Pediatric dermatology is a tightly knit and relatively young community. This is all the more reason why the World Congress of Pediatric Dermatology, co-sponsored by the Society for Pediatric Dermatology and the American Academy of Pediatrics, is an important event for members.
The quadrennial congress’s 13th meeting was held in Chicago this July – the first time it had been based in the United Sates since 1976. More than 1,200 attended from 70 nations to learn and network with colleagues from across the globe.
Elaine Siegfried, M.D., professor of pediatrics and dermatology at Saint Louis University and Cardinal Glennon Children's Hospital in St. Louis, Missouri, presented and attended, and shared her thoughts with us. She noted an upswing in interest in atopic dermatitis, following on the recent approvals not only of biologic dupilumab, but of crisaborole for pediatric patients. Some presentations she found particularly noteworthy included:
- Carsten Flohr, M.D., King’s College London, presented epidemiological data on the impact of breastfeeding on atopic dermatitis. In Belarus, breastfeeding has only recently been encouraged by public health educators, providing an ideal location to study the impact of nursing – which they did indeed find to play a significant role in preventing atopic dermatitis.
- Helena Vidaurri de la Cruz, M.D, Mexican College for Pediatric Dermatology, presented on “The Role of Microbiome in Atopic Dermatitis,” discussing the microbial diversity that is associated with healthy skin, and the potential for prenatal probiotic supplementation as a preventative intervention.
- James Treat, M.D., Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia, presented in a symposium on “An Update on Primary Immunodeficiencies and Infectious Complications”, discussing “Opportunistic Infections in Immunosuppressed and Immunocompromised Children,” looking at the potential for children, such as those newly diagnosed with cancer, to suffer serious complications like mucormycosis infection as a result of prolonged tape occlusion on their skin.
- Ashfaq Marghoob, M.D., Memorial Sloan Kettering, offered “A Clinician’s View: Pediatric Spitz Nevus Conundrum,” outlining his work investigating these often controversial pigmented lesions using dermoscopy and providing recommendations for treating these neoplasms.
- Yasmine Khakoo, M.D., a neuro-oncologist also of Memorial Sloan Kettering, presented on “Neurological Abnormalities Associated with Congenital Melanocytic Nevi,” reviewing a series of cases that illustrated the risks and suggestions for treatment, and potential contraindications, for pediatric patients with giant congenital nevi.
- Scott Norton, M.D., MPH, provided one of the final sessions of the meeting, on “Eruptions to Counterfeit and Contraband Drugs,” outlining the international difficulties and adverse effects worldwide of adulterated, mislabeled or contaminated medications.
Dr. Siegfried herself chaired a symposium on drug reactions; presented a session on controversies in vitamin D measurement and supplementation; and co-authored a poster on the U.S. pediatric dermatology workforce, which demonstrated how that the sub-specialty is under-represented among their peers, and serves an often under-served population. (For details on that, see Growing pains in pediatric dermatology: Workforce shortage). Brea Prindaville, M.D., UMass Memorial Health Care, was the lead author on the workforce shortage poster.
At the conference, tribute was paid to two of leading pediatric dermatologist who recently passed away.
- Dr. Arnold Pieter Oranje, M.D., Ph.D., of Erasmus University in Rotterdam, the Netherlands was memorialized by Tor Shwayder, M.D. as a “giant in the field,” who co-authored one of the standard textbooks for pediatric dermatology.
- Ramón Ruiz-Maldonato, M.D., of Mexico City, was also honored, as “a master clinician, pediatric dermatologist extraordinaire, author, mentor, teacher and friend.” In addition to being an internationally recognized researcher, Dr. Ruiz-Maldonato was one of the founding members of the original International Symposium of Pediatric Dermatology in 1972.
In addition, the AAP Section on Dermatology Alvin Jacobs Award was presented, in recognition of lifetime achievement, to Michael Smith, M.D., Heritage Medical Associates, Nashville.
Anthony Mancini, MD; Albert Yan, M.D. and Andrea Zaenglein, M.D. were the program directors of this year’s 13th annual World Congress of Pediatric Dermatology.