Back to list

Welcome back, Medscape Readers! This month in Dermatology, we speak to Dr. Pearl E. Grimes, Symposium Chair and Dr. Jill S. Waibel, Course Director of the Inaugural PDE Symposium. This new meeting is the first of its kind. Brought to you by the producers of ODAC Dermatology, Aesthetic, and Surgical Conference and Skin of Color Update, this one-of-a-kind, 2-day event has an intense and pearl-packed agenda covering pigmentary disorders in the full spectrum of skin tones. From vitiligo, melasma, hyperpigmentation, and photodamage to less common pigmentary disorders, world renowned experts cover:

  • Updates on emerging data and pathophysiology
  • Nuances in clinical presentation across the full spectrum of skin tones
  • The use of optimal systemic, topical, and procedural treatment regimens (including lasers, chemical peels, and other energy-based devices) for each patient group.
  • Check out the agenda—click here!

Last month we spoke with some of the faculty of MedscapeLive! Hawaiian Dermatology Seminar who shared sneak peek clinical pearls from their presentations. Click here to view some sneak peek clinical pearls from their presentations if you missed it. 

Register now! For the upcoming Inaugural Pigmentary Disorders Exchange Symposium 

JW Marriott • Chicago, May 5-6, 2023

  • One-of-a-kind, 2-day event covering pigmentary disorders in the full spectrum of skin tones, from lightest through darkest.
  • With interactive exhibitions, live-patient injection sessions, workshops, talkbacks and other surprising new formats, you’ll return to practice with information that will make an immediate impact on patient care. 
  • Each session will include patient cases, thought-provoking discussions, and interactive Q&A.
  • To register, click here!

Save the Dates as well for the 2023 Skin of Color Update, which is October 6-8 in New York, NY, and the 46th Annual Hawaii Derm, which will be during Presidents’ Week 2024. Keep current on new publications with our Derm Resource section below, with articles from JAMA Dermatology, Dermatology News, Cutis, NEJM and more. Thank you to Dr. Grimes and Dr. Waibel for assembly of such a highly anticipated event and for their time and expertise. Happy Spring and happy reading!—Colleen Hutchinson

The Skinny on the New Meeting! Pigmentary Disorders Exchange (PDE) Symposium

Pearl E. Grimes, MD, is Director, The Vitiligo & Pigmentation Institute Of Southern California

Clinical Professor of Dermatology, University Of California, Los Angeles. 

Jill S. Waibel, MD, is Subsection Chief of Dermatology, Baptist Hospital of Miami; Medical Director, Miami Cancer Institute’s Multidisciplinary Skin Cancer Clinic; Assistant Voluntary Professor, University of Miami Miller School of Medicine.

The Inaugural Pigmentary Disorders Exchange Symposium is right around the corner! It opens with your joint Morning Welcome: The Why Behind the PDE Symposium. What is the why?

Dr. Waibel: The why behind the PDE Symposium is the patient. Also, the understanding that having pigmentary disorders can have major impact on the quality of life of patients. Many patients who may have either hypopigmentation/depigmentation or hyperpigmentation feel distressed and stigmatized by their conditions. Studies have shown higher rates of stress, anxiety, and depression in patients with these conditions. Our patients tire of explaining and hiding their conditions. Dermatologists are inspired to find diagnoses and have an array of tools to help improve the lives of our patients. Patient-centric care from the best experts will help our patients of all skin types live better lives.

Dr. Grimes: The Pigmentary Exchange Symposium is a historical meeting. This is the first ever such event devoted exclusively to disorders of pigmentation. We are all excited to present at this landmark symposium. Participants will get the whys, the whats, and the hows for diagnosing and appropriately managing pigmentary disorders in all skin types. We will have the unique opportunity to take a deep dive into the nuances of a spectrum of pigmentary diseases.

Attendees will enjoy a 2-day intense and pearl-packed agenda. What are some of the strengths of this agenda that will provide critical value and return-to-practice impact for attendees?

Dr. Waibel: The first annual pigmentary disorders exchange does have a pearl-packed agenda! We spent a lot of time having the 2-day session organized in a meaningful way. Day 1 will start our deep dive into the “Big 4” – vitiligo, hyperpigmentation spectrum, melasma and photodamage. The “Big 4” affect all skin types and represent many skin conditions. We will start Day 1 with the pathogenesis and diagnostic approaches. Day 2 will take the ‘Big 4” and dive into therapeutic and procedural treatment options. In between the strong didactic sessions will be time for Q&A from the audience, as well as bring your toughest cases! So many times, I have a colleague bring up a photo to discuss… this will be the time for you to bring your tough cases to a world-renowned faculty and audience interaction. 

Can you share any pearls you will specifically be presenting at the meeting?

Dr. Waibel: I am personally very excited to hear from this amazing faculty on every lecture! I think the diagnostic approaches series will be very valuable, as we all struggle over the differences of melasma versus ochronosis, lichen planus pigmentosus, and the spectrum of hypopigmentation. In the procedural session, we will share some innovative treatment pearls such as using bimatoprost or PLLA to help repigment hypopigmentation or laser therapy alone to stimulate or remove pigmentation. 

Dr. Grimes: I will personally share pearls regarding the complex pathogenesis of melasma and its impact on therapeutic outcomes. I will also present unique pearls for chemical peeling.

Use of optimal systemic, topical, and procedural treatment regimens (including lasers, chemical peels, and other energy-based devices) for each patient group is a main meeting focus. Is there a lot in the way of new treatments on the market that dermatologists should be familiarizing themselves with for better patient care of these conditions? If so, what are they?

Dr. Waibel: Each patient needs their own unique therapeutic strategy based on their diagnosis and severity. I believe most patients need a combination approach of systemic, topical, and procedures. There are new treatments on the market in every category, and all of our skin types are in need of expert care to improve their lives.

Dr. Grimes: While there are multiple new topical and procedural treatments for pigmentary disorders, outcomes may vary significantly. Efficacy / safety profiles of different therapeutic interventions will be reviewed in-depth.

Dermatology Resource Section: 

Cutis Tips: Habit Reversal Therapy for Skin Picking Disorder


JAMA Dermatology Original Investigation: Association of Excision Margin Size With Local Recurrence and Survival in Patients With T1a Melanoma at Critical Structures


NEJM Original Article: Neoadjuvant–Adjuvant or Adjuvant-Only Pembrolizumab in Advanced Melanoma


Medscape Skin of Color Update: October 6-8, 2023, New York, NY


Medscape February 46th Annual Hawaiian Dermatology Seminar; President’s Week 2024 


Dermatology News: Study highlights potential skin cancer risk of UV nail polish dryers