American Academy of Dermatology, March 8 to 12

The annual meeting of the American Academy of Dermatology was held from March 8 to 12 in San Diego and attracted participants from around the world, including clinicians, academicians, allied health professionals, and others interested in dermatology. The conference highlighted recent advances in the diagnosis and management of dermatological conditions.

During one presentation, Rebecca Hartman, M.D., of Brigham and Women”s Hospital in Boston, noted that veterans and active-duty service members have an elevated risk for melanoma development and mortality.

According to Hartman, there are several notable exposures associated with military service itself, including exposures to ultraviolet radiation, ionizing radiation, and chemicals such as herbicides. In addition, members of the Air Force have an even greater risk for developing melanoma. This is attributable to long-term exposure to radiation due to flying at high altitudes.

“Dermatologists and health care providers caring for veterans should be aware that they face increased risk of melanoma development and advanced melanoma development and consider asking them about melanoma risk factors and skin cancer history and advising on sun protection,” Hartman said. “Although the U.S. Preventative Services Task Force does not currently have guidance regarding skin cancer screening due to insufficient evidence, because the veteran population is at particularly high risk, dermatologists and other health care providers may wish to consider performing full body skin examinations in this population given their risk factors for melanoma and advanced melanoma development.”

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During another presentation, John Zampella, M.D., of the New York University School of Medicine in New York City, talked about new treatments for lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, queer, or questioning (LGBTQ+) individuals, including medications for the prevention of HIV and other sexually transmitted infections (STIs), as well as treatments for acne and hair growth/removal.

Zampella discussed a new medication that prevents HIV transmission for up to two months. In addition, he noted that the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention has provided updated guidelines on the use of doxycycline, which can be used to prevent bacterial STIs, including syphilis, chlamydia, and gonorrhea. Doxycycline can also be taken after potential STI exposure. In addition, Zampella discussed how fungal infections, including ringworm, are spreading more commonly among LGBTQ+ individuals, a situation that calls for increased awareness among patients and physicians. Furthermore, acne is very common among some LGBTQ+ individuals due to the use of hormone replacement therapy, and hair removal or hair growth issues are commonly seen among transgender and gender-diverse patients.

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