporting Skincare, Sunscreens Can Protect Against UV Damage

A skincare regimen that includes a moisturizer and sunscreen formulated with ceramides can help protect against UV-induced skin barrier damage and improve skin barrier health overall, according to new research in the Journal of Drugs in Dermatology.

The study evaluated the impact of UV exposure on the skin barrier using a UV dose equivalent to about two hours of UV exposure during a sunny July day in New York City. Skin barrier cells from the UV-exposed, untreated zone were significantly damaged. However, skin barrier cells from UV-exposed skin treated with ceramide-containing sunscreen and moisturizer were preserved and mimicked the skin barrier cells that were unexposed to UV, underscoring the importance of a ceramide-containing skincare routine.

Additional data suggest not all consumers are wearing sunscreen daily. According to results from a new CeraVe survey conducted by OnePoll among 2,000 US adults, 56 percent of people say they have become more health conscious over the past year, yet only 29 percent say they have made more of an effort to take care of their skin, and a staggering 96 percent admit they do not wear sunscreen daily.

Of those surveyed, the majority of consumers (64 percent) say they wish their sunscreen had skincare benefits. CeraVe Hydrating Mineral Sunscreen SPF 30 Sheer Tint combines the crucial ingredients of ceramides with a subtly tinted, broad-spectrum formula that was developed with dermatologists, so consumers do not have to choose between skincare and sun care.

“Sunscreen is one of the holy grails of skincare for all skin types and tones, regardless of the weather or how much time is spent outside,” says board-certified dermatologist Dr. DiAnne Davis. “CeraVe Hydrating Mineral Sunscreen SPF 30 Sheer Tint is the perfect daily step in a skincare routine because it has broad-spectrum sun protection we need every day, plus the barrier-restoring ingredients I tell my clients to look for and a tint that blends nicely with most skin tones.”

Allergan Continues Partnership with Girls Inc.

Allergan Aesthetics is starting its third consecutive year of partnership with Girls Inc. and debuting Empowering Confidence Workshops, a nationwide mentoring initiative.

Based on a 2020 Girls Inc. report, many girls have a hard time picturing themselves in science, technology, engineering and math (STEM). The virtual workshops will pair mentees with female physicians to offer career guidance and developmental skills to underserved, high school-aged girls as they look to higher education and career paths in STEM.

“Empowering the next generation of future leaders is a critical imperative to our future success. Allergan Aesthetics is proud to partner with Girls Inc. and provide these girls access to educational resources to help them navigate their future leadership potential and pursue opportunities in the world of STEM,” says Carrie Strom, Senior Vice President, AbbVie and President, Global Allergan Aesthetics, in a news release.

“Research shows that there is still critical work to be done to address the barriers that lead to the underrepresentation of young women pursuing STEM majors in college and STEM-related careers. We are grateful to Allergan Aesthetics for their continued support and involvement in our programming,” says Stephanie J. Hull, President and CEO of Girls Inc. “The dedication of such accomplished professionals to encourage young girls to become future leaders in STEM and beyond has a profound influence on their attitudes and drive for success.”

Kicking-off in September, the mentorship program will connect participating girls, ages 13-18, from Atlanta, Chicago, Houston, and New York City with female physicians for one-hour workshops to foster professional development, promote personal well-being and empower confidence.

The curriculum will center on critical developmental touchpoints such as career choice, leadership and mindfulness. Each interactive session will host activities including break-out discussions designed to encourage educational dialogue and help girls develop practical skills to identify their passions, refine career goals and establish impactful relationships with successful women in the healthcare, science and medical fields.

More Than Half of US States Now Sunucated

Rhode Island students will now be able to possess and utilize sunscreen at school and school-related activities, thanks to advocacy from the American Society for Dermatologic Surgery Association (ASDSA) and the Rhode Island Dermatology Society.

When Governor Daniel McKee signed into law SUNucate model legislation last month, Rhode Island became the twenty-sixth “SUNucated” state.

SUNucate laws allow students, parents, and school personnel to use an FDA-approved sunscreen without a physician’s note or prescription. The law also includes a provision for school districts to incorporate teaching sun-safe behaviors in schools. Since the legislation goes into effect immediately, students in Rhode Island will be able to protect themselves during summer and fall activities at school.

“I’m pleased that Rhode Island has passed this important public health legislation and students can now start practicing and learning about sun-safe behaviors at school,” says ASDSA President Mathew M. Avram, MD, JD, in a news release. “Sunscreen is one of the most effective and easiest ways to prevent damaging UV rays that can cause skin cancer.”

ASDSA worked with its coalition partners, including both the Rhode Island Dermatology Society and the Rhode Island Medical Society, to pass the legislation.

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