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Interactive two-day meeting supporting dermatology workload in general practice 

By Valerie Ryan - 11th Feb 2022

Primary Care Dermatology Society of Ireland, Annual Meeting, 4-5 March 2022 

Valerie Ryan speaks to Chair of the Primary Care Dermatology Society of Ireland, Dr Siobhán Twohig, about the Society’s upcoming Annual Meeting 

The Annual Meeting of the Primary Care Dermatology Society of Ireland (PCDSI) on Friday 4 March and Saturday 5 March 2022 features a line-up of leading consultants and GPs with dermatologists participating from Ireland, England, Wales, and Spain. 

Speakers are to present on a wide range of topics in dermatology, offering take-home messages and tips for general practitioners to optimise care for patients with dermatological conditions. 

The new Chair of the Society, Dr Siobhán Twohig, a GP in Ennis and clinical skills tutor at the University of Limerick, spoke to the Medical Independent (MI) outlining the highlights of this year’s event, which will focus on conditions presented and managed in general practice. The meeting has been organised as a virtual, interactive two-day conference. The meeting is to facilitate breakout sessions for those attending to meet with the speakers and colleagues in small groups, as well as sponsors and exhibitors. Dr Johnny Loughnane, one of the founding members of the Society, has co-ordinated the programme. 

The November 2021 meeting of the Society had focused on paediatric dermatology and the programme on Friday 4 March begins at 2pm with an update in paediatric dermatology from Dr Fiona Browne, a Consultant Dermatologist at Crumlin Children’s Hospital and Children’s University Hospital, Temple Street. She has a special interest in epidermolysis bullosa and leads the adult service at St James’s Hospital, Dublin. 

The skin signs of internal disease are to be addressed by the next speaker Dr Brian Malcolm, a former GP and Associate Specialist from the UK, who has addressed Society meetings previously. Dr Twohig said the talk will highlight the multidisciplinary work of the GP when conditions present with a rash. Dr Malcolm delivers skin clinics for the dermatology department of North Devon District Hospital, Barnstable. 


Dr Colin Long, Consultant Dermatologist at Cardiff and Vale NHS Trust, is to discuss pruritis in the following presentations. He also works at the Royal Glamorgan Hospital and is interested in all aspects of dermatology including the management of inflammatory skin disorders: Eczema, psoriasis, urticaria, and acne as well as the surgical treatment of benign and malignant skin tumours. 

Dr Alana Durack, Consultant Dermatologist at University Hospital Waterford, is to address an acute condition 

seen more commonly in general practice than in the hospital dermatology services – bacterial skin infection – and will provide “six pearls for primary care” in relation to the topic. 

Participants are to hear an update on “What’s new in contact dermatitis” from Dr Johnny Bourke, Consultant Dermatologist at South Infirmary Victoria University Hospital, Cork, who has a special interest in the condition. Dr Twohig underlined this as an important area in general practice where GPs can provide vital patient support. She added the fine-tuning of history-taking techniques and management were key aspects of supporting patients. 

Dr Chris Bower, Consultant Dermatologist, is Clinical Lead at the Royal Devon and Exeter NHS Trust Hospital. In one of his two talks to the Society this year, he is to speak on diagnosing and treating actinic keratosis in primary care. Dr Twohig said this accounted for a significant workload in general practice. It is a topic expected to be touched on again during Saturday’s presentations on cryosurgery and benign skin lesions. 


Dr Long will also provide an update to GPs on the “hugely” useful topic of dermatological emergencies. The next speaker, Prof Eugene Healy from the University of Southampton NHS Foundation Trust, will speak about acne and the latest NICE guidelines, outlining current first-line combination therapies as opposed to traditional treatments employed in general practice. Prof Healy practises general dermatology, and runs a specialist service for psoriasis and a specialist skin lymphoma service. The timing of referrals and how to optimise patient education as key to care will also be discussed. The Friday programme ends with a talk by Prof Anne-Marie Tobin, Consultant Dermatologist in Tallaght University Hospital and Naas General Hospital and Clinical Associate Professor in Trinity College Dublin on rashes involving the flexures. 

Her clinical interests are in psoriasis, eczema, hidradenitis suppurativa, and acne. 

The programme for Saturday 5 March opens at 9am with a talk entitled “How I manage urticaria” by Dr Malcolm. Dr Twohig said the topic is pertinent to general practice as the condition had both acute and chronic phases. 

His presentation is to be followed by a talk on dermatology in skin of colour from London-based Consultant Dermatologist, Dr Daniel Creamer, who has a special interest in dermatological surgery, psoriasis, and photodermatology. 

Dr Bower returns later in the morning to speak on leg ulcers followed after the break by Prof Tobin who is to address diagnosis and management of psoriasis in primary care, a chronic condition often seen as a first presentation in general practice. 

A presentation at noon on “The child with fever and a rash – when to worry” is scheduled from Dr Browne. 

Managing pattern hair loss in general practice is discussed by well-known Dublin Consultant Dermatologist, Dr Dmitri Wall. Dr Wall, St James’s Hospital, Dublin, and Hair Restoration Blackrock, has a particular focus on the diagnosis and medical and surgical treatment of hair and scalp disease. 

Book launch 

On Saturday afternoon the latest Textbook of Primary Care Dermatology is to be launched. Co-authored by GP Dr David Buckley and Dr Paola Pasquali, it is described as a textbook providing a comprehensive, practical guide to the identification of a range of common dermatological conditions encountered within primary care. 

Dr David Buckley, a principal in general practice and GP trainer in Kerry, has developed a special interest and expertise in dermatology and skin surgery. A founding member of the PCDSI and the Primary Care Surgical Society, he has been a member of the European Academy of Dermatology and Venereology since 1993. 

From Spain, co-author Dr Pasquali, Head of the Department of Dermatology, Pius Hospital de Valls, Tarragona, is a dermatologist with specialty in non-melanoma skin cancer treatment with special emphasis in cryosurgery, non-invasive imaging techniques and teledermatology. She is Past President of the International Society of Teledermatology, Chair of the American Academy of Dermatology International Member Committee and board member of the European Academy of Dermatology and Venereology. 

The afternoon clinical session opens with Dr Pasquali, who is expected to offer “great take-home messages for GPs” on the use of cryotherapy. With so many GPs having access to cryotherapy, Dr Twohig said this engaging speaker is to highlight how to use cryotherapy correctly, the side-effects of cryosurgery and how best to avoid them to optimise patient care. 

Dr Buckley is to speak on benign skin lesions, followed by the final presentation of the Annual Meeting by Dr Maeve McAleer, a Consultant Dermatologist in St James’s Hospital, and Children’s Health Ireland. She is to address the meeting on atopic eczema and how to best manage the condition, which is a significant part of a GP’s workload. Key to managing eczema in general practice was the education provided to parents of children with the condition, said Dr Twohig. She added that the Society has launched a new website with useful links for patients on conditions such as eczema. 

Dr Twohig also reminded GPs of the available online app Dermabuddy, described as a secure resource to enable GPs to discuss dermatological issues with trusted experts in the field. 

The Society has highlighted the varied online programme is specifically focused on general practice and is planning an in-person conference for 2023 to take place in Kilkenny. 


Friday 4 March

13.55Welcome – Dr Siobhán Twohig, Chairperson, PCDSI
14.00What’s new in paediatric dermatology – Dr Fiona Browne, Dublin
14.40Skin signs of internal disease – Dr Brian Malcolm, Barnstable, UK
15.20Pruritus – Dr Colin Long, Cardiff, UK
16.30Bacterial skin infection: Six pearls for primary care – Dr Alana Durack, Waterford
17.10What’s new in contact dermatitis – Dr Johnny Bourke, Cork
17.50Diagnosing and treating actinic keratosis in primary care – Dr Chris Bower, Exeter, UK
19.00Dermatological emergencies – Dr Colin Long, Cardiff, UK
19.40Acne: The latest NICE guidelines – Prof Eugene Healy, Southampton, UK
20.20Rashes involving the flexures – Prof Anne-Marie Tobin, Dublin

Saturday 5 March

9.00How I manage urticaria – Dr Brian Malcolm, Barnstable, UK
9.40Dermatology in skin of colour – Dr Daniel Creamer, London, UK
10.20Leg ulcers – Dr Chris Bower, Exeter, UK
11.30Psoriasis: Diagnosis and management in primary care – Prof Anne-Marie Tobin, Dublin
12.10The child with fever and a rash: When to worry – Dr Fiona Browne, Dublin
12.50Managing pattern hair loss in general practice – Dr Dmitri Wall, Dublin
13.50Book Launch
14.00Cryosurgery: Side-effects and how to avoid them – Dr Paola Pasquali, Spain
14.40Benign skin lesions – Dr David Buckley, Tralee
15.20Atopic eczema – Dr Maeve McAleer, Dublin

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