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Dermatologists Relocate To The Sunniest Parts Of The U.S.

Dermatologists spend their days telling patients to avoid the sun and their careers striving to practice in it. They’re leaving the Midwest and mountain states to practice in the southern and western U.S.

To evaluate the migration patterns of dermatologists from residency to clinical practice, researchers reviewed data from the American Academy of Dermatology’s membership database. They looked at 7,067 dermatology residents who completed training before 2005 and were actively practicing in 2009. Results appeared at the September issue of the Archives of Dermatology.

Most graduates from Middle Atlantic and Pacific census divisions relocated Read more »

*This blog post was originally published at ACP Internist*

Skin Cancer Risk, Indoor Tanning, And Maternal Influence

teen tanning bedNot all maternal influence on daughter behavior is good. Take for example the influence of the unhealthy use of indoor tanning beds as presented in a recent Archives of Dermatology article (full reference below) which “investigated whether indoor tanning with one’s mother the first time would influence frequency of tanning later in life and whether it was associated with age of initiation.”

Joel Hillhouse, Ph.D., of East Tennessee State University-Johnson City and colleagues published a study the May 2010 issue of the Archives of Dermatology which looked at which health-based intervention worked best in reducing skin cancer risks. They found that “emphasizing the appearance-damaging effects of UV light, both indoor and outdoor, to young patients who are tanning is important no matter what their pathological tanning behavior status.”

For this study, Hillhouse and colleagues randomly selected a total of 800 female students who were then sent a screening questionnaire on their indoor tanning history. Those who reported ever indoor tanning (n = 252) were invited to participate in the study and offered an incentive ($5). A total of 227 (mean age, 21.33 years; age range, 18-30 years) agreed, signed informed consent documents, and completed assessments.

One of the questions asked who accompanied the participant the first time they indoor tanned (i.e. tanned alone, with friend, with mother, or other). Read more »

*This blog post was originally published at Suture for a Living*

Addicted To Indoor Tanning?

According to the Archives of Dermatology, there are people who are addicted to indoor tanning. That journal reported on a study of 421 university students in the northeastern United States. Using self-reported questionnaires, they screened for alcoholism and substance use as well as anxiety and depression. They also had a questionnaire about addiction to indoor tanning.

If you’re scratching your head (as I was), there’s a medically-accepted criteria known as CAGE (cut down, annoyed, guilty, eye-opener) that correlates with addiction, so they used this for “addiction” to indoor tanning also. They found that more of the kids who met the criteria for addiction to indoor tanning also had greater anxiety, greater use of alcohol, marijuana and other substances. Read more »

*This blog post was originally published at EverythingHealth*

All About Skin Cancer

The entire March issue of Archives of Dermatology appears to be dedicated to skin cancer — melanoma and non-melanoma. 

Basal cell carcinoma (BCC) represents 65% to 75% of all skin cancers. Most occur on sun-exposed parts of the face, ears, scalp, shoulders, and back. Intense short-term UVB exposure is important in the formation of BCC. Clinical features include pearly translucent flesh-colored papules or nodules with superficial telangiectasias (broken blood vessels). More active lesions may have rolled edges or ulcerated centers.

Squamous cell carcinoma (SCC) represent 30% to 65% of all cutaneous malignancies.  SCCs are most attributable to UVB exposure, long-term or accumulative exposure over years. Clinical features include crusted papules and plaques that may become indurated, nodular, or ulcerated. SCC may arise in chronic wounds, scars, and leg ulcers. Recurrent SCC development within 3 years is 18%, a 10-fold higher incidence compared with initial SCC diagnosis in the general population.

Malignant melanoma (MM) represents the most serious of all cutaneous malignancies. It is estimated that approximately 65% to 90% are caused by UV exposure, predominantly UVA. Roughly 10% of all melanoma cases are strictly hereditary. Read more »

*This blog post was originally published at Suture for a Living*

Latest Interviews

IDEA Labs: Medical Students Take The Lead In Healthcare Innovation

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I am proud to be a part of the American Resident Project an initiative that promotes the writing of medical students residents and new physicians as they explore ideas for transforming American health care delivery. I recently had the opportunity to interview three of the writing fellows about how to…

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Latest Book Reviews

Book Review: Is Empathy Learned By Faking It Till It’s Real?

I m often asked to do book reviews on my blog and I rarely agree to them. This is because it takes me a long time to read a book and then if I don t enjoy it I figure the author would rather me remain silent than publish my…

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The Spirit Of The Place: Samuel Shem’s New Book May Depress You

When I was in medical school I read Samuel Shem s House Of God as a right of passage. At the time I found it to be a cynical yet eerily accurate portrayal of the underbelly of academic medicine. I gained comfort from its gallows humor and it made me…

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Eat To Save Your Life: Another Half-True Diet Book

I am hesitant to review diet books because they are so often a tangled mess of fact and fiction. Teasing out their truth from falsehood is about as exhausting as delousing a long-haired elementary school student. However after being approached by the authors’ PR agency with the promise of a…

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