David T. Harvey, MD Mohs Surgeon & Cosmetic Dermatologist

Live from MiamWhat's New In Dermatology? A Live Blog from the 71st Annual AAD Meetingi — This American Academy Of Dermatology (AAD) 71st Meeting is a very international gathering, with about 15,000 attendees from all over the world. It is chilly in Florida with temps in the 50’s. Nevertheless, the Miami Beach Convention Center is a great venue — very happy to be here. So what’s new this year?

For starters, I am hearing about a new vasoconstriction agent that will dramatically reduce redness and blushing of the skin. This medication is topically applied and effects are seen within 30 minutes. It will help our patients who are prone to rosacea and should be on the market by years end… Currently, we do not have an effective topical agent for skin redness so this new medication is an exciting and welcome idea for dermatologists like me.

At our Plenary session, I was fortunate to hear Dr. Hensin Tsao, from Harvard, discuss some of the recent advances in melanoma treatment. FYI, melanoma is responsible for more skin related deaths than any other skin cancer. Dr. Tsao likened the melanoma growth circuit to the inner workings of a car engine. He nicely elicited some of the signal pathways that are responsible for the development of this troubling malignancy. By looking at mechanisms to turn off these signals or create a favorable environment for the body to attack the cancer cells, we may be able to extend the life of those who suffer from melanoma… very exciting stuff.

Finally, AAD attendees were treated to a wonderful lecture that touted the benefits of Turkey Tail Mushrooms to help fight viral induced cancers and bacterial infections of the skin. Dr. Paul Stamets, a well known mycologist from Washington State, let us know about the plethora of medicinal benefits of mushrooms. These fastidious fungi share more in common with humans than plants. Through learning how fungi combat pathogens and communicate with their ecosystem, we may be able to unlock the mysteries of troubling diseases, have a new food source for space travel, and live healthier lives…

A good start to my week.