The two leading dermatology organizations in Europe and the United States have much to learn from each other, so they collaborate by sharing developments from their regions of the world at key meetings of the European Academy of Dermatology and Venereology (EADV) and the American Academy of Dermatology (AAD). The Aug. 1 EADV/AAD Joint Symposium at the AAD Summer Academy served as the main venue on the U.S. side.
“This has been an effort in recent years to bring in experts from both continents so that dermatology audiences will have the benefit of being educated by a different group of experts than they would normally be exposed to,” said symposium director Henry W. Lim, MD, C.S. Livingood Chair of the department of dermatology at Henry Ford Hospital, Detroit. “When the meeting occurs in the United States, we feature more European and fewer American speakers on the program. We reverse that process when we present in Europe. At this symposium, four out of six speakers were from Europe.”
During these joint symposia, topics are selected not only for general interest to the audience, but also for the management differences that may exist between how European experts would approach the clinical challenge compared to their U.S. counterparts, he said. Topics are common dermatology conditions seen in Europe and the United States, and the audience has the opportunity to hear how an expert from the other continent would approach a particular condition.
Great care is taken in the selecting topics and speakers. Course faculty are always leading experts in the world in terms of the topics they will address, and they also have a reputation for being good speakers. This year’s lineup of topics and speakers was no exception:
- Hereditary bullous skin conditions – Leena Bruckner-Tuderman, MD, professor and chair, department of dermatology, University Medical Center Freiberg, Freiberg, Germany
- Panniculitis – Bernard Jean Cribier, MD, PhD, professor and chairman, department of dermatology, the University of Strasbourg Faculty of Medicine, Strasbourg, France
- Alopecia in women – Elise Olsen, MD, professor of dermatology and oncology, Duke University Medical Center, Durham, N.C.
- Syphilis – Michel Janier, MD, head of dermatology, Saint Joseph Hospital, Paris
- Dermoscopy – Giuseppe Argenziano, MD, professor of dermatology and head of the Skin Cancer Research Unit, Santa Maria Nuova Hospital, Reggio Emilia, Italy
- Contact dermatitis – David Eric Cohen, MD, vice chair and professor of the department of dermatology, New York University School of Medicine, New York
Genetic defects that cause skin erosions served as the focus of one particularly hot presentation on hereditary bullous disease.
“Much research is taking place from the bench to the clinic to understand why patients are born with these conditions,” Dr. Lim said. “There is hope in the future that the genetic defects for these conditions can be corrected. Pediatric dermatologists are likely to see these conditions because they present very early in life.”
Panniculitis, which causes considerable inflammation of fat tissue resulting in redness and indented skin, is a rather uncommon condition that many dermatologists may be uncertain about concerning best approaches to management.
“It is not an easy condition, but it is certainly an important condition that we should be familiar with,” Dr. Lim said. “It’s essential to consider the appropriate evaluation and management of these patients.”
The EADV/AAD Joint Symposium also presented the latest updates on the various causes of alopecia and the different types of hair loss. Additionally, the session presented the type of work-up required in addressing alopecia effectively and the treatment options currently available.
Syphilis can present with dermatologic manifestations. “Because of that, we are very much involved in the care of syphilis,” Dr. Lim said. “It is not something that we see in our practices on a regular basis, but we need to be informed about it. This is a refresher and update as to what are the best treatments in 2013.”
Dermoscopy is an innovation emerging in the past decade that is increasingly being used in the United States, he said. Newly trained dermatologists are entering clinical practice adept at the use of the dermatoscope, but many of the older generation dermatologists may not be as well versed in its use. To narrow this knowledge gap, the EADV/AAD Joint Symposium offered a presentation on this topic by a leading expert from Europe.
While contact dermatitis is an incredibly common condition, what changes periodically are the allergens causing the eruption. The contact dermatitis presentation provided the latest updates about today’s more common contact allergens.
“This symposium provided a broad overview on areas of dermatology that practicing dermatologists would come into contact with on a daily basis, ranging from the relatively uncommon blistering skin diseases in children to more common skin conditions in adults such as contact dermatitis,” Dr. Lim said. “The reason we do this is to bring together experts from both sides of the Atlantic so that we can benefit from each other’s expertise and knowledge.”