Skin detectives will be on the case at ACD ASM 2019, Melbourne


By Mardi Chapman

18 Apr 2019

Pull out your magnifying glass and deerstalker hat as the Australasian College of Dermatology’s 52nd Annual Scientific Meeting in Melbourne reveals the clues to best practice.

The meeting themed Practical Dermatology for the Curious Dermatologist encompasses all aspects of practice from itch to immunosuppression, cosmeceuticals to climate change, and genital to genetic dermatology.

The ACD ASM will be held from Saturday 18 May to Tuesday 21 May at the Melbourne Convention and Exhibition Centre.

There’ll be sessions on the challenging consultation, ethics and what’s new in the medical journals.

Co-convenor Associate Professor Rosemary Nixon told the limbic session chairs had been given a lot of autonomy to select interesting and expert speakers with practical knowledge to share.

“We’ve got a contact dermatitis session (Mon, 11am) and, as well, one of the invited speakers Dr John McFadden from the UK talking on the detective’s guide to contact dermatitis. He’ll be good value and people will learn a lot from him.” (Sat, 9.35am)

“Often we compare ourselves to Sherlock Holmes looking for clues to what is causing rashes. A classic case is the carpenter with a rash on the fingers of his left hand who thought he was allergic to the nails he was holding. But we found out with our patch testing he was allergic to garlic. It really is clinical medicine at its best.”

Other program highlights include internationally renowned guest speaker Professor Jean Bolognia from Yale Medicine speaking on lupus (Tues, 12.15pm) and lessons from practising medical dermatology (Sat, 8.45am).

Professor Bolognia has previously been to Australia on a number of occasions, is an honorary member of the ACD, and ‘always gives fantastic lectures’.

Associate Professor Nixon said some of the changes in dermatology have been the increasing number of clinicians practicing cosmetic dermatology – an area ‘that blurs medicine and beauty’.

“Some people have a lot of lasers, some just do a little bit of Botox, some do fillers but it’s something that for a medical dermatologist like myself fills us with dread because it just means less dermatologists to see the medical dermatology patients.”

The program includes a session on current thinking and controversies in cosmetic dermatology (Sun, 1.30pm).

She added that dermatologists have also become more interested in surgery in recent years perhaps as a natural progression given the amount of skin cancer they see.

“Again, there is a bit of a spectrum in how interested people are in surgery,” she said.

The program includes a session on advanced surgery and surgery for the general dermatologist (Mon, 8.45am).

Lidia Thorpe, the first Indigenous woman elected to the Victorian parliament, MP for Northcote in 2017-18, and a member of the Greens party will be the guest speaker at the graduation ceremony for young dermatologists who passed their exams last year.

Associate Professor Nixon said there were now three Indigenous dermatology trainees with one on track to sit her exams this year and become the first Indigenous dermatologist.

The ACD ASM will be held from Saturday 18 May to Tuesday 21 May at the Melbourne Convention and Exhibition Centre.

Pre-meetings include the Australasian Society for Dermatological Research (Thurs & Fri), the Australasian Society of Cosmetic Dermatology (Fri, 1 pm) and a session on psoriatic arthritis (Fri, 4pm).

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