Highlights from the Fall Clinical Dermatology Conference

The 37th annual Fall Clinical Dermatology Conference took place at the Wynn Hotel in Las Vegas, NV, from October 18 to 21, 2018. The 4-day accredited program covered recent developments in the diagnosis and treatment of a range of dermatologic conditions, including melanoma and nonmelanoma skin cancer, psoriasis, atopic dermatitis (AD), acne, actinic keratosis, and rosacea, among others.

The meeting included a mix of lectures, panels, live patient workshops, and question-and-answer sessions, all geared toward providing practical information and research for anyone in the dermatologic field.

Presentations ranged from the latest advances in dermatology, including new therapies for AD, to the expanding use of dermal fillers on nonfacial 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.

Some highlights included:

Melanoma Management1

Dr Whitney High, MD, JD, MEng, an associate professor of dermatology and director of the dermatopathology laboratory at the University of Colorado Anschutz Medical Campus, and Darrell Rigel, MD, MS, a board-certified dermatologist in New York City, presented a review of the technologies, including electrical impedance spectroscopy (EIS), and genetic tests for diagnosis and prognosis. EIS can be used noninvasively to detect malignant skin lesions, and studies show it can lower the number of missed melanomas and benign biopsies in clinical practice. A number of genetic tests with clinically validated high sensitivity and specificity show promise for improving detection as well. One even stratifies patients into low or high risk for metastasis. 

Advances in Dermatologic Virology2

Dermatology’s key role in infectious diseases was the focus of a lecture by Stephen Tyring, MD, PhD, FAAD, a board-certified dermatologist in Houston, TX, and a fellow of the American Academy of Dermatology, Infectious Disease Society of America, and the American Federation for Clinical Research. Dr Tyring discussed emerging arboviruses in the western hemisphere, including West Nile, chikungunya, Ebola, Zika, and dengue. Such infections may present with rashes, papules, nasal hyperpigmentation, purpuric macules, and ulcers. Dr Tyring also reviewed tick-borne illnesses and viruses, which are on the rise. 

TNF Blockers for Treating Psoriasis3

Richard Langley, MD, FRCPC, director of research at the dermatology department at Dalhousie University in Halifax, Nova Scotia, Canada, discussed why tumor necrosis factor biologics can still be a great choice for treatment. They have proven to be highly efficacious, both at induction and with long-term therapy, as well as safe. Also, they have proven efficacy in treating psoriatic arthritis.

Skin Microbiome4

Joshua Zeichner, MD, director of cosmetic and clinical research in dermatology at the Mount Sinai Hospital in New York City, and Leon Kircik, MD, an associate clinical professor of dermatology at the Icahn School of Medicine at Mount Sinai Hospital, provided an overview of the role of the microbiome in skincare and how products that contain prebiotics and probiotics can be beneficial. Dr Zeichner discussed colloidal oatmeal, which contains vitamins B and E, lipids, polysaccharides, and flavonoids. Recent data suggests its use as a prebiotic for the skin, promoting the growth of skin commensal bacteria and increased lactic acid. Dr Kircik focused on the healthy bacteria that populate the skin, which is different for each person. Multiple factors contribute to the variability in skin microbiota, including genotype, physiology, and environment, and the specific makeup can influence a variety of diseases, including AD, as well as treatments like steroid creams. Patients with AD have been shown to have reduced bacterial diversity of the skin, and an overexpression of certain bacteria, including Staphylococcus. Studies have demonstrated that this reduced bacterial diversity may precede AD flares. Certain products may help rebalance the microbiome using anti-inflammatory and antioxidant ingredients.

The next meeting will be the Winter Clinical Dermatology Conference, which will take place from January 18 to 23, 2019 in Koloa, Hawaii. 

For more information, please visit https://fallclinical.health/conferences/winter-clinical-2019


1. High WA, Rigel DS. Melanoma clinical management: Integrating new technologies. Presented at: 2018 Fall Clinical Dermatology Conference; October 18-21, 2018; Las Vegas, NV.

2. Tyring SK. New developments in cutaneous virology. Presented at: 2018 Fall Clinical Dermatology Conference; October 18-21, 2018; Las Vegas, NV. 

3. Langley RGB. Why use TNF blockers for psoriasis? Presented at: 2018 Fall Clinical Dermatology Conference; October 18-21, 2018; Las Vegas, NV. 

4. Kircik LH, Zeichner J. Microbiome and the skin. Presented at: 2018 Fall Clinical Dermatology Conference; October 18-21, 2018; Las Vegas, NV.