British Society of Geriatric Dermatology Annual Report 2018
It has been a year of change for the British Society of Geriatric Dermatology. Following consultation with members, we have metamorphosed from the Senior Skin Group to the British Society of Geriatric Dermatology. Our aims remain the same: to stimulate interest in elderly skin and to further the understanding of skin conditions of later life. I am honoured to be elected as Chair and hope that I will be able to fill the shoes of Dr Maggie Kirkup, who has ably led the group for many years with sheer determination and vigour. We are delighted to welcome two trainees to our committee, Dr Bernard Ho and Dr Andrew Davies. It is heartening to see such interest from our Dermatologists of the future.
This year has seen a sea change, with skin disease in the elderly firmly on the global agenda. The World Health Organization predicts that the global population of people aged greater than 60 years will reach two billion in 2050. There will be an inevitable increase in the burden of dermatological disease, yet the medical community in much of the world is ill equipped to deal with the many challenges that lie ahead. Earlier this year, I was invited to lecture on “Challenges in Geriatric Dermatology” at the IADV in Kerala. It is clear that Dermatologists, including those working in resource-poor settings, are wising up to the challenges we face with the ageing population globally. The ILDS has also recognised skin disease in the elderly, with its significant societal, economic, psychological and physical impact, as one of their “Grand Challenges for Global Skin Health”.
Whilst short-listing for the 2017 UK DCTN Themed Call on Skin Health for Older People, we were encouraged to see the high calibre of applications. I hope that this will open the gates for further research into skin disease affecting the elderly, which has rarely been the subject of scientific research.
The guest society at this year’s BAD Annual Meeting is the British Geriatric Society, whose session is on Tuesday 3rd July. Our session will also be on Tuesday, timetabled for 11 am to avoid clashing with the BGS. We are honoured that Professor Chris Bunker, a world-renowned expert on male genital dermatology, will be talking on how to prevent penis cancer. I hope you will come along to support the group and listen to Chris, a phenomenal and engaging speaker.
Most physicians, including Geriatricians, are not adequately trained in Dermatology. This year, I was asked to lecture to Geriatricians and GPs at the RCP Edinburgh on the topic of “Common Skin Problems in the Elderly”. I hope that we will continue to fly the flag for Geriatric Dermatology by engaging further in educational sessions for those outside our speciality.
We received five entries for our annual essay competition from Dermatology trainees. Congratulations to Dr Leila Asfour for her very well-written piece on “Older Skin: How Does it Affect Your Management Decisions?” She answered the question with novel, thought-provoking and interesting ideas. Furthermore, the editor of the journal Geriatric Medicine has agreed to publish her essay. We will announce details for this year’s essay competition at the Annual Meeting, which is open to junior doctors from any speciality.