From the editor

From the Editor

Abby Van Voorhees

Dr. Van Voorhees is the physician editor of Dermatology World

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Dear Readers,

I usually find January a poky month. I’m not sure if it is the lack of sunlight, or more exactly the increased amount of darkness, or whether it is the east coast’s cold and snowy weather. But this year everything seems to be flying along at a fairly rapid pace; maybe the early arrival of the AAD meeting is contributing too. Hopefully by the time that you’ve received this we will all have had a chance to say hello to each other in person, enjoy the milder climate of New Orleans, and be stimulated by the many offerings of the AAD meeting.

Despite that there is much to share with you in this month’s Dermatology World. Let me touch on a few of the highlights that I think you might want to pay particular attention to.

No matter where you practice or your type of practice the economic gloom has probably impacted you. One of this month’s must reads is the article entitled “Weathering the Downturn.” I think that you’ll be able to relate to its many points. I found that there were some useful suggestions about streamlining costs as well as strategies for positioning one’s practice. Mr. Bernanke might be correct that we are slowly coming out of these economic doldrums, but some of the lessons that we learn during these leaner times will certainly serve our practices well going forward.

Another article that you’ll not want to skip is “Picking up the tab for reform.” We are all anxious to know where health reform is going. It is reassuring to know that we have eyes and ears in Washington including some of our fellow dermatologists as well as our Washington AAD staff. They are paying very close attention to what the CBO is saying (if you don’t know that this is an abbreviation for the Congressional Budget Office then you really can’t afford to skip this article!). With the Democrats leaning one way and Republicans the other, CBO may become more of a household name to us all, patients and physicians alike.

My third recommendation is to read about the role of moisturization in preventing atopic dermatitis. We all know that moisturization is critical to taking care of our patients with atopic dermatitis, but no specific prevention strategies have been universally accepted. And while I’m not against hydrolyzed formulas, it honestly would have been hard for me to imagine taking this route when my children were little. Correcting the barrier function by moisturization is near and dear to my heart, and definitely something I could champion — especially if this interesting pilot study is confirmed by larger, more extensive studies. If health care reform makes our offices too crowded, this may be one way for us to lessen the load and reduce health care expenditures.

Truthfully, it was a challenge to know which article to tell you to read first since I think that you’ll enjoy all of this month’s pieces. Ranging from vitamins and their emerging role in photoprotection and reversing the damage from photoaging to issues relating to office efficiency…. I may be biased, but I think that there is much you’ll want to be sure to read throughout. Thank goodness for my train rides to work….they are the perfect length to read DW from cover to cover. Hope that you find some quiet time too at some point during the month, so that you can have a chance to read it all as well. 

Hope that you are liking our new look as well as the expanded content of the updated Dermatology World. Remember that we welcome your comments and suggestions. Best to reach me at

Abby S. VanVoorhees, MD