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This is a city with one of the most beautiful landscapes in the world, full of the contrasts of nature, forest, and urban scenery with beaches, mountains, sea, and sky. Its captivating nature is a wonderful backdrop for the theme of the enhancement of beauty.
Rio is also a city with an interesting story behind its name. In 1501, Portuguese explorers sailed to Brazil to confirm the existence of the land, claimed to have been discovered the previous year by Pedro Alvares Cabral, who lost his way on the Atlantic Ocean. This misguided journey brought the crew to Brazil, rather than to India. Gaspar de Lemos headed the 1501 journey, whose crew entered the Bay of Guanabara in 1502. It was mistaken for the mouth of a river (rio in Portuguese). Because it was the month of January, he made a quick decision and called the bay by the name Rio de Janeiro (river of January, but it is possible that all of this happened not in January but in November)! The city was founded later, in 1565, by Estacio de Sa.
Cosmetic dermatology, on the one hand, involves dermatologists who are interested in surgery; who are intrigued with new approaches to therapy, utilizing lasers, peelings, and botulin toxins; and/or who greatly value beauty and art. On the other hand, the field also involves pharmacologists, cosmetic chemists, scientists in the cosmetic industry, and other allied health professionals who are interested in the promotion of rejuvenation and beauty.
The meeting in Rio was a fascinating one, with participants from 39 countries, ranging from New Zealand, South Korea, and many parts of Europe. There were many registrants from North America. In all, nearly 800 physicians registered for the Congress.
The organization of the meeting was commendable. Marcia Ramos-e-Silva, President of the Congress, and her very able organizing committee, consisting of Tania Cestari, Beatriz Trope, Doris Hexsel, Lia Miranda de Castro, and Sergio Talarico, attended to every detail necessary for a successful medical convention. IACD’s very able webmaster, Thais Castro, headed the executive team of the Congress, ensuring that the computer facilities were in top order and that the scientific sessions and social programs progressed as planned.
The congress focused on the subject of cosmetic dermatology and covered the following topics: Drugs and substances of general use and cosmetics; Rejuvenation; Therapeutic alternatives for unaesthetic conditions; Peels; Active ingredients, vehicles, and other substances; Cosmetic skin surgery; Acne; Fillers; Nails; Hair; Pigmentation disorders; Botulinum toxin; Ethnic and topographical aspects; Other therapeutic and investigative methods; Legal aspects, ethics, and limits in cosmetics; Medical aspects of cosmetic dermatology; Medical information: printed or on-line; Sun, photoprotection, and photobiology; Lasers; and “Lookin’ good and feelin’ good.”
Several lectures deserve special mention. Lasse Kanerva, from the Finnish Institute of Occupational Health in Helsinki, Finland, discussed occupational skin disease due to cosmetics. He cited data on the problems of hairdressers, manicurists, and packers who suffer from occupational dermatoses due to different cosmetic products.
Botulinum Toxin (BTA) was widely discussed for its wrinkle reduction attribute and effectiveness in treating hyperhidrosis. One of the most important papers concerned the evaluation of the short- and long-term effectiveness and possible side effects of high-dose BTA for axillary hyperhidrosis as presented by Uwe Wollina from the Department of Dermatology and Allergology, Friedrich-Schiller-University of Jena, Germany. His group used a total dose of 200 U of BTA once per axilla. Follow-up of 24 patients between 19 and 58 years with a mean + standard deviation (34.8 + 12.4) lasted 15 months. Minor’s iodine-starch test and planimetry of hyperhidrotic areas assessed a significant reduction of sweating. Within 6 days, all patients reported a significant decrease in excessive sweating. After further tests over a period of 25 months, they concluded that high-dose BTA for this condition is as safe as low-dose treatment, with a lower rate of relapses and prolonged efficacy.
The topic of latex allergy, as presented by Timo Reunala and colleagues from the Tampere and Helsinki University Hospitals, National Public Health Institute in Helsinki, was of great interest. Latex allergy can be found in up to 10% of physicians and nurses and up to 50% of children undergoing multiple surgeries. Such reactions can also result from latex-containing cosmetic products; i.e., sponges and eyelash curlers. Signs of latex allergy range from mild contact urticaria and mucosal swelling to generalized urticaria, asthma, and anaphylaxis. Diagnosis is easily made with skin-prick testing, using commercial latex allergens; however, there is the danger of anaphylaxis. Precautions with the use of latex-free gloves are mandatory. They urged the need for standards of labeling the allergen content in latex gloves.
Aspects of active ingredients were widely discussed. Among the subjects presented was that of the “Safety evaluation of cosmetic products” by Gabriela Adam-Rodwell, Director of Product Safety, Analytical and Regulatory Affairs, at Mary Kay Inc., Dallas, TX, USA. She discussed the potential of cosmetic products that cause irritation and sensitization or systemic effects that are evaluated on the basis of the toxicological profile of the ingredient. The use of clinical studies to support claims of product safety, e.g., dermatologic tested products and hypoallergy, was also emphasized.
Larry Millikan, Chairman of Dermatology, Tulane University Health Sciences Center in New Orleans, LA, USA, highlighted aspects of the computer revolution, medical practice, and printed online medical information. Lawrence Parish, Clinical Professor of Dermatology and Cutaneous Biology and Director of the Jefferson Center for International Dermatology at Jefferson Medical College in Philadelphia, PA, USA, made an important contribution in spreading some light on the importance of editorial freedom and the role of the editor in the preparation of a publication.
During the meeting, the book Women’s Dermatology: From Infancy to Maturity, edited by Lawrence Parish, Sarah Brenner, and Marcia Ramos-e-Silva, was launched with a marvelous cocktail party under the auspices of the Helena Rubinstein Group of Brazil. The book covers a wide range of topics in dermatology that are relevant to women, such as genetic diseases, differences in cultural approaches, and hair and nails, as well as the life cycles relating to pregnancy, lactation, and menopause.
The delightful social program included an opening ceremony sponsored by Galderma Brasil and had Luiza Brunet as Master of Ceremonies at the Convention Center of the Hotel Sofitel Rio Palace. A highlight was the show named “In Tribute to Tom Jobim,” presenting his greatest hits. The closing reception, sponsored by Novartis Brazil, was held at the Sociedade Hipica Brasileira with yet another show by Carlinhos de Jesus Dance Company and Mario Pereira and his Band.
The meeting provided a wonderful social interchange between dermatologists and members of the cosmetic and pharmaceutical industry. Spirits were high; the organizers, and especially Marcia Ramos-e-Silva, are to be lauded for a wonderful job done. The city was not only the Cidade Maravilhosa, but also a marvelous meeting place with a marvelous spirit and camaraderie. An indication of the success was reflected in the support of more than 30 firms from the pharmaceutical and cosmetic industry.
Third world congress
We look forward to the Third World Congress of the International Academy of Cosmetic Dermatology to be held in Beijing, China, May 15–17, 2003.