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The 11th annual Cosmetic Surgery Forum (CSF) took Nashville by storm. And the verdict? CSF was a hit in its new Music City home.

As always, debates were waged on the podium and in the audience, and experts named names when it comes to their favorite devices, cosmeceuticals, and off-label techniques. The meeting comprised more than 30 sessions,150 presentations, live demos, and social events including a lively cocktail party at the uber trendy Jason Aldean’s Kitchen + Rooftop Bar.

“This was such a great year for the conference!” says CSF Founder Joel Schlessinger, MD a dermatologist in private practice in Omaha, NE, President of, and Chief Cosmetic Surgery Editor for Practical Dermatology® magazine. “Nashville is a great place to hold a conference and offers a place where the attendees are treated wonderfully, in a hotel that is brand new and with food that is incomparable. “

He continues, “Truly, I have never had so many comments from attendees on the quality of the food and venue. The best thing is that having it in a more centralized location allowed for newer speakers and attendees. The entire vibe of Nashville, from the fun and innovative eating venues in the town to the excellent hotel staff, led to a stellar meeting. I can’t wait for 2020’s meeting!”


Faculty member Jeanine Downie, MD addresses the problem of bias in aesthetic medicine at CSF.
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The Hot List

CSF faculty shared their enthusiasm about new fillers in the pipeline, such as Juvéderm Volite for skin texture and hydration, new toxins, including Galderma’s liquid formulation of botulinum toxin, plus potential new uses for existing toxins, namely as a treatment for perioral herpes simplex virus type 1 (HSV-1) infection. Also on the CSF hot list were Endo’s Collagenase Clostridium Histolytic (CCH) for cellulite and Renuva, an off-the-shelf adipose alternative to liposuction.

Matthew J. Zirwas, MD, a dermatologist at Bexley Dermatology in Bexley, OH, gave a talk on the potential uses of CBD oil and provided attendees with a crash course in the 2019 dermatology literature. Among the highlights of the latter talk were that topical corticosteroids may increase diabetes risk and the existence of some concerns and pearls regarding the use of dupilumab for atopic dermatitis (AD).

“When patients stop taking dupilumab, AD comes back slowly unlike with other therapies where AD explodes when patients come off,” he said. There is some trade off, he notes. “Dupilumab can make psoriasis explode and we have seen some cases of inflammatory arthritis after dupilumab,” he told the crowd. “If patients are getting achy joints after dupilimab shots, they should let you know.”

Dr. Zirwas also weighed in on isotretinoin monitoring. As it stands, physicians perform laboratory monitoring monthly, but this may be excessive. “Healthy patients may not need baseline or two-month follow-up blood draws.”

Debates always take center stage at CSF, and this year was no exception. There were electric discussions about permanent fillers and sunscreen and coral reef safety.

Nashville’s own Michael Gold, MD contends that permanent fillers can be useful for acne scars in expert hands. “I have inherited disaster Bellafill patients because people were injecting it in places that were inappropriate,” he shared.

“If you put it in an acne scar that doesn’t have a lot of movement and inject it properly, it lasts a long time. If it’s done wrong, it’s a disaster.”

There has been much ado in the media about sunscreen chemicals and how they may affect coral reefs. But, “the most comprehensive study on the issue to date tells us that sunscreen levels in the water are not even close enough to begin damaging the coral reef,” said Lawrence Green, MD, a dermatologist in Rockville, MD. “Sunscreen can save human lives.”

Many of these topics will be covered in depth in Practical Dermatology® magazine in 2020. Stay tuned.

Save the Date: Cosmetic Surgery Forum, December 2-5, 2020 JW Marriott Nashville, Nashville, TN. To register, visit

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