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British Society for Skin Care in Immunosuppressed Individuals (BSSCII)
The British Society for Skin Care in Immunosuppressed Individuals (BSSCII) is just completing its first year as a fully-fledged society and we are very enthusiastic about all that we are trying to achieve. Our mission is to promote improved patient management and medical research that is relevant for skin diseases in immunocompromised individuals including organ transplant recipients, those on long-term immunosuppressive medications, haematological conditions and HIV infection. BSSCII has established Charity status and has a modest annual subscription of £20 collected through the British Association of Dermatologists. We currently have 56 paid up members and are keen to provide them with a supportive society responsive to their needs.
Now that some funds are available we are developing a website to support best practice, facilitate communication between members and to give information about international societies dedicated to skin care in the immunosuppressed. We have representation in SCOPE (Skin Care for Organ transplant Patients in Europe) and in ITSCC (International Skin Cancer Collaborative), and intend to maintain close contact with both. Alison Heppelwhite, our Nurse representative, has highlighted the need to improve consistency in patient pathways and nurse led intervention. She has formulated a Nursing Action Plan to engage with the BDNG and to actively encourage nurse membership and involvement. We have been busy developing materials to help with the day-to-day clinical management of immunosuppressed patients. The immediate challenge is to get the website up and running so that you can all access these materials including patient information leaflets and management protocols for common skin conditions seen post-transplant or in HIV. We hope to have this in place by the end of this calendar year, so please watch this space and if you have any particular requests do get in touch.
The emphasis to date has been directed mostly towards organ transplant recipients and our initial BSSCII recommendations will include advice on baseline assessment, follow-up and treatment algorithms and on how to develop a specialist clinic or rapid access hotline. Our role for HIV Dermatology is equally important, but perhaps not as yet so well formulated. We believe that HIV Dermatology is about:
- Earlier diagnosis – there is a case for anyone with a dermatological presentation being offered HIV testing. Almost all dermatology presentations – itch, rash, lump, oral or genital disease, even hair and nail abnormalities – can be a manifestation of HIV. Join this debate.
- Earlier institution of treatment with Anti-Retroviral Drugs as this will be the best approach for most dermatological complications of HIV infection.
- The management of the complications and consequences of treatment including: a) Immune reconstitution-associated disease; b) Drug eruptions; c) Consequences of increased longevity including skin cancers, anogenital malignancy, lymphoma.
We plan to increase your exposure to these many aspects of HIV dermatology and to engage other interested HIV clinicians from a broad cross section of relevant specialities. To this end, we will shortly be sending out a brief survey to identify clinicians involved with immunosuppressed individuals, including clinicians with an interest in HIV. We hope all BAD members will take part in this short monkey survey helping us to network efficiently in all regions of the UK.
We will hold our first specialist BSSCII meeting and AGM at the BAD Annual Meeting on Tuesday July 3rd 9-12 am. We are delighted to have Dr Fiona Child as our Guest Speaker on Graft versus Host Disease and the meeting has something for everyone including 4 research orientated presentations, a poster ‘round up’, and a clinically focused interactive case discussion with our Expert panel. We strongly encourage your involvement in our AGM to make this the Society that you want and, importantly, to help us formally elect our Executive Committee. We are actively recruiting new members and encourage anyone interested to contact Jayne McFarlane or myself, Charlotte Proby, at the University of Dundee. Contact details are:
Tel: 01382 425618 Fax: 01382 740359 Tel: 01382 496418
Other members of the Executive Board are Catherine Harwood, Bill Phillips, Helen Ramsay, John Lear, Chris Bunker and David Paige. Do make contact with any of us.