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Discovering Dermatology Times: April 2024

Dermatology TimesDermatology Times, April 2024 (Vol. 45. No. 04)
Volume 45
Issue 04

Learn more about the in-depth topics covered in the April 2024 print issue of Dermatology Times.

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The April issue of Dermatology Times includes a collection of thought-provoking articles and topics ranging from benzene in benzoyl peroxide-containing acne products to distinguishing scabies from atopic dermatitis. Be sure to take a look at highlights from the issue below. Also, don’t miss a moment of Dermatology Times by signing up for our eNewsletters and subscribing to receive the free print issue and supplement each month.

Benzene Found in Benzoyl Peroxide-Containing Acne Products: What Comes Next?

In March, Valisure LLC, an independent testing laboratory, raised concerns about high levels of benzene in benzoyl peroxide (BPO) acne products, prompting them to file a petition with the FDA for recalls. They tested 66 BPO products and found elevated benzene levels, especially when products were subjected to higher temperatures, which is common in stability testing.

This finding has stirred debate, with some questioning Valisure's methods. However, Valisure's approach aligns with FDA regulations, which prefer testing at elevated temperatures to ensure product safety over its entire shelf life. Christopher Bunick, MD, PhD, presented updates on benzene in BPO at the American Academy of Dermatology Annual Meeting, highlighting concerns about the presence of benzene. The FDA has issued guidance on reformulating products containing benzene, indicating a need for further investigation and precautionary measures such as refrigeration to slow benzene decomposition until more data is available.

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A Novel Approach to Distinguishing Scabies From Atopic Dermatitis

Differentiating between scabies and atopic dermatitis (AD) can be complicated due to their overlapping clinical features, potentially leading to misdiagnosis and delayed treatment. Recent research published in Cureus aimed to provide clarity on distinguishing between these conditions.

Scabies, categorized as a neglected tropical skin condition by the World Health Organization, presents diagnostic difficulties despite its distinct pathogenesis. The study emphasizes the importance of accurate differentiation, highlighting key findings such as pruritus characteristics, lesion distribution, treatment response, and diagnostic modalities. By recognizing subtle clinical differences and employing appropriate diagnostic methods, clinicians can tailor treatment approaches effectively, ultimately improving patient outcomes and minimizing the burden of dermatologic conditions.

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Surgical Procedures to Consider for Hidradenitis Suppurativa

At the American Academy of Dermatology Annual Meeting, Maria Aleshin, MD, FAAD, discussed various surgical procedures for treating hidradenitis suppurativa (HS) that can be performed in a dermatologist's office. These procedures include laser hair removal, incision and drainage, and surgical deroofing, among others.

Aleshin presented patient cases to illustrate the application of these procedures, emphasizing their efficacy and appropriate use in managing HS symptoms. Laser hair removal was highlighted as particularly effective for early-stage HS, with studies showing significant improvement in affected areas. Incision and drainage were discussed as a method for managing painful abscesses, providing symptom relief for patients, although recurrence rates were noted. Aleshin also underscored the importance of properly anesthetizing the area and considering the use of a punch tool during incision to minimize pain and discomfort for patients.

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Tax-Loss Harvesting: An Important Tactic Every Dermatologist Should Consider

Tax-loss harvesting is a valuable strategy for dermatologists and other investors to optimize after-tax investment performance, according to David Mandell, JD, MBA, and Adam Braunscheidel, CFP. This tactic involves selling investments at a loss to offset gains elsewhere, thereby reducing taxable income. By reinvesting the proceeds in similar assets, the overall portfolio remains aligned with the investor's goals. Understanding tax rules, particularly the wash-sale rule, is crucial to avoid penalties.

Contrary to common misconceptions, tax-loss harvesting should be considered throughout the year, not just at year-end, and it applies in both up and down markets. A real-world case study illustrated the effectiveness of this strategy, where an investor realized substantial losses during the COVID-19 pandemic and strategically reinvested, resulting in significant tax benefits and portfolio growth.

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