News in brief: Vaccination recommendations for dermatology patients; Marijuana for pruritus; ASDR meeting

Wednesday, 14 Apr 2021

COVID-19 vaccine recommendations for dermatology patients

Recommendations on COVID‐19 vaccination in dermatology patients on immunomodulatory and/or biologic agents have been published by the Australasian Medical Dermatology Group and the  COVID‐19 Task Force of the Australasian College of Dermatology.

The preliminary advice is that COVID‐19 vaccination should be strongly recommended to patients on immunomodulatory and/or biologic therapies and their direct contacts, and there is no evidence to favour one particular COVID‐19 vaccine or vaccine type (mRNA, recombinant, inactivated virus) over another.However the group cautions that there is only limited evidence on the efficacy and safety of COVID-19 vaccines in this patient populations and therefore advice is liable to change.

Chronic pruritus relieved with medical marijuana

Medical marijuana is a potential treatment for chronic pruritus, according to the authors of a case report in JAMA Dermatology. Clinicians from Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine describe the case of a woman with a 10-year history of chronic, severe recalcitrant pruritus with associated lichen amyloidosis secondary to primary sclerosing cholangitis. Her symptoms failed to improve with multiple antipruritic therapies. She found relief of pruritus when using medical marijuana, taken twice weekly either by smoking tetrahydrocannabinol (THC), 18%, Indica flower or in tincture form sublingually. The patient showed improvement within 10 minutes after using medical marijuana, and her Worst Itch Numeric Rating Scale (WI-NRS) score improvement from 10 of 10 to 4 of 10 was maintained over  a year follow-up, and then further improved to 0 of 10 at the 16-month and 20-month follow-up.

Dermatology research conference set for July

The Australasian Society of Dermatology Research (ASDR) 2021 will hold its Annual Scientific Meeting from 29-31 July as a hybrid meeting.

The ASM will have a virtual interactive live stream option and face to face, to be held at the Skin Health Institute in Melbourne. It says the sessions will allow for interaction and information exchange between doctors treating patients with skin disorders and scientists working in the field of cutaneous research.

ASDR President Professor Kiarash Khosrothehrani leads the Experimental Dermatology Group at the University of Queensland Diamantina Institute. President Elect Professor Allison Cowin is Professor of Regenerative Medicine and NHMRC Senior Research Fellow within the Future Industries Institute at the University of South Australia.

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