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Matt Leavitt, DO, FAOCD, Talks Advances in Treating Hair Loss at Winter Clinical Miami


“We're going to talk about medical hair loss in terms of diagnosis and treatment and really try to make it very easy,” Leavitt says.

Winter Clinical Miami, held February 17-20, 2023, in Miami, Florida, features a hair symposium chaired by Matt Leavitt, DO, FAOCD, executive chairman and founder of Advanced Dermatology and Cosmetic Surgery in Orlando, Florida. The session will present practice pearls not only for dermatologists, but for advanced practice providers like physician assistants and nurse practitioners, as well.

Leavitt, a board-certified dermatologist and hair restoration/hair loss specialist, also founded Medical Hair Restoration, a national company for surgical hair transplantation which he grew into the second largest hair restoration practice in the country. In an exclusive interview with Dermatology Times®, he says the hair symposium session at the inaugural Winter Clinical Miami meeting will “answer a ton of questions.”

This transcript has been edited for clarity and length.

Dermatology Times: What are you most looking forward to at the inaugural Winter Clinical Miami meeting?

Leavitt: Well, I think you said part of it. It's an inaugural meeting and it's a new chapter in the Fall/Winter Clinical symposiums that I think have been wildly successful. I think this will be a nice subset of what we've seen at other Fall or Winter Clinical [meetings], but as a slightly smaller meeting. I think that, obviously, the interaction with the participants and faculty will be even greater. It's one of the highlights of the meeting in general, whether it's Fall or Winter Clinical in Hawaii. As the meetings get slightly smaller, [you have] that advantage of people being able to walk up to you and ask you questions [and it] is always invaluable. I think that will exist here.

Dermatology Times: You will be chairing a hair symposium session at Winter Clinical Miami. Why should your colleagues attend this session?

Leavitt: I'm very excited about the hair symposium; I've been consistently speaking on this at the Winter and Fall Clinical meetings, in addition to other meetings. I just think right now hair loss is something that more people are really gravitating to. In terms of the dermatologist and physician assistants [Pas] and nurse practitioners [NPs] that practice within our specialty, they have so many questions, even things that are somewhat basic to somebody who sees hair loss patients every day that are in the clinic. [But for] those who have not had that exposure to some of the new protocols and what's working best, I think are really, really enjoying the fact that they are getting those pearls that otherwise, unless they're really reviewing literature and going to a lot of meetings, they're not getting.

Dermatology Times: Can you give us a preview of your talks? What are the most important takeaways?

Leavitt: There are going to be several highlights within that symposium. We're going to talk about medical hair loss in terms of diagnosis and treatment and really try to make it very easy. So many people end up referring their patients to folks like myself or people who practice all the time but, really, it's within their expertise, as we share information with them, that they could treat these people…unless they were running into some obstacles. My son, Dr. Adam Leavitt, is going to be giving that talk and it's really going to be all the different hair loss and most commonly diagnosed conditions, and what are the state-of-the-art ways of treating those, so I think that will be one of the highlights.

One of my talks will be on androgenetic alopecia or female and male pattern hair loss, and I'm going to be talking again about just what are the easiest ways to diagnose, if they're a little confused on that versus another condition such as telogen effluvium. But, in particular, what are the treatments that are working the best? Which ones are most [well] tolerated? When will the average patient start to see the benefit? And what is the ceiling for those benefits? Do they need to add other treatments?

And then we have some exciting things. Dr. Glynis Ablon is going to be giving a talk on nutraceuticals, which is a hot area in hair loss [and she will present some] really objective information to support the use of nutraceuticals and why would they potentially work, and I think she does a fabulous job on that.

Dr. Gary Goldenberg is going to talk about PRP [platelet-rich plasma], and PRP continues to be a fairly hot topic. He's going to give some pearls on ways to make it less painful for patients, which is one of the big obstacles. It has typically been a procedure that's not hard to do for the treating dermatologist or PA or NP but, for the patient a lot of times, they didn't want to come back [so] he's going to show people how he navigates that.

Then I'm going to get into a little bit more detail on some of the other treatments and other things. Exosomes continue to get a lot of discussion, not only inside of dermatology, but regenerative medicine, and other specialties, orthopedics, cardiology, etc, as they may be a way to up- and down-regulate pathways that can turn on hair cells without having so many of the risks that you might have with stem cells, and with potentially—ultimately better—results than what you get with PRP. We still need a lot more studies done in this area. I'll basically highlight what is objective and what is aspirational, for lack of a better way to put it.

Then we'll talk about some of the other procedures that are really helpful in hair. I'm going to show some videos in hair transplantation, which really will show people where the state-of-the-art is and why it's an easier procedure for the patient, why results are much more consistent, and really be able to answer a lot of questions. Then we'll do a Q&A with everybody. Those are some of the highlights.

One of the things that will happen that you asked a minute ago…what's coming down the pike [for] something that's potentially FDA-approved. There are things that right now are [in the works] so again, we'll talk a little bit about some of those. I won't ruin all of that, but that will be discussed also.

[Attendees will hear] firsthand on where a lot of data is, what we're trying to accomplish, and the same thing with procedures. We'll talk about micro needling in the scalp, and use of oral minoxidil, use of dutasteride, those are some really hot, hot subjects. Minoxidil has been around forever but, more and more, we're starting to use it orally than topically and compliance, of course, is the name of the game. It has always had benefit but compliance is so easy when it's administered obviously orally versus having to massage it into the scalp. Dutasteride has been around a long time but always taken a backseat to finasteride because there was more data and studies done with finasteride for hair loss than there was for dutasteride, but dutasteride is being used more and more for medical hair loss and, obviously, male and female pattern hair loss in appropriate patients. We'll give kind of the guidelines on where you can use it, where you shouldn't be using it, how to use it, [and] answering a ton of questions.

Dermatology Times: Is there anything else you would like to add?

Leavitt: One of the other great benefits of this meeting is it's in Miami and Miami in the month of February is probably a lot nicer place to be than where most people will be traveling from.

Follow along with all of Dermatology Times’ Winter Clinical Miami coverage here.

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