Designing the Future of Dermatology and Venereology - European Medical Journal

Designing the Future of Dermatology and Venereology

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EMJ Dermatol. ;10[1]:18-19. DOI/10.33590/emjdermatol/10176803.

Each article is made available under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution-Non Commercial 4.0 License.

Authors: Aslı Bilgic,1 *Dedee F. Murrell2,3

1. Department of Dermatology and Venereology, Akdeniz University, Faculty of Medicine, Antalya, Türkiye
2. Department of Dermatology, St George Hospital, Sydney, Australia
3. Faculty of Medicine, University of New South Wales, Sydney, Australia
*Correspondence to [email protected]

The European Academy of Dermatology and Venereology’s (EADV) 31st Congress took place between 7th and 10th September 2022. This hybrid congress offered both a long-awaited onsite experience and the opportunity to attend virtually from across the globe. Over 600 speakers gathered in the beautiful city of Milan, Italy, to present over 170 sessions. Presentations of key research offered a chance for physicians and researchers to innovate their daily practice and advance patient care, whilst collaborating with colleagues from all around the world.

One of the main focuses of this year’s congress was nail diseases. The scientific discussion started with a European Nail Society meeting on 7th September, and continued throughout the congress with multiple lectures on the topic. Michela Starace, Dermatologist at the University of Bologna, Italy, gave one of the most interesting talks, which centred on nutrition and nail diseases. This revealed that over-the-counter supplements are often used for nail fragility and nail disorders; however, there is a lot of interest and doubt on their actual benefit. Starace reviewed all the literature regarding vitamin and amino acid supplements (such as zinc, biotin, vitamin D, nicotinamide, and L-cysteine) that are specifically used for nails, and found that although some studies suggest a benefit, the safety and efficacy data regarding their use is limited. One of the main problems is the lack of standardised treatment schedules for their use in different nail disorders; therefore, one should be careful to suggest them as a therapeutic option for specific diseases. Additionally, there is limited knowledge about their side effects as they are not under specific regulations like medications are, so there is a great need for large-scale randomised control trials in this area.

Another important focal point of the congress was hair disorders. The increasing worldwide prevalence of frontal fibrosing alopecia was one of the main topics discussed in this area by Ramon Grimalt, Faculty of Medicine and Health Sciences, Universitat Internacional de Catalunya (UIC), Barcelona, Spain. This cicatricial alopecia, which can cause irreversible hair loss, especially on the fronto-temporal hair line in females, is claimed to be associated with emollients, sunscreens, or other daily care products. Although there is no concrete evidence to support stopping their use, Grimalt emphasised that it is important for clinicians and researchers to understand the relation between the disease and these products when treating patients.

Current treatment approaches and future prospects in androgenetic alopecia, the most common hair loss type, was another hot topic presented by Sergio Vañó Galván, Grupo Español de Tricología, Madrid, Spain, and Academia Española de Dermatología y Venereología (AEDV), Madrid, Spain. Vañó Galván was enthusiastic about emerging therapies in the field especially with increasing options for this common, yet unsolved, problem.

Luís Puig, Universitat Autònoma de Barcelona School of Medicine, Spain, discussed the most important aspect of treatment safety and COVID-19 infection in his lecture during the COVID-19 panel. Puig emphasised that there is higher risk for hospitalisation and severe COVID-19 in patients who are immunosuppressed and not vaccinated. Recent systematic reviews suggest that there is no evidence that patients who receive systemic therapies and biologics have a higher risk of infection and/or increased risk of hospitalisation and death related to COVID-19 compared with the general population. This is especially demonstrated in patients with psoriasis and rheumatologic diseases. However, it is important to consider that this may also be due to patients taking more protective measures during the pandemic compared with the public. A significant challenge was non-adherence to the therapy and compliance with the follow-up in the era of COVID-19. Thus, Puig suggested that physicians might choose therapies with longer half-lives, so if there are any problems with the treatment schedule, a sudden relapse can be avoided. The research is ongoing for patients to obtain better management of both the disease and their COVID-19 risk, especially in the high-risk populations.

Aside from these topics, attendees also enjoyed 10 exclusive plenary lectures with top-class speakers, hands-on workshops, patient and nurse dedicated events, sub-specialty sessions, and late-breaking abstract sessions. Those who were unable to participate onsite had access to the congress on livestream to ensure they did not miss out on this rich scientific experience.

The next EADV Symposium will be held in Seville, Spain, between 18th and 20th May 2023 and the next EADV Congress will take place in Berlin, Germany, between 11th and 15th October 2023. Join EADV to discover the latest updates in dermatology and venereology.

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