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AAD Summer Meeting Provides Practitioners With Practical Tips

AAD Summer Meeting Provides Practitioners With Practical Tips


More than 90 sessions were presented at this year’s American Academy of Dermatology (AAD) summer meeting at the Hyatt Regency in Chicago, IL. Presentations ranged from the latest advances in dermatology, including new therapies for atopic dermatitis, to the expanding use of dermal fillers on non-facial sites. In addition, attendees had the opportunity to attend numerous patient-encounter and hands-on sessions to improve their communication skills and techniques for treating a variety of skin conditions and diseases.

In her welcoming speech to the academy, Suzanne Olbricht, MD, FAAD, president of the AAD, addressed 3 key themes: disruption, relevance, and aspiration. She stated that during her time as president she has had several conversations with members about the turbulence of health care and the economy, which has affected the way dermatologists’ practice. “We do need to continue to work on issues that we all agree on as well as those on which we differ in opinion,” said Dr Olbricht, “The AAD is the gold standard for dermatology and, at the end of the day, our differences and our diversity can make us stronger.”


AAD Summer Meeting Highlights Latest Trends and Advances in Dermatology
Does the Mediterranean Diet Affect Psoriasis Severity?
The plenary session, which occurred on Friday July 27, included experts in dermatology who presented on various topics that impacted the field. Bruce Thiers, MD, described how major breakthroughs in the understanding of the pathology of various diseases has led to the “golden age” of dermatology. Following Dr Thiers’ presentation, Veronica Kinsler, MD, presented on the genetics of birthmarks, Eric Simpson, MD, FAAD, described advances in atopic dermatitis, and Chrysalyne Schmults, MD, FAAD, discussed the management of squamous cell carcinoma from in situ to metastasis. Guest speaker, Christine Sinsky, MD, concluded the plenary session with her speech “In Search of Joy in Medicine,” which addressed physician burnout.

In addition, highlights from this year’s meeting include:

  • Rajani Katta, MD, presented on “Diet in Dermatology: Translating Evidence Into Practice.” In her presentation, Dr Katta discussed the influence of diet on various skin diseases and steps dermatologists could take to reduce patients’ risk for worsening disease severity and comorbidities. Her presentation included a chart that outlined interventions for patients with skin conditions ranging from psoriasis to aging. For psoriasis, Dr Katta recommended patients aged 45 years and older, and those who are overweight or obese be screened for diabetes. Patients with acne should be educated on possibility of changing to a low glycemic diet, as well as on the role processed carbohydrates and sugars play in disease severity, said Dr Katta.1

  • Peter A. Lio, MD, FAAD, presented on “Pain-free Dermatology: Minimizing Discomfort in Procedures for Children and Adults” with Alisa McQueen, MD. In their presentation, Dr Lio and Dr McQueen discussed various strategies to reduce pain during dermatologic procedures for infants, children, and adults. Skin-to-skin contact and breast-feeding are effective analgesics for single, limited procedures for newborns, Dr Lio recommended. Dr McQueen outlined procedures for minimizing pain from needles. To reduce pain from cryotherapy, applying a topical anesthetic, such as 4% lidocaine cream, right after freezing can render the lesion painless within 30 second, said Dr Lio. In addition, Dr Lio recommended dermatologists use apps and games that are easy to learn, do not require long term investment, and have an auditory component to distract patients who undergo longer procedures.2

  • Iltefat H. Hamzavi, MD, FAAD, presented on “Laser-based Treatment of Hidradenitis Suppurativa.” In his presentation, Dr. Hamzavi discussed the use and efficacy of hair removal lasers, neodymium-doped yttrium aluminum garnet lasers, intense-pulsed light (IPL) lasers, photodynamic therapy for the treatment of Hurley stage I and II hidradenitis suppurativa. He outlined which patient populations benefited most from treatment, post-therapy options, and the strength of recommendation for each therapy. While larger randomized controlled trials are needed, according to Dr Hamzavi, smaller studies and cases have shown promises for laser therapies.3

Other sessions at this year’s meeting include:

  • Comprehensive Approach to Neuromodulators and Fillers in 2018 moderated by Neil S. Sadick, MD, FAAD

  • Treating Alopecia Areata, Vitiligo and Atopic Dermatitis: JAK Inhibitors, Something New for Dermatology presented by Brett Andrew King, MD, PhD, FAAD

  • Update on Nail Diseases moderated by Shari Lipner, MD, PhD, FAAD

  • An Approach to Graft-Versus-Host Disease for the Dermatologist moderated by Kathryn J. Martires, MD, FAAD, and Bernice Kwong, MD, FAAD.


The 2019 annual AAD meeting will be held at the Walter E. Washington Convention Center in Washington, DC from March 1 through 5. For more information about this year’s summer meeting and the next annual meeting, please visit



1. Katta R. Diet in dermatology: translating evidence into practice. Presented at: the American Academy of Dermatology Summer Meeting; Chicago, IL; July 26-29, 2018.

2. Lio PA, McQueen A. Pain-free Dermatology: Minimizing Discomfort in Procedures for Children and Adults. Presented at: the American Academy of Dermatology Summer Meeting; Chicago, IL; July 26-29, 2018.

3. Hamzavi, I. Laser based treatment of hidradenitis suppurativa. Presented at: the American Academy of Dermatology Summer Meeting; Chicago, IL; July 26-29, 2018.

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