Pioneering pearls

Front-line dermatologists were treated to a wide range of pearls at Saturday’s session “Pearls: Diagnostic and Therapeutic” (S012). Speakers shared innovative approaches to common diagnostic and therapeutic practices, such as new uses for old medications as well as safe and effective off-label recommendations. Below are some of the precious pearls that attendees walked away with.

Sacharitha Bowers, MD
“Beyond the prescription pad: Pearls from the aisle”
It is important for physicians to be able to use every tool in their toolbox to help treat and heal patients. A treatment option that any patient can obtain, without a prescription, may not only provide that patient with treatment they otherwise could not receive, but it may also improve the underlying condition in ways that prescription treatment cannot. In many cases, over-the-counter treatment options have minimal side effects and are often very well tolerated. We owe it to our patients to provide them with as many safe and effective options as we can, so that they can optimize their treatment regimen and overall well-being.

Aimilios Lallas, MD, MSc, PhD
“Dermoscopy pearls from Greece”
For years, dermoscopy has been proposed as a second-level diagnostic tool to assess clinically suspicious or equivocal skin lesions. Instead, the dermatoscope should be considered as an everyday clinical tool — an integral part of every clinical examination, and a piece of the puzzle of clinical diagnosis. Even when dermatoscopic findings are not clearly suggestive of a specific diagnosis, the information provided by sub-macroscopic morphology almost always improves the clinical assessment and narrows the clinical differential diagnosis. The role of the dermatoscope is very similar to that of the stethoscope in general medicine.

Rebecca Jean Larson, MD
“Procedural pearls”
As a busy dermatologic surgeon, I’m always looking for practical, time-saving tips that I can use to take better care of my patients and help my practice flow more efficiently. Examples include: suturing shortcuts that are time- and cost-saving but still safe and effective; targeted bandaging approaches for difficult locations; and biopsy tips and tricks to make the experience easier on you and your patients.

Stephen P. Stone, MD
“Pearls: Something old, something new”
The Learning Early About Peanut (LEAP) allergy study confirms that early introduction of peanuts significantly decreases the risk of developing the peanut allergy among high-risk children. This is important to dermatologists because we frequently see families with eczema or other allergic problems.


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