Abstracts & Commentary
Skin-Research.org is an online portal for credible information on skin research. It is produced by the Society for Investigative Dermatology, a professional organization for skin researchers from around the globe.
"When two skin researchers get together at the SID meeting, a wonderful type of brainstorming happens"
SID Meeting Attendee
The Society for Investigative Dermatology = Skin Research
The Society for Investigative Dermatology (SID) was founded in 1937 to serve as the professional 'home' for all skin research. During this Diamond Jubilee (75th) Anniversary, the Skin Research Information Portal will extend the knowledge to patients, physicians who treat skin diseases, and the public.
It is an online resource that will provide anyone with credible information about skin disease, and the research being conducted to find new treatments and cures. Those who visit will have the opportunity to click through and get some information about the organization and what they are doing to advance discovery.
Under My Skin
A majority of skin diseases (there are over 3,000 known) are chronic, and without effective treatment. Although people can see their own skin, many of us are unaware of how skin functions in both health and disease. This lack of information has been proven to diminish the health of patients.
Research shows that informed patients are empowered, and subsequently increase their participation in developing a health plan and achieving better outcomes. Another important factor to note is that we are living longer inside our skin-aging skin poses a unique set of challenges and problems.
Skin is global-it serves the leading role as the barrier to the environment, the ‘container’ for every human being on Earth. It houses all the inner organs, and enables us to experience touch, thereby connecting with each other and the world around us. As such the skin holds a unique place in terms of its ability to connect scientific knowledge. Symptoms that appear in the skin are often signs of deeper, systemic disease, and can help physicians employ preemptive treatment.
This reflects co-morbidity, two or more coexisting medical occurrences or disease processes. This phenomenon links the specialty of Dermatology to multiple other specialties and disciplines, including Oncology, Pathology, Rheumatology, Cardiology, Neurology, Genetics, and Immunology. Skin research is the ultimate connector.
Skin as a Model
The visibility, commonness, and accessibility of the skin render it an ideal model for patient education programs. The scientific communities are already in communication, so extending the collaborative knowledge circle to include patients is a natural progression.
The Art of Translation
Jargon (n). Special words and phrases that are only understood by people who do the same kind of work.
At one time or another, we have all used some type of jargon. In the realm of medicine, including skin research, this can create a barrier. Skin disease is visible-a physician or skin researcher can see the outward signs of the disease, and run additional tests to capture other dimensions.
It is patient input that is critical to developing more precise outcome measures. Issues such as Quality of Life are only partially captured with the surveys and other scientific methods currently in use.