January 24



Psoriasis treatments: Which ones are the most effective?


A recent study published in Cochrane Review compared the efficacy and safety of systemic agents, small molecules, and biologics for patients with moderate-to-severe psoriasis. Researchers conducted a meta-analysis of 109 randomized controlled trials and found that while all the treatments were more effective than placebo in reaching PASI 90, the anti-IL 17, anti-IL 12/23, anti-IL 23, and anti-TNF alpha biologic treatments were more effective than the small molecule and conventional systemic agents. Further, the study found that small molecule treatments were more effective in reaching a PASI 90 score than conventional systemic agents. However, the treatments that were most effective in terms of achieving PASI 90 had the highest numbers of reported side effects.

While biologics may be a boon for psoriasis patients, are they effective for patients with scalp psoriasis? Read more about scalp psoriasis and other conditions that can cause itchy scalp in Dermatology World.

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AAD names Dirk Elston, MD, next JAAD editor

Elston-95px.jpgThe Journal of the American Academy of Dermatology (JAAD) has announced that Dirk Elston, MD, will take the reins as editor-in-chief beginning with the July 2018 issue. The editor is appointed for an initial five-year term. Bruce Thiers, MD, has served in the position since 2008. 

Dr. Elston has served as the deputy editor of JAAD since 2008. During that period, he also served on the AAD Board of Directors from 2009 to 2015, as AAD president in 2013-2014, and as Dermatology World’s Cracking the Code columnist in 2011 and 2012. He is also the author of 400 peer-reviewed publications, 84 textbook chapters, and, with two others, Andrews’ Diseases of the Skin.

Read more from JAAD at www.jaad.org

SCC death reports may be inaccurate

The authors of a recent letter published in JAAD have found that death certificate reporting for cutaneous squamous cell carcinomas (cSCC) may be inaccurate. Researchers obtained death certificates from 23 patients identified with cSCC-specific mortality and found that 43 percent had death certificates that identified cSCC as cause of death ― 57 percent were misattributed to other causes. As a result of the findings, the authors stated “Population-based studies not relying on death certificate reporting should be used to assess cSCC mortality until death certificate reporting can be substantially improved or cSCC is included within cancer registries.”

Most patients with cSCC have good outcomes, but for those in a small subset, cSCC can be lethal. When is a cSCC the tip of the iceberg? Read more in Dermatology World.

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Does adherence vary by treatment?

According to a study published in the Journal of Investigative Dermatology, psoriasis patients on biologics may be more likely to adhere to their medication than patients on systemic agents. Researchers studied adherence to systemic and biologic treatments in 617 psoriasis patients, and found that 22.4% of patients using a self-administered therapy for the treatment of psoriasis were classified as non-adherent ― 12% of which was intentional non-adherence. Additionally, patients using an oral conventional systemic agent were more likely to be non-adherent compared to those using a biologic treatment (29.2% vs. 16.4%).

Read more about strategies to improve patient treatment adherence in Dermatology World. Also, check out the Academy’s new online Simulated Patient Encounters activities and hone your skills on how to deal with medication management, as well as difficult patients.

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Where are the tanning salons?

According to study findings published in Photodermatology, Photoimmunology & Photomedicine, more schools are located within one mile of a tanning salon than schools within one mile of a McDonald’s restaurant. The researchers analyzed the proximity of tanning salons to 145 schools in urban versus rural/suburban communities in Worcester County, Massachusetts. About 39% of schools were within one mile from a tanning salon. “Urban schools (53.41%) had a higher proportion within 1 mile of a tanning salon than rural/suburban schools (17.54%; P < .001). More schools (39.31%) were within 1 mile of a tanning salon than schools within 1 mile of a McDonald’s.” The authors of the study argued that research indicates that proximity to tanning salons may promote tanning bed use in minors and therefore schools could make an impact in implementing skin cancer-prevention efforts. 

Dermatology has been a leader in the fight for increased regulations on sunlamp products. Read more in Dermatology World

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