What’s New for Dermatology Drugs in 2017-2018

The specialty of Medical Dermatology has been in a renaissance for the last decade or so because of the development of many new injectable drugs for some common complex diseases such as Psoriasis, Psoriatic Arthritis, and Atopic Dermatitis, but also for some lesser known entities which we will discuss later.

Plaquenil Use in Autoimmune Diseases by Dermatologists and Rheumatologists

It may surprise you to learn that anti-malarial drugs are used by dermatologists and rheumatologists. But not to treat malaria! Chloroquine and hydroxychloroquine (commonly known by its old brand-name Plaquenil) were first used to treat malaria, but the malaria-causing organism soon became resistant to them. However, during the treatment of …

Granuloma Annulare and Necrobiosis Lipoidica

Granuloma annulare (GA) is a skin disease commonly encountered in our clinic, either as an initial self-motivated visit or on consultation from another physician. The rash consists of small smooth bumps that may be skin-colored, pink, reddish-purple, brownish-orange. The bumps may coalesce into rings with clearing in the center; that …

Skin Diseases and Granulocyte White Blood Cells: Hidradenitis Suppurativa, Sweet’s Syndrome, and Pyoderma Gangrenosum

Granulocytes are the predominant white blood cells released from the bone marrow.  They are responsible for ingesting and killing or inactivating most infectious organisms, a process called phagocytosis.  The granules referred to in the name are actually the lysosomes in the cell that contain caustic and digestive enzymes. These same …

Bullous Pemphigoid: Please Don’t Confuse It With Pemphigus Vulgaris

Bullous Pemphigoid (BP) is an uncommon autoimmune skin disease which leads to a very itchy hive-like rash and blisters.  The blisters can occur anywhere on the body, but the underarms, arms, groins, and lower legs seem more commonly affected in my experience, sometimes limited to these areas alone.  The mucous …

When Should a Primary Care Doc Refer to a Dermatologist?

The answer to the question depends on the extent of training in dermatology and the individual physician’s comfort level in dealing with skin diseases.  Currently, the definition of “primary care providers” includes family practitioners, internists, pediatricians, and gynecologists, but may be expanded to include nurse practitioners.  The education of U.S. medical …

Importance of the Second Opinion: Editorial with Illustrative Cases

When I worked as a Dermatologist at the Cleveland Clinic, we encountered many patients    who were either referred by an outside Dermatologist, or self-referred, for a second opinion on their diagnosis or treatment or both.  Most patients would bring copies of their records for us to review, and invariably, …