The American Academy of Dermatology has recently reached its goal of increasing research funding over the past decade from $30.5 million in 2019 to $33.8 million in 2020. This accomplishment has been achieved through a unique partnership between AAD members, staff, and industry leaders. Over the past few years, there has been a growing interest in developing better skincare products, as well as procedures that can cure serious skin problems. Recent breakthroughs in dermatology research may be the key to better skin, and some may even help to save lives.
A Deeper Look at the Damage Caused by Ultraviolet Radiation
Exposure to sunlight is beneficial for health and wellbeing, as not only do we get our Vitamin D from the sun, but it can also help to improve and boost mood. This is good news for people who live in cities that enjoy plenty of sunshine all year round, such as Atlanta, Los Angeles, and Denver. However, the heat can cause discomfort for those dealing with eczema and psoriasis. If you live in the South, attending a dermatologist office in Atlanta can be helpful to learn a proper hot-weather skincare routine. It would also be beneficial to minimize exposure to sunlight, since overexposure to UV rays can be detrimental to skin health.
Apart from skin cancer, UV rays can also cause wrinkles, age spots, and other skin damage. To better understand the effects of UV radiation on your skin, dermatologists are studying what happens at a cellular level. In lab studies, dermatologists have found that certain proteins protect cells from being damaged by UV radiation, and these proteins may help cells repair DNA damage caused by UV radiation. Armed with this knowledge, experts have started to develop new treatments that may give people with light-sensitive skin stronger protection against UV-related skin diseases.
Hope for Hidradenitis Suppurative Patients
A new clinical trial yielded a new treatment for the skin condition hidradenitis suppurativa (HS), offering promising results for patients dealing with this chronic autoimmune disease. The Phase 3, randomized, double-blind study looked at the efficacy and safety of guselkumab in treating HS, a condition characterized by painful, inflamed boils that appear under the arms or in the groin area. These boils are often recurring and can lead to large, open wounds when they rupture. This study is one of many efforts made by Janssen to advance treatment options for patients with different types of inflammatory diseases. The company announced top-line results from the Phase 3 VIVID-HS study on Jan. 23. The data indicated that patients treated with guselkumab had significantly greater reductions in abscess and inflammatory nodule counts at week 24 compared to placebo.
AI in Melanoma Diagnosis
Researchers have developed a tool using artificial intelligence to help doctors diagnose melanoma by analyzing images of moles on patients’ skin for malignancy risks. The technology, described in a study published in the journal Nature, can also accurately differentiate benign from malignant melanoma skin lesions with an estimated cost of about $15 per patient. The artificial intelligence tool has been designed to provide a less costly way to screen for melanoma, the deadliest form of skin cancer which affects nearly 200,000 people each year in the United States. “While our algorithm is very accurate, we still believe it needs human input. It could be used as an aid to help doctors make a diagnosis,” said study co-author Alexandre Carvalho from the University of Central Florida’s Center for Research in Computer Vision.
Dermatology is a young field of medicine that has many opportunities for research and innovation. These are exciting times in dermatology, especially with the explosion of cosmetic procedures over the last decade. The pharmaceutical industry has also started investing more into dermatological research, new drugs, and medical devices are being developed to treat skin disease and potentially save lives.