This was a fascinating conference. To see the psychological impact of hair and skin issues openly discussed and to see that clinicians not only understand this, but they are working together across different departments to involve the relevant psychiatrists and dermatologists as many of these more complicated cases may often fall through the cracks in the communication between one specialist to another.
There is so much research that links the severity of conditions to distress, such as autoimmune disorders, such as psoriasis but also heavily featured in the habitual picking and pulling disorders, with dissociation of behaviours where people aren’t aware of doing it. One theme that came across was the correlation of anxiety and depression was recognised between ‘disordered skin and disordered minds’ with meditation and mindfulness being shown to be really beneficial.
A technology to watch out for are an app due to be released in September 2019 to support habit reversal training to reduce unconscious damaging behaviours in atopic eczema. A great website was presented by the founder for families of those with eczema is the Eczema Outreach Support (http://www.eos.org.uk).There are an abundance of resources to support parents but also children coping with eczema and to empower, connect and provide hope to the sufferers.
Alopecia areata was discussed, with the findings presented that the ‘narrative’ the children with areata told of their account and feelings about the hair loss, mirrored the parents narrative and terminology. The more accepting the parents, the more accepting and less distressed the child… Could I have guessed that? Yes… but interesting to hear the evidence, not only as a Trichologist, but also a parent, on the impact that we have on our children’s emotional wellbeing. In terms of alopecia areata/totalis, some of the main concerns reported by parents is the guilt that maybe they have somehow caused the onset, feeling that social pressure for their children as they deal with covering disguising hair loss ready to face the world and also the poor general awareness of the condition with many sufferers get mistaken for having cancer. How, as a parent, can you not be anxious about something your child is going through and secondly, how do you not show it to them!? …Food for thought.
As well as helping to organise the event, I was delighted to be asked to speak to my fellow Trichologists at our annual CPD seminar in London. I spoke about a subject I feel passionate about; the benefits of using trichoscopy. Trichoscopy is a digital microscope that enables you to visualise many more distinguishing signs of hair loss and scalp conditions help aid accurate diagnosis. It also enables monitoring of conditions through image capture and measurement software. It offers a great way to be able to talk through the actual process of the patients concerns when you can see them on the screen in front of you!
I always thought public speaking would be easy with my background of teaching large classes of 16 year olds… a few events down and the nerves still kick in! Any tips!?
I also wanted a job where I could travel… It seems that trichology may be the answer!! Trichology although a growing science, is still a fairly specialist, niche area so many conferences are held abroad, uniting those in the sector. Back in September 2018, I jumped on a plane, meeting fellow trichologist Shirley McDonald in Lisbon for a long day of amazing speakers and insightful updates, including my personal hero, Dr Mariya Miteva. with a few hours spare the following day, sight seeing around the beautiful city of Lisbon and eating my body weight in ‘pasteis de nada’!
A great event held in Manchester at the Museum of Science and Industry and in conjunction with the ITC 2018, organised by Iain Sallis and Dr Bessam Farjo. Two days of speakers bringing the world of hair science, research, trichology, cosmetic science and clinical practice together. The evening event was a dressy affair with the Hair Science Award winners announced after dinner. I nervously sat waiting – I was nominated for the ‘Outstanding Trichologist – Newcomer’ category alongside esteemed company, Eva Proudman, Annabel Kingsley and Benedetto Consumano.. And then came the Oscars moment! I won!! How amazing to be recognised by my peers and what an honour to be thought of as a role model in this way!
Three days of amazing lectures in a beautiful place! This years European Hair Research Society meeting was held in Bologna; it is home to the amazing win towers, the oldest University and amazing food! It was a fully packed schedule with hundreds of speakers, great updates and new research findings, and the espresso during the breaks was more than welcome! A gala dinner offered the chance to be serenaded by opera singers and a chance to catch up with old colleagues and meet new ones!
Hi Everyone, I will be bringing you news from the world of the Surrey Trichology Clinic and updates of latest research of interest. Enjoy!
Surrey Trichology Clinic @ Body Tonic, 58 The Street, Ashtead, Surrey, KT21 1AW
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