Latest Skin News January 2015

Inflammatory discovery sheds new light on skin disease

Inflammatory skin diseases such as psoriasis may result from abnormal activation of cell death pathways previously believed to suppress inflammation, a surprise finding that could help to develop new ways of treating these diseases.

The discovery was made by James Rickard, Associate Professor John Silke and colleagues from the Walter and Eliza Hall Institute in Melbourne Australia.

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Teen boy dies from extremely rare skin disease

Wesley Chapel, Florida -- A 16-year-old boy from Wesley Chapel died on New Years Eve from an extremely rare skin disease.

It's called Toxic Epidermal Necrolysis, TENS. It blisters the skin and causes it to separate its layers. Patients must be treated like a burn patient.

Sean Bartell's parents, Paul and Jamie, say they don't know how their son could have contracted the disease. Their doctors told them it is a reaction usually to antibiotics, however, Sean never took any antibiotics.

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Stem cells show potential for treating rare skin disease

A pluripotent stem cell

A pluripotent stem cell derived from a human skin cell Shinya Yamanaka/Center for iPS Cell Research and Application

Researchers have taken several steps toward using stem cells to treat a rare genetic disease that leaves people with skin so fragile it blisters at the slightest touch. A trio of lab and animal studies reported today could help pave the way for a clinical trial for the disorder, called epidermolysis bullosa (EB).
Although EB is quite rare, occurring in one in 20,000 births, about 500,000 people around the world suffer from some form of the disease. It is caused by defects in any of several genes that code for proteins, such as collagen, that link the top and bottom layers of skin. The gene defect creates fragile skin that easily tears, resulting in painful blisters and sores.

There is no cure; physicians usually treat symptoms only by dressing wounds and treating infections. Those with severe forms of EB who survive childhood are also prone to skin cancer and often die from that by their mid-40s.

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The Klara app lets you send photos of your skin problems to certified dermatologists

Now you can get your problems diagnosed online through Klara, an iOS and Android app that sends your photos anonymously to board-certified dermatologists who review your case.

Germany-based Klara launched its service first in Europe before bringing it to the US this summer. The app has you take two pictures of your condition, fill out a questionnaire, and pay $39 for the consultation. Klara promises an answer in the next 48 hours.

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Skin problems in chronic kidney disease

Skin disorders associated with chronic kidney disease (CKD) can markedly affect a patient's quality of life and can negatively impact their mental and physical health. Uremic pruritus, which is frequently encountered in patients with CKD, is considered to be an inflammatory systemic disease rather than a local skin disorder.

A wide variety of skin diseases occur in patients with chronic kidney disease (CKD; Box 1). These diseases are sometimes related to the underlying renal illness but are more frequently directly or indirectly associated with 'uremia' in its broadest sense. With an almost 100% prevalence in dialysis populations, skin disorders are frequently the subject of patients' complaints.

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Model with rare skin disease changing the face of fashion

She got axed from "America's Next Top Model," but Chantelle Brown-Young is comfortable in her own skin. Photo: Massimo Campana & Trever Swearingen/Pottle Productions Inc.; Erik Asla/Pottle Productions Inc

She got axed from "America's Next Top Model," but Chantelle Brown-Young is comfortable in her own skin. Photo: Massimo Campana & Trever Swearingen/Pottle Productions Inc.; Erik Asla/Pottle Productions Inc

She got axed from "America's Next Top Model," but Chantelle Brown-Young is comfortable in her own skin. Photo: Massimo Campana & Trever Swearingen/Pottle Productions Inc.; Erik Asla/Pottle Productions Inc

On Monday night, model Chantelle Brown-Young watched her own elimination from “America’s Next Top Model,” after judges said she was “too tight.”

The 20-year-old Toronto native — who wasn’t able to reveal her grim reality-TV fate to friends and family before the episode aired — says they didn’t take the news well.

“[There was] an uproar on social media,” Brown-Young tells The Post. “I said, ‘Calm down. It’s just a show — and a reality show at that.’ I was cracking up.”

She has vitiligo, a skin disease that causes pigment to disappear, resulting in white patches on her dark skin.

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Makeup Can Improve Life For Children With Skin Diseases

Makeup works like medicine to improve the quality of life for children with visible birthmarks and skin diseases, researchers say.

A new study of 38 children in Montreal, Canada, proved what some paediatric dermatologists say they already knew – children and teenagers with disfiguring skin conditions who wore durable makeup, or “cosmetic camouflage,” were less subject to teasing and more comfortable in their own skin.

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Parliamentary Business

Skin: Diseases: Written question - 209937

Crawley MP, Henry Smith asked a written question, to the Secretary of State for Health, on the incidence of chronic spontaneous urticaria in England.

The Rt Hon Norman Lamb MP, minister of state (Dept. of health) answered:

“Information concerning the number of people with chronic spontaneous urticaria (also known as hives, welts or nettle rash) in England is not collected. However, the National Institute for Health and Care Excellence estimates that approximately 15% of people in the United Kingdom experience urticaria at some time in their lives and the lifetime prevalence of chronic urticaria is 0.5–1%.”


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The prevalence of skin disease exceeds that of obesity, hypertension, or cancer. Despite skin being the largest organ of the human body, dermatological research remains one of the most under funded areas of medicine. In a world where society has an increasing preoccupation with image and it’s importance to every aspect of a person’s life, sufferers of skin diseases are feeling and being more marginalised and isolated than ever.

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