July 2019

'Virtual biopsy' device developed to detect skin tumors

Scientists at Rutgers University have developed a new "virtual biopsy" device capable of quickly determining a skin lesion's depth and potential malignancy without the use of a scalpel. Using sound vibrations and pulses of near-infrared light, the researchers tested the device to identify a lesion's borders and areas of greatest density and stiffness, which would potential allow practitioners to remove tumors with minimally invasive surgery. In a statement, Lead researcher Frederick Silver, a professor of pathology and laboratory at Rutgers Robert Wood Johnson Medical School explained: This procedure can be completed in 15 minutes with no discomfort to the patient, who feels no sensation from the light or the nearly inaudible sound. It's a significant improvement over surgical biopsies, which are invasive, expensive and time consuming." The VOCT device awaits further supporting research for FDA approval.

Topical demonstrates efficacy for molluscum contagiosum treatment

A new drug-device combination, VP-102, Verrica, containing a topical formulation of cantharidin has demonstrated promise in the treatment of molluscum contagiosum in the results of a phase three randomized double blind controlled trial. Molluscum contagiosum is a highly contagious pediatric infection caused by DNA poxvirus, molluscum contagiosum virus. In a statement, Lawrence Eichenfield, MD-- SBS faculty member and lead investigator for the VP-102 phase 3 molluscum program--shared: “The high lesion clearance rate demonstrated at day 84 for VP-102 compared to placebo in the phase 3 trials is clinically significant and could potentially position VP-102 to become the standard of care for treating molluscum.” Currently, there are no treatments for molluscum contagiousum approved by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration.

Steroid-free atopic dermatitis topical completes phase 4 trial

In the recent results of a phase 4 trial, Crisaborole ointment, 2% (Eucrisa, Pfizer) appear to be safe and effective in young children aged three months to less than two year who have mild-to-moderate atopic dermatitis. According to a press release, the CrisADe Care 1 trial analyzed the number of patients with treatment-emergence adverse events and severe adverse events alongside the number of patient with clinically significant changes from baselines in height, weight, vital signs, and clinical laboratory parameters. The ointment--currently available in the U.S., Canada, Australia, and Israel--is a steroid-free topic phosphodiesterase inhibitor.

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Infantile acne (0-12 months) is more common among females and may be a sign of a more serious condition. When treating, avoid using topical options.
To learn more, see an article published by MDEdge on prepubescent acne.

"The health care landscape is evolving, and it’s important for dermatology to evolve with it."

As the current president of the American Academy of Dermatology, Dr. George Hruza serves as an authoritative figure in advanced dermatology. After receiving his medical degree from New York University, an MBA from Washington University, Dr. Hruza went on to complete his dermatology residency at NYU Medical center, followed by a laser surgery fellowship at Harvard Medical School. A graduate of New York University Medical Centers, Harvard Medical School and a Mohs and Dermatologic Surgery Fellowship. Among his many roles, Dr. Hruza has contributed more than 150 publications to medical literature including four textbooks on laser surgery.
The burgeoning field of psychodermatology, which bridges the gap between psychiatry and dermatology, aims to treat skin conditions holistically. Approaching psycho-dermatologic disorders from a multifactorial perspective, the sub-specialty considers the effect of skin health on the mind and vice versa. Understanding the psychosocial context of skin conditions may help optimize treatment and management strategies in order to better patient outcomes. 
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