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Sneak Peek of the 2023 Society for Pediatric Dermatology Meeting

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Course directors share which pearls, sessions, and insights they are looking forward to this weekend in Asheville, North Carolina.

The 2023 Society for Pediatric Dermatology Meeting in Asheville, North Carolina will share innovative treatment strategies for a practice’s youngest patients from July 13-16, 2023. This year’s course directors are thrilled with the selected speakers, content, and second highest record attendance during the 48th annual event.

Course directors include Craig Burkhart, MD, Burkhart Pediatric & Adolescent Dermatology; Beth Nieman, MD, University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill; Zakiya Pressley Rice, MD, Dermatology Associates of Georgia/Emory Dermatology; and Amy Theos, MD, University of Utah. Nieman and Burkhart shared highlights of the collaboration among directors to create a successful meeting with Dermatology Times® in a Q&A.

Dermatology Times: What can attendees look forward to at this year’s Society of Pediatric Dermatology Meeting in Asheville?

Burkhart: We have a busy meeting with a broad range of pediatric dermatology topics ranging from a talk on how housing affects pediatric skin health with George Hightower, MD, PhD, from University of California San Diego and Rady Children’s—to basic research and new therapies in epidermolysis bullosa (EB)—to career advice from leading pediatric dermatologists, several procedural pediatric dermatology talks, and a panel on social media with Muneeb Shah, DO, and viral Tik Tok star @DermDoctor. We also have tons of interesting case reports presented from pediatric dermatology programs across the country.

Nieman: We are looking forward to reuniting with many of our colleagues, friends and mentors in person with this summer's meeting having the second highest registration rate in SPD history! We are excited to take our members on a "Tour of the Carolinas" with Peds Derm Quiz led by Rabina Walsh, MD, Duke University and Lara Wine Lee, MD, PhD, Medical University of South Carolina, each morning and have them explore the historic and artsy town of Asheville and the Blue Ridge Mountains each evening to showcase the patients and the beauty and wonder of our region. 

We have members attending from near and far, including our keynote Hurwitz Lecturer, Jemima Mellerio, MD, St. John’s Institute of Dermatology, St. Thomas’ Hospital, joining us from London to share exciting advances in the treatment of EB and insights from her Genodermatosis Clinic. Our Founders Lecturer, Beth Drolet, MD, joining us from Wisconsin to discuss how to cultivate a meaningful career. And Jane Bellet, MD, nail expert from our state, leading two sessions on nails. We also devoted time to dynamic panels with leaders from our fields leading discussions on challenging atopic dermatitis cases, exploring fact vs fad on social media, young member mentorship, and conversations that count with the ABD and SPD. We have wonderful non-dermatology speakers discussing how more effectively order imaging for our patients and the "See Eye to Eye" with our ophthalmology colleague Sara Grace, MD, Duke University.

Dermatology Times: What are current challenges in pediatric dermatology? What solutions and opportunities will be discussed at the meeting?

Burkhart: As it seems to be the case in all of dermatology, JAK inhibitors are changing the way we treat our most common skin problems in pediatric dermatology. We will learn about the application of the new JAK inhibitors in alopecia areata with Leslie Castelo-Soccio, MD, PhD, National Institute of Arthritis and Musculoskeletal and Skin Diseases; and vitiligo with Nanette Silverberg, MD, Mount Sinai. Pediatric dermatology practice is becoming more and more procedural and we have included a workshop on suturing lead by Cyndi Yag-Howard, MD, vice president elect of the American Academy of Dermatology Association.

Nieman: We will highlight continued work in advocacy for our patients, including a lecture on how to help our patients face the world with confidence with Alanna Bree, MD, Sagis Diagnostics & Made a Masterpiece; lessons learned by a physician-parent with Monique Kumar, MD, Florida Center for Pediatric Dermatology and University of Central Florida College of Medicine; and a Patient Advocacy Group Spotlight.

The workforce shortage is a continued challenge for pediatric dermatology and I am looking forward to the announcement of the new pediatric dermatology section within the Association of Professors of Dermatology, applauding as Sheila Friedlander, MD, receives the AAP Section on Dermatology Alvin Jacobs Award and learning from Vita Petrova, MD, Ohmatdyt National Children’s Specialized Hospital, about her work in Ukraine. We are excited to have a breakout session "SPD and ABD: Conversations that Count" where we will learn updates from leaders in our field and how to get involved on future work that needs to be done. Members will have an opportunity to learn about different committees and organizations and the many different ways they can support the field of pediatric dermatology.

Dermatology Times: From your prospective, what exciting research is on the horizon in pediatric dermatology? Are there any areas of opportunity for additional research?

Burkhart: It is exciting to see the interplay of the effects of genes and environment on pediatric skin disease. We have growing evidence for the effects of where you live (such as housing) on diseases like atopic dermatitis and hidradenitis suppurativa. At the same time, advances in molecular biology and genetics are giving us new treatments for these challenging diseases. Personalized medicine in the future will likely include some combination of molecular markers, family, and environment.

Nieman: This is such an exciting time for pediatric dermatologists! Our toolbox has significantly expanded in the past 5 years and I am excited to see where it is headed. This is largely due to the hard work of our colleagues who are advocating for the inclusion of pediatric patients in clinical trials to allow access to important medications. Additionally, our understanding of the genetics behind many skin conditions with the advancement of research regarding somatic mosaic conditions has grown tremendously and the options for targeted therapy are enormous. I am excited to hear Research Updates in Pediatric Dermatology, the PeDRA Year in Review, and learn how to approach Qualitative Research in Pediatric Dermatology.

Dermatology Times: Is there a particular session you are especially looking forward to?

Burkhart: I always look forward to the case presentations [Sam Weinberg’s Cases of the Year]. There are always amazing cases with insightful conversations. I always learn something interesting and new from the cases.

Nieman: Brandi Kenner-Bell, MD, Ann and Robert H. Lurie Children’s Hospital of Chicago, is back for a standing ovation in presenting "Pediatric Dermatology: Year in Review"—you won't want to miss it!

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