What's New in Dermatology: Psoriasis, Eczema, Acne - from a Dermatologist;
2020 is an exciting time for Dermatologists like myself, because more effective therapies are surfacing for many common skin conditions, including Psoriasis, Eczema, and Acne. Let me share some key treatment advances with you, from my experience as a Board-certified Dermatologist for 28 years now, with Rheumatology and Dermatology (www.Rheumderm.com), in Cordova, TN.
First, let’s talk about psoriasis, a genetically often itchy or sore sensitive skin condition affecting up to 3% of the population, often on the elbows, knees, scalp, and neck, with childhood or young adulthood onset and association with arthritis (joint inflammation) in about 1/3 of patients. Psoriasis, now understood to be an autoimmune condition, is often managed with prescription topical (meaning “on top of the skin”) creams and ointments, like Clobetasol and Halobetasol, or intralesional or injectable steroids, sometimes supplemented with courses of systemic tablets, such as Otezla® (Apremilast) tablets, methotrexate, and Cyclosporine, or even light therapy.
In 2020, ongoing research in Dermatology has uncovered a true explosion in psoriasis treatments , from injectable medications, for widespread or disabling disease, including adalimumab (Humira®), etanercept (Enbrel®), certolizumab (Cimzia®), infliximab (Remicade®), ustekizumab (Stelara®), brodalumab (Siliq®), secukinumab (Cosentyx®), ixekizumab (Taltz®) and guselkumab (Tremfya), making disabling skin psoriasis less and less of a problem for our patients.
Fortunately, 2020 has also brought many new options for managing eczema (atopic dermatitis), sometimes also called ‘winter itch.” Eczema often starts in childhood or young adulthood, with dry scaly areas of the face, neck, arms, and legs, the good news being that Dermatologists now have a generally effective injectable medication – Dupixent® (dupilumab) – to supplement traditional prescription steroid creams and ointments, and steroid-free medications such as Tacrolimus, Pimecrolimus, and Atopiclair®.
Another advance in managing flares of eczema is possibility of checking for underlieing chemicals causing allergies or contact dermatitis. As a member of the American Contact Dermatitis Society, I offer skin allergy patch testing at Rheumatology and Dermatology (www.Rheumderm.com: 1-901-753-01680, particularly looking at well-known culprit chemicals, like certain preservatives, fragrances, dyes, mixing agents (emulsifiers), and metals like nickel and cobalt.
And then there’s acne, often an aggravating skin condition for teens and young adults. Acne is felt by many Dermatologists to be a type of inflammation in the skin due to clogging of the opens of the oil glands, i.e. clogged pores.
In 2020, we Dermatologists have different treatment strategies to help people with different types of acne, from simple blackheads and whiteheads (comedones) to true raised bumps or even pustules, to the severe cystic variety of acne, which is at risk of leaving scars. We have newer prescription forms of Vitamin A, including topical (meaning for use “on top of the skin”) tretinoin, adapalene, and tazarotiene, to a new topical Vitamin A medicine – called trifarotene – to a new oral antibiotic – called Seysara®.
Dermatologists also sometimes choose a 5 months’ course of oral isotretinoin (Accutane) – for people with severe acne or acne that keeps coming back (recurrent acne) – though this drug must not be used by people who may become pregnant during therapy – due to the risk of severe birth defects in the baby.
I have a special focus on my patients with complexion issues because my family of four Dermatologists has been compounding cleansers (AmberSoy™ Soap Gel) and Alpha-hydroxy Acid Creams (GlycoShea™ Facial&Neck Cream) for people in Tennessee for many years. So in 2016, I became President of Big River Silk™ Skincare Inc., manufacturer and distributor of these products for my patients with oily skin or combination skin (www.Bigriversilkskincare.com; 1-901-753-0168).
My own Dermatology practice is with Rheumatology and Dermatology Associates (www.Rheumderm.com; 1-901-753-0168), Cordova, TN, a suburb of Memphis, TN. Or you can find a Dermatologist near you by going to the American Academy of Dermatology web site, AAD.org, then plugging your zip code into the “Find a Dermatologist” tab. Don’t delay. Get your skin checked out today.
George Woodbury Jr. M.D.
Board-certified Dermatologist at Rheumatology and Dermatology Associates (www.Rheumderm.com)
President of Big River Silk Skincare Inc. (www.Bigriversilkskincare.com)
8143 Walnut Grove Road
Cordova TN 38018