2018 AAD Annual Meeting

The field of dermatology is quite vast and encompasses diseases and conditions of the hair (both body and head), nails, scalp and skin. Nevertheless, at the annual meetings of all the major dermatological organizations around the world, there are always many interesting presentations related to head hair, which most concerns us.

The American Academy of Dermatology (AAD) was founded in 1938 and currently counts virtually all practicing dermatologists in the United States as members. I wrote a post on the 2016 AAD annual meeting, but did not do so in 2017 (when instead I covered the annual meeting of SID). Interestingly, SID was founded in 1937, just one year before AAD.

This year’s upcoming 2018 AAD annual meeting will be hosted in San Diego and run from February 16-20. See program overview here. A detailed pdf of all the presentations can be found here. Below are some of the interesting things that I noticed after a cursory glance through the program:

  • I was very surprised to see so many renowned hair loss researchers disclosing their affiliation with Aclaris Therapeutics (probably via research finding or grants). I am hoping that at least several of these researchers are testing JAK inhibitors on androgenetic alopecia patients for Aclaris and not just testing them on alopecia areata patients. According to this page, among the researchers disclosing an affiliation with Aclaris include: 1) Dr. Elise Olsen; 2) Dr. Jerry Shapiro; 3) Dr. Rodney Sinclair; 4) Dr. Antonella Tosti;  and 5) Dr. Ken Washenik. The latter three of these are affiliated with an unbelievable number of companies that are working on a hair loss cure or treatment. Dr. Washenik’s presentation is titled: “Emerging treatments of androgenetic alopecia” and I would not be surprised in the least if he made a presentation by the exact same title 20 years ago (alongside the also ancient Dr. George Cotsarelis).
  • A significant number of presentations entail hair loss, hair disorders, hair care and hair styling in African Americans and other people of color, especially women. One of the presentation abstracts even suggests that hair loss in African American women is under-reported, under researched and currently an epidemic.
  • Related to the above, a majority of the hair related presentations seem to be led by women. Earlier conference presentations were dominated by men, but this has been changing rapidly in recent years as I have mentioned several times on this blog in the past. I guess men have been taking too long to bring about a hair loss cure, and, in the words of Mr. Bannon: “The anti-patriarchy movement is going to undo ten thousand years of recorded history“.
  • The highly regarded researcher Dr. Rox Anderson (covered here) is presenting on low-level laser therapy (LLLT) and hair growth alongside Dr. Maria Hordinsky and Dr. Ronda Farah. I have neglected LLLT (photobiomodulation) during the past year, but am glad to see that Dr. Anderson is still a believer in the technology. Usually, companies or people who are selling laser devices are the biggest proponents of LLLT, leaving much room for skepticism.

Hair Transplant Gone Wrong

A hair transplant gone wrong can cause lifelong pain and misery. Recently, the ISHRS launched a site to report illicit hair transplant clinics. In places such as Turkey and India, make sure to select only the most reputable hair restoration surgeons.

I have discussed hair transplants on this blog many times in the past. Modern day hair restoration procedures usually provide very satisfying results when performed by reputable accredited hair transplant surgeons. Hair transplant costs will often be higher if you do to quality surgeons. Major skin related permanent side effects or severe health problems during and after a hair transplant procedure are becoming infrequent.

However, even the best surgeons out there will have some bad results due to unforeseen circumstances. This includes, in rare cases, the surgeon or assisting technician having a bad day. Nevertheless, this risk is much smaller in developed countries such as the US. In such countries, official accreditation and board certification is indicative of at least a minimum level of competency.

On the other hand, if you get a hair transplant abroad in order to save money, you will need do be very careful in selecting your surgeon. You want to make sure the surgeon is accredited by the non-profit ISHRS; is locally board certified; has decent online reviews; and allows you to meet a few of his or her past patients.

Hair Transplant Gone Wrong Nightmare

Hair Transplant Gone Wrong
Hair Transplant Gone Wrong and Botched.

Earlier today, this issue was brought forward front and center into my mind after Pakistan based actor Sajid Hasan posted a graphic video online about his botched hair transplant gone wrong. It seems like the person who did this procedure several weeks ago might have been a medical doctor or general surgeon, and not even an official hair transplant surgeon.

Besides having persistent health related side effects, Mr. Hasan’s damaged scalp currently looks like something that was worked upon by a butcher.