This year’s end issue of The Dermatologist is packed with information on medical and cosmetic dermatology. Our cover story addresses the critical problem of complications from cosmetic procedures (page 38). Two articles report on important advancements in atopic dermatitis, including treatments for cosmesis and targeting the microbiome (Aesthetics Corner on page 16; the National Eczema Association-endorsed feature on page 34). This issue also reviews the always changing progress in psoriasis (page 22) and rosacea (page 28) research made over the past year.
While so much science is being done, this time of year reminds me of the more human aspects of what we do and how so much of our perceptions are based on our own backgrounds. On a recent call, preeminent psoriatic arthritis specialist Philip Mease, MD, explained how different manifestations of psoriatic arthritis can flare up at different times, as though different sections of a symphony might break out. Sometimes it may be the horns, sometimes the strings, and in the case of psoriatic arthritis, sometimes the synovitis, sometimes the axial disease. In either case, music or psoriatic arthritis, the goal is to get all of the players and parts under control.
It’s a great analogy, and one that might be very useful with Dr Mease’s well-educated patient population in Seattle, WA. I was thinking the analogy might work better for a lot of people in other parts of the country if the analogy used the guitar vs the drums of a rock/folk/country band instead of the different symphony sections.
As we move into 2020, we might spend more time thinking of how people perceive things when their backgrounds, experiences, and situations are different from ours. When people misunderstand us, we might think more about how we could say or present things less ambiguously. When we listen to others, we might try listening a bit harder while keeping in mind how their perspectives may differ from ours and how that might create differences between what they mean and what we hear.