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Autoimmune bullous diseases in childhood

Autoimmune blistering disorders are a heterogeneous group of diseases that result from autoantibodies generated against target antigens found in the skin and mucous membranes. This process leads to a variety of disruptions in keratinocyte adhesion and cellular integrity, resulting in fluid accumulation and development of blisters. Physicians should have an appreciation and understanding of autoimmune blistering disorders in the pediatric population when formulating a differential diagnosis of a patient who presents with skin blistering. Full Text


Sarcoidosis: Are there differences in your skin of color patients?

The skin of color population is growing at an astronomical rate, making it critically important to recognize diseases, such as sarcoidosis, in patients with skin of color. Sarcoidosis is a multisystem, granulomatous disease, which manifests in a variety of organs and is found more frequently in Blacks as compared with Caucasians. In addition, Blacks have a poorer prognosis and often present with more advanced disease. Sarcoidal lesions can present with multiple morphologic features, some more common in patients with skin of color. Full Text



Chemokine receptors in the pathogenesis and therapy of psoriasis

Chemokine receptors are G-protein-coupled, seven-transmembrane-spanning surface receptors that play key roles in cell trafficking, cell motility, and survival. These receptors are activated by small molecular weight chemotactic cytokines called chemokines. Chemokine receptors and their corresponding chemokine ligands play roles in the migration and localization of normal T cells (and other cells) during physiological responses in inflamed or infected skin.  Full Text



Potential photocarcinogenic effects of nanoparticle sunscreens

Titanium dioxide and zinc oxide nanoparticles are being increasingly formulated in sunscreens. While the same compounds, in larger particle form, work by reflecting UV radiation, in nanoparticle form, they absorb UV radiation, resulting in photocatalysis, releasing reactive oxygen species. These reactive oxygen species are known to have the capability to alter DNA. Full Text



A practical, algorithmic approach to diagnosing hair shaft disorders

The hair shaft is a unique structure composed of an inner cortex and a protective outer cuticle. Any defects in this normal structure due to genetics or the environment can lead to variations in physical properties. Thus one should suspect a hair shaft disorder if a patient presents with an abnormality or change in hair texture, appearance, manageability or ability to grow hair long. A key feature of the clinical evaluation is to determine whether there is hair breakage (increased fragility) by looking for broken hairs and performing a tug test. Full Text




Adnan S. Alabdulkarim, MD