The American Academy of Dermatology (AAD) Annual Meeting is the largest dermatology conference in the United States. It is a major event for dermatologists and other health care providers interested in skin health, offering an opportunity to network, and learn about the latest research, technologies and techniques. This year’s AAD Annual Meeting held in New Orleans attracted thousands of attendees and featured a wide range of topics and medical advances that represent the future of skin health and care. Here, a few of our top doctors in attendance share which advances or topics stood out to them most at this year’s meeting.
Weight Loss + Hair Loss
Hair loss was a big topic at AAD, and Phoenix, AZ dermatologist Dr. Karan Lal says one main focus was the role that nutrition plays on hair growth and loss, especially those who are experiencing weight loss. “This is especially important since many patients now are on various diets and medications. Protein continues to be a major contributor to hair growth. In this talk it was recommend premenopausal females patients consume at least 0.8 kg of protein per day. They also mentioned various supplements that can help hair grow. I had no idea that zinc is a weak anti-androgen and can be helpful in patients with androgenetic alopecia. It was also mentioned that vitamin and supplement overdose is common and can actually be harmful for the skin.”
One of the most exciting developments in dermatology in the past year has been a topical medication, a cream, that effectively repigments the skin, says Studio City, CA dermatologist Gene Rubinstein, MD. “Opzelura, the brand name of the medication whose active ingredient is tapinarof, was recently approved by the FDA to treat vitiligo,” he explains. “It works by reducing the activity of certain immune cells that attack the pigment-producing cells in the skin. This leads to an increase in the production of melanin, which is responsible for the color of our skin. In clinical trials, it has demonstrated significant improvement in the repigmentation of skin. It is a promising option for those struggling with vitiligo, and we have seen good results, especially in patients with new vitiligo and facial depigmentation.”
Advances in acne solutions include two new FDA-cleared laser devices called AviClear and Accure. “Aviclear had the advantage that you didn’t need to numb with injections beforehand, whereas previously with Accure you did,” says says Fort Lauderdale, FL dermatologist Dr. Matthew Elias. “Accure announced a new needle-free mode meaning no needle numbing is needed and topical numbing can be used. They also said they were launching to dermatologists only, which as you know is very important since acne is in the derm domain, not the med spa.”
Facial muscle-builders like EmFace and triLift are helping patients get a lifted look and reduce wrinkles using energy-based stimulation. “This is a novel technology where you’re rejuvenating somebody’s facial muscles as well as their skin,” explained New York dermatologist Elaine Kung, MD as she performed a demonstration of the triLift treatment. “Within seconds you see the facial muscles really contracting and that will help reposition somebody’s skin and their features when they feel like there’s a dissent from gravity. Aging is multifactorial, and we [have] less bone mass as we get older, our facial muscles lose tone and elongate, and our skin thins. So the triLift is able to at least get to two of the layers.”
For those who want a rejuvenating facial treatment without the needles, Hallandale Beach, FL dermatologist Dr. Bertha Baum says the PRX-T33 treatment is gaining in popularity in the U.S. It’s not a chemical peel but rather a biorevitaliser that does not require injections and gives patients a glowy complexion and healthy-looking result, similar to that of skin booster injections in Europe. “It contains 33 percent TCA, hydrogen peroxide and kojic acid. It’s an infusion into the skin and is massaged in once a week for four weeks. The results are great in terms of skin texture. It has a patented technology that uses a certain percentage of hydrogen peroxide that helps make the TCA go deep into the dermis.”
Skin Care with Live Microbes
“I was intrigued by a new product, BioJuve, that can help optimize a healthy skin microbiome to help reduce the iccurance of acne and rosacea,” says Southlake, TX and Monroe, LA dermatologist Janine Hopkins, MD. BioJuve incorporates a particular strain of C. acnes defendens, a subspecies of the most prolific bacterial species on skin which accounts on average for 89 percent of the bacteria in sebaceous follicles.
Mesotherapy for Hair Loss
Augusta, GA dermatologist Lauren Ploch, MD says another hair growth advance discussed at this year’s meeting was mesotherapy. “This consists of injecting compounded prescription medications into the scalp. The medications used are the same medications we currently prescribe topically and orally, like finasteride and minoxidil. This could provide the benefit of hair growth without the risk of systemic side effects from oral medications.”
Powerful Peptide Technology
Minneapolis, MN dermatologist Jenny Liu, MD says advances in peptides took center stage and will propel anti-aging skin care forward. “At AAD this year, I was fortunate enough to connect with Dr. Mike Bell, head of No7 Scientific Research, to learn more about the brand’s newest peptide innovation, a proprietary world first peptide blend designed to support skin’s natural self-repair. I was so impressed to learn that the innovation, developed in partnership with the University of Manchester, has been 15 years in the making and backed by extensive consumer testing. The brand’s commitment to delivering science-backed skin care was certainly evident during their debut at AAD.”
Dr. Lal adds that one lecture that really stood out was about the formation of glycated collagen, which is a contributor to skin and intrinsic aging. “I learned charred, fried foods, and BBQed foods have been shown to contribute to formation of glycated collagen. This is interesting because there are now some new skin-care products that target advanced glycation.”