What's new in dermatology?


Just spent 3 fabulous days in Sydney at the Australasian College of Dermatologists (ACD) annual scientific meeting(ASM) at the International Convention Centre (ICC) How’s that for a mouthful! Dermatology has always been excellent with acronyms!

The science of skin. Even for the biggest self-confessed skin geek like me, it was overwhelming. The years of Dermatologist medical training does not end with the final exams. It continues … forever. Doctors are required to fulfil Professional Development quotas to keep their skills updated. I am constantly humbled by the reminder of the occurrence of rare skin disease, and how we as Dermatologists must be vigilant with keeping them at the forefront of their mind, For example, skin thickening on the upper back may signify diabetes (scleredema diabetocorum), or that a faint reticulate rash on the legs (levido racemosa) may signify an impending stroke.

Here’s just a few of the highlights:


I attended a marvellous mole talk. And I thrilled to learn that studies have shown thattotal body photography reduces biopsies and increases detection of thin (early) melanomas. Which is great news! Especially as we just had a fabulous new photography system set up at Skindepth to do exactly that…photograph entire bodies! In combination with the skilled use of a dermatoscope, I am set to detect melanoma, before it can even THINK about growing.

Safety of Dermatologic treatments in Pregnancy

Pregnancy category ratings are USELESS!

Most ‘dangerous’ drugs when taken by dad, have NO effect on the baby.

In fact I learnt loads about pregnancy…Or rather skin issues in the pre/post partum period. So I’ll save those for a whole other blog!!

Eczema in kids:

I was reassured that Prof Alex Anstey, photodermatosis expert from the UK (and one of my idols - see told you I was a skin geek) was advocating the use of phototherapy (narrow band Ultraviolet B) in kids with treatment resistance eczema/atopic dermatitis. Not only does it help the inflammation and the itch, but it also reduced the presence of bacteria like staph aureus and is safe! Good news for all my itchy eczema kiddies who can safely jump into the skindepth machine!

Boils in the groin – Hidradenitis Suppurativa

Often misdiagnosed as infected abscesses, Recurrent boils in the groin, armpit or buttock area may signify hidradenitis suppurativa a very debilitating chronic condition more common in smokers. It may also signify underlying inflammatory bowel disease. Historically we have not had good treatments for this condition, and it is one of those disease that really breaks my heart. 

The excellent news is that there are new indications for treatment on the horizon!

 Fungal Nail infections

Are COMMON! And some of the fungi are becoming resistant to the usual antifungals. Coming home armed with some new antifungal regimens (ew!)

Mind full of info, and enthusiasm heightened..now home to update the Skindepth Team. Always learning xxxxx

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