Recent Submissions

  • Daylight photodynamic therapy as a treatment for for actinic field change in patients diagnosed with Oculocutaneous albinism in Sub-Saharan Africa

    Twigg, Emily; Sharp, Andrew; Roberts, Elizabeth (2023-11-23)
    Background: Oculocutaneous albinism (OCA) is a genetically inherited condition, whereby melanin is reduced or absent in the skin. A lack of melanin predisposes patients to actinic damage and skin malignancies. In Tanzania, a resource-limited country, the treatment of choice for pre-cancerous skin lesions is cryotherapy. Objectives: To investigate whether daylight PDT is a safe and well-tolerated treatment for actinic field change in the OCA population in Tanzania. Methods: 12 participants with actinic damage were recruited from a Standing Voice skin surveillance clinic and treated with dPDT. Study participants completed tolerability and acceptability questionnaires at day 5 and 3-months post-treatment. A dermatologist assessed clinical response to dPDT at 3 months. Results: Daylight PDT was well-tolerated and acceptable to the majority of patients. Actinic damage was reduced by 25-90%. No skin cancers developed during the treatment. Conclusions: This pilot study suggests that dPDT is a safe and tolerable treatment for actinic damage in the OCA population in Tanzania. Further work is required to compare the efficacy of dPDT against other topical therapies for actinic field change.
  • Sedentary behaviour and disease risk

    Henson, Joseph (2023-10-19)
    Sedentary behaviour has become the new reference of living, which has paralleled the increase in the prevalence of multiple chronic diseases. Here, we highlight the evidence to date and propose specific topics of interest for the Collection at BMC Public Health, titled "Sedentary behaviour and disease risk".
  • Cathepsin-C mutation in an individual with phenotypic features of Haim-Munk syndrome: A case report

    Gnanappiragasam, Dushyanth; Scorer, Matthew (26/07/2023)
    Haim-Munk syndrome and Papillon-Lefèvre syndrome are rare genodermatoses caused by mutations in the cathepsin C (CTSC) gene. They both cause palmoplantar keratoderma and are associated with periodontitis. Existing literature reports additional Haim-Munk syndrome characteristics including pes planus, radiographic deformity of the fingers and arachnodactyly, whilst Papillon-Lefèvre syndrome is associated with intracranial calcification and susceptibility to infection. We report a variant in CTSC which has previously been described in Papillon-Lefèvre syndrome but has not previously been reported in Haim-Munk syndrome. Our patient's presentation supports the suggestion that Papillon-Lefèvre syndrome and Haim-Munk syndrome are a spectrum of diseases which are caused by CTSC mutations, with significant overlap in their phenotypic features. This genetic report adds to the literature to improve our understanding of these rare, clinically related syndromes.
  • Performance of ChatGPT on dermatology Specialty Certificate Examination multiple choice questions

    Wernham, Aaron (2023-06-02)
    ChatGPT is a large language model trained on increasingly large datasets by OpenAI to perform language-based tasks. It is capable of answering multiple-choice questions, such as those posed by the dermatology SCE examination. We asked two iterations of ChatGPT: ChatGPT-3.5 and ChatGPT-4 84 multiple-choice sample questions from the sample dermatology SCE question bank. ChatGPT-3.5 achieved an overall score of 63.1%, and ChatGPT-4 scored 90.5% (a significant improvement in performance (p<0.001)). The typical pass mark for the dermatology SCE is 70-72%. ChatGPT-4 is therefore capable of answering clinical questions and achieving a passing grade in these sample questions. There are many possible educational and clinical implications for increasingly advanced artificial intelligence (AI) and its use in medicine, including in the diagnosis of dermatological conditions. Such advances should be embraced provided that patient safety is a core tenet, and the limitations of AI in the nuances of complex clinical cases are recognised.
  • A United Kingdom-wide study to describe resource consumption and waste management practices in skin surgery including Mohs micrographic surgery

    Wernham, Aaron (2023-05-16)
    Background: There is a lack of national guidance specifying how skin surgery, including Mohs micrographic surgery (MMS), should be conducted, leading to a degree of heterogeneity in the set-up of skin surgery services and how skin surgeries are performed. Objectives: To provide the first UK-wide cross-sectional study reporting real-world data on the set-up and waste management practices of skin surgery, including MMS. Methods: A UK-wide service evaluation study was conducted between 1 March 2022 and 30 June 2022 using a standardized data collection pro forma. Twelve participating sites from England, Northern Ireland, Scotland and Wales provided data from 115 skin surgery lists involving 495 patients and 547 skin surgery procedures between 1 March 2022 and 30 June 2022. Results: Mean total weight of nonsharps skin surgery waste was 0.52 kg per procedure (0.39 kg clinical waste, 0.05 kg general waste and 0.08 kg recycling waste). Data from a single site using disposable surgical instruments reported a mean of only 0.25 kg of sharps waste per procedure. The recycling rate ranged between 0% and 44% across the cohort with a mean recycling rate of 16%. Conclusions: We advocate that staff transition to the British Society of Dermatological Surgery 2022 sustainability guidance, which made wide-ranging recommendations to facilitate staff to transition to sustainable practices in skin surgery.
  • Trends in the prevalence of methylchloroisothiazolinone/methylisothiazolinone contact allergy in North America and Europe

    Johnston, Graham (2023-01-18)
    Importance: The common use of isothiazolinones as preservatives is a global cause of allergic contact dermatitis. Differences in allowable concentrations of methylisothiazolinone (MI) exist in Europe, Canada, and the US. Objective: To compare the prevalence of positive patch test reactions to the methylchloroisothiazolinone/methylisothiazolinone (MCI/MI) combination and MI alone in North America and Europe from 2009 to 2018. Design, setting, and participants: This retrospective analysis of North American Contact Dermatitis Group, European Surveillance System on Contact Allergies (ESSCA), and the Information Network of Departments of Dermatology (IVDK) databases included data from patients presenting for patch testing at referral patch test clinics in North America and Europe. Exposures: Patch tests to MCI/MI and MI. Main outcomes and measures: Prevalence of allergic contact dermatitis to MCI/MI and MI. Results: From 2009 to 2018, participating sites in North America and Europe patch tested a total of 226 161 individuals to MCI/MI and 118 779 to MI. In Europe, positivity to MCI/MI peaked during 2013 and 2014 at 7.6% (ESSCA) and 5.4% (IVDK) before decreasing to 4.4% (ESSCA) and 3.2% (IVDK) during 2017 and 2018. Positive reactions to MI were 5.5% (ESSCA) and 3.4% (IVDK) during 2017 and 2018. In North America, the frequency of positivity to MCI/MI increased steadily through the study period, reaching 10.8% for MCI/MI during 2017 and 2018. Positive reactions to MI were 15.0% during 2017 and 2018. Conclusions and relevance: The study results suggest that in contrast to the continued increase in North America, isothiazolinone allergy is decreasing in Europe. This trend may coincide with earlier and more stringent government regulation of MI in Europe.
  • Recommendation to update the British Society for Cutaneous Allergy corticosteroid series

    Johnston, Graham (2022-12-08)
    Background: Patch testing is an important investigation when dermatitis is unresponsive to, or worsened by, topical corticosteroid treatment. There is a balance to be struck between testing too many allergens, which is expensive, time consuming and risks causing sensitization, and testing too few, which risks missing the diagnosis. The current British Society for Cutaneous Allergy (BSCA) corticosteroid series comprises eight allergens and was last updated in February 2007. Aim: To review and update the BSCA corticosteroid series. Methods: We retrospectively analysed data from 16 patch test centres in the UK and Ireland for all patients who were patch tested to a corticosteroid series between August 2017 and July 2019. We recorded the allergens tested, the number and percentage tested to a corticosteroid series and the number of positive results for each allergen. We identified the allergens that test positive in ≥ 0.1% of selectively tested patients. Results: Overall, 3531 patients were tested to a corticosteroid series in the 16 centres. The number of allergens tested ranged from 7 to 18 (mean 10). The proportion of patch test patients who were tested to a corticosteroid series ranged from 1% to 99%. Six allergens in the 2017 BSCA series tested positive in ≥ 0.1% of patients. Nine allergens not in the BSCA corticosteroid series tested positive in ≥ 0.1% of patients. Conclusion: This audit demonstrates the importance of regular review of recommended series and the significant variations in practice. The new BSCA corticosteroid series that we recommend contains 13 haptens, with the addition of the patient's own steroid creams as appropriate.
  • Skin surgery training: a literature review of methods and their efficacy

    Wernham, Aaron (2023-02-14)
    Skin surgery ranges from small biopsies to Mohs micrographic surgery and excisions necessitating complex skin flap design or grafting. For all dermatology doctors in training there is a need to acquire competence to perform skin surgery safely, in an appropriate time frame, and with minimal complication rates. There exist a range of different methods, with varying reliance upon advancing technology, to teach skin surgery and to refine surgical skills before procedures are performed on patients. We searched PubMed, MEDLINE, and SCOPUS databases to identify all papers relevant to postgraduate dermatology skin surgery teaching and training published in the last 10 years in English. This yielded 440 results, for which all abstracts were screened. Manuscripts related to aesthetic surgery training, such as robotic hair transplantation training are excluded.
  • Assessing healthcare professionals' identification of paediatric dermatological conditions in darker skin tones

    Roland, Damian (2022-11-15)
    The impacts of the lack of skin tone diversity in medical education images on healthcare professionals (HCPs) and patients are not well studied. The aim of this study was to assess the diagnostic knowledge of HCPs and correlate this with confidence and training resources used. An online multiple choice quiz was developed. The participants' demographics, training resources and self-confidence in diagnosing skin conditions were collected. The differences in the results between the subgroups and the correlations between the respondents' experience, self-reported confidence and quiz results were assessed. The mean score of 432 international participants was 5.37 (SD 1.75) out of a maximum of 10 (highest score). Eleven percent (n = 47) reached the 80% pass mark. Subanalysis showed no difference by the continent (p = 0.270), ethnicity (p = 0.397), profession (p = 0.599), training resources (p = 0.198) or confidence (p = 0.400). A significance was observed in the specialty (p = 0.01). A weak correlation between experience and confidence (Spearman's ρ = 0.286), but no correlation between scores and confidence or experience (ρ = 0.087 and 0.076), was observed. Of diagnoses, eczema was recognised in 40% and meningococcal rash in 61%. This is the first study assessing the identification of paediatric skin conditions in different skin tones internationally. The correct identification of common/important paediatric conditions was poor, suggesting a possible difference in knowledge across skin tones. There is an urgent need to improve the representation of all skin tones to ensure equity in patient care.
  • Healing of ExcisionAl wounds on Lower legs by Secondary intention (HEALS) cohort study. Part 2: feasibility data from a multicentre prospective observational cohort study to inform a future randomized controlled trial

    Veitch, David (2022-10)
    Background: Compression therapy is considered beneficial for postsurgical lower leg wound healing by secondary intention; however, there is a lack of supportive evidence. To plan a randomized controlled trial (RCT), suitable data are needed. Aim: To determine the feasibility of recruitment and estimate recruitment rate; to understand the standard postoperative wound management pathway; to determine uptake of optional additional clinic visits for healing confirmation; and to explore patient acceptability of compression bandaging and plan a future RCT. Methods: Participant recruitment was performed from secondary care dermatology clinics, during a period of 22 months. Inclusion criteria were age ≥ 18 years, planned excision of keratinocyte cancer on the lower leg with healing by secondary intention and an ankle-brachial pressure index of ≥ 0.8. Exclusion criteria were planned primary closure/graft or flap; inability to receive, comply with or tolerate high compression; planned compression; or suspected melanoma. Patients were followed up weekly (maximum 6 months) in secondary care clinics and/or by telephone. Information was collected on healthcare resource use, unplanned compression, wound healing and an optional clinic visit to confirm healing. Results: This study recruited 58 patients from 9 secondary care dermatology clinics over 22 months. Mean recruitment/centre/month was 0.8 (range 0.1-2.3). Four centres had dedicated Research Nurse support. The analysis population (n = 53) had weekly follow-up assessments. Standard care clinical contacts were: general practitioner (7 visits; 1.2%), community nurse (169; 28.5%), practice nurse visits (189; 31.8%) and dermatology clinic visits (138; 23.2%). Participants whose wounds healed (34 of 45; 75.6%) attended an optional clinic visit. Conclusion: Data were obtained to inform a future RCT. Recruitment rates were found to be higher in centres with dedicated research support. People would be willing to take part in a trial and attend a confirmation of healing visit.
  • Healing of ExcisionAl wounds on Lower legs by Secondary intention (HEALS) cohort study. Part 1: a multicentre prospective observational cohort study in patients without planned compression

    Veitch, David (2022-10)
    Background: There is no agreed treatment pathway following excision of keratinocyte cancer (KC). Compression therapy is considered beneficial for secondary intention healing on the lower leg; however, there is a lack of supportive evidence. To plan a randomized controlled trial (RCT), suitable data are needed. We report a multicentre prospective observational cohort study in this patient population with the intention of informing a future trial design. Aim: To estimate the time to healing in wounds healing by secondary intention without planned postoperative compression, following excision of KC on the lower leg; to characterize the patient population, including factors affecting healing; and to assess the incidence of complications. Methods: This was a multicentre prospective observational cohort study. Inclusion criteria were age ≥ 18 years with planned excision of KC on the lower leg and healing by secondary intention, an ankle-brachial pressure index (ABPI) of ≥ 0.8; and written informed consent. Exclusion criteria included planned excision with primary closure, skin graft or flap; compression therapy for another indication; planned compression; inability of patient to receive, comply with or tolerate high compression; or a suspected diagnosis other than KC. Results: This study recruited 58 patients from 9 secondary care dermatology clinics. In the analysis population (n = 53), mean age was 81 years (range 25-97 years), median time to healing was 81 days (95% CI 73-92) and 45 patients (84.9%) had healing of the wound at the 6-month follow-up. The healing prognostic factors were wound parameters and ABPI. Wound infections occurred in 16 participants (30.2%). Four patients (7.5%) were admitted to hospital; three because of an infection and one because of a fall. Conclusions: The collected data have informed the RCT preparation. A relatively high proportion (7.5-15%) of unhealed wounds, infection and hospital admissions demonstrate the need for clearly establishing potentially effective treatments to improve outcomes for this population.
  • A review of the evidence for Mohs micrographic surgery. Part 2: basal cell carcinoma

    Veitch, David; Wernham, Aaron (2022-10)
    Mohs micrographic surgery (MMS) is considered the gold-standard treatment for basal cell carcinoma (BCC) particularly for sites with a high-risk of incomplete excision such as the central face, for tumours with an aggressive growth pattern and consequent unpredictable subclinical extension and for recurrent tumours. However, the process is more time-consuming than for standard excision (SE), and the magnitude of benefit is uncertain. This article aims to provide a more complete picture of current evidence, including a review of cosmetic outcomes, tissue-sparing ability and cost-effectiveness of MMS. Although robust evidence is lacking, there is a large volume of observational data supporting a low recurrence rate after MMS. The risk of incomplete excision and higher recurrence rate of standard excision favours the use of MMS at high-risk sites. There is some low-certainty evidence that MMS results in a smaller defect size compared with SE, and that incomplete excision with SE results in larger defects. Larger defects may affect cosmetic outcome but there is no direct evidence that MMS improves cosmetic outcome compared with SE. There is conflicting evidence regarding the cost of MMS compared with SE, as some studies consider MMS less expensive than SE and others consider it more expensive, which may reflect the healthcare setting. A multicentre 10-year randomized controlled trial comparing MMS and SE in the treatment of high-risk BCC would be desirable, but is unlikely to be feasible or ethical. Collection of robust registry data capturing both MMS and SE outcomes would provide additional long-term outcomes.
  • A review of Mohs micrographic surgery for skin cancer. Part 3: Squamous cell carcinoma

    Veitch, David; Wernham, Aaron (2022-10)
    This review presents and discusses the evidence for MMS to treat cutaneous squamous cell carcinoma (cSCC). The MEDLINE, Embase and Cochrane databases were searched; 39 papers were identified for recurrence and 2 papers for cost-effectiveness. We included all clinical trials and observational studies, including retrospective reports, and excluded editorials and systematic reviews or meta-analyses. We categorized the evidence under the following headings: tumour recurrence, specific site outcomes (ear, lip, scalp and periocular), cSCC with perineural invasion, and cost-effectiveness. Although there are many observational studies indicating the potential benefits of MMS in the management of certain cSCCs, no randomized controlled trials (RCT) were identified. The evidence from comparitor studies suggests that MMS has a lower recurrence rate than that of other treatments for cSCC, including standard excision. Many studies identified were single-armed, but did demonstrate a low to very low recurrence rate of cSCC following MMS. A single recent study suggests MMS for intermediate cSCC is highly cost-effective compared with wide local excision when all-in costs are considered. Since the overall quality of included studies was mixed and highly heterogeneous, further methodologically robust studies with comparator arms or comprehensive long-term registry data would be valuable. It would be ideal to employ a definitive multicentre RCT but given the evidence to date and multiple advantages to MMS, the lack of clinical equipoise makes this difficult to justify. Comparison with current modalities would likely not be ethical/achievable on a like-for-like basis given MMS provides 100% margin assessment, enables histological clearance prior to reconstruction, and minimizes the removal of uninvolved tissue.
  • A multicentre qualitative study of patient skin surgery experience during the COVID-19 pandemic in the UK

    Gnanappiragasam, Dushyanth; Veitch, David; Wernham, Aaron
    Understanding patient concerns regarding skin surgery during the COVID-19 pandemic is a vital way of learning from individual experiences. A shift towards using superficial absorbable sutures (AS) has been anecdotally observed. We explored patient attitudes to the use of AS, and their experiences and perceptions of attending for skin surgery during the pandemic. In total, 35 participants were interviewed (74% men, 100% white British; mean age 72.5 years, range 43-95 years). Participants reported that they were reassured by precautions taken to minimize exposure and risk from COVID-19. The majority (86%) did not feel that personal protective equipment worn by staff impaired their experience, and 29% reported that their experience of attending for skin surgery during the lockdown period was more efficient and organized than on prepandemic visits. The vast majority (94%) of participants would opt to have AS again or had no strong preference for either suture type. Based on their experiences, most participants would have no concerns about attending for further skin surgery during the pandemic and would opt to have AS.
  • Local anesthetics in dermatologic surgery: a review of adjuncts and pain reduction techniques

    Gnanappiragasam, Dushyanth; Veitch, David; Wernham, Aaron (2022-05-27)
    A variety of local anesthetic adjuncts exist for dermatological surgery. Similarly, many options to reduce the pain of local anesthesia exist. This review aims to summarise the evidence relating to local anesthetic adjuncts and methods to reduce the pain of local anesthesia. Adjuncts to local anesthetics can be an important consideration to optimise anesthetic effect. Current evidence suggests that buffering and warming local anesthetics, skin cooling, pinching, as well as administering vibrations to the skin are effective at reducing pain during administration. No significant difference was found between administering vibrations and skin cooling with regards to reducing pain. Studies demonstrate that overall, local anesthesia injection into distal sites is safe. However, there remains limited evidence specific to dermatologic surgery supporting ways to reduce pain during local anesthetic injection, and in determining the safety of local anesthetics for distal sites with confidence. Further high-quality research in the form of multi-centre randomised trials is required.
  • Translation into Spanish and field-testing of a new score for evaluating psoriasis severity: The Simplified Psoriasis Index (SPI)

    Helbling, Ingrid (2022-04)
    Background: The simplified psoriasis index (SPI) was developed in the United Kingdom to provide a simple summary measure for monitoring changes in psoriasis severity and associated psychosocial impact as well as for obtaining information about past disease behavior and treatment. Two complementary versions of the SPI allow for self-assessment by the patient or professional assessment by a doctor or nurse. Both versions have proven responsive to change, reliable, and interpretable, and to correlate well with assessment tools that are widely used in clinical trials - the Psoriasis Area and Severity Index and the Dermatology Quality of Life Index. The SPI has already been translated into several languages, including French, Brazilian Portuguese, Dutch, Arabic, and Thai. Objective: To translate the professional and self-assessment versions of the SPI to Spanish and to field test the translations. Method: A medically qualified native Spanish speaker translated both versions of the SPI into Spanish. The Spanish translations were discussed by comparing them to blinded back translations into English undertaken by native English speakers; the Spanish texts were then revised in an iterative process involving the translators, 4 dermatologists, and 20 patients. The patients scored their own experience of psoriasis with the self-assessment version and commented on it. The process involved checking the conceptual accuracy of the translation, language-related differences, and subtle gradations of meaning in a process involving all translators and a panel of both Spanish- and English-speaking dermatologists, including a coauthor of the SPI. Results: The final self-assessment and professional Spanish versions of the SPI are presented in this manuscript. Conclusions: Castilian Spanish translations of both versions of the SPI are now available for monitoring disease changes in Spanish-speaking patients with psoriasis under routine clinical care.
  • Use of perioperative prophylactic antibiotics following excision of ulcerated skin lesions in the UK: a national, multispeciality survey of clinicians

    Wernham, Aaron (2022-05)
    Skin cancer is the most common malignancy in the UK, and up to a third of lesions are ulcerated at the time of excision. Ulceration has been shown to increase the risk of developing surgical site infection following excision, with some studies finding infection rates of 33%. However, no specific guidelines for the use of antibiotic prophylaxis in such cases exist. We surveyed 129 clinicians (covering Dermatology, Plastic Surgery, Ear, Nose and Throat Surgery, and Oral and Maxillofacial Surgery) who all excise skin lesions on a regular basis. There was significant variability in their practice with regard to antibiotic prophylaxis, with 9% always prescribing them and 19% never prescribing them. Variation exists both among and between specialities. This variation increases the risk of antimicrobial resistance and shows a paucity of good clinical evidence, indicating that a well-designed clinical trial is needed to guide future practice.
  • A review of Mohs micrographic surgery for skin cancer. Part 1: Melanoma and rare skin cancers

    Veitch, David; Wernham, Aaron (2022-05)
    Mohs micrographic surgery (MMS) is a precise and effective method commonly used to treat high-risk basal cell carcinoma and squamous cell carcinoma on the head and neck. Although the majority of evidence for MMS relates to keratinocyte cancers, there is published evidence for other types of skin cancer. This review aims to discuss the evidence for using MMS to treat six different types of skin cancer [malignant melanoma, lentigo maligna, dermatofibrosarcoma protuberans, atypical fibroxanthoma (AFX), microcystic adnexal carcinoma and pleomorphic dermal sarcoma (PDS)] particularly in the context of survival rates and cancer recurrence. These cancers were chosen because there was sufficient literature for inclusion and because MMS is most useful when cancers are contiguous, rather than for cancers with marked metastatic potential such as angiosarcoma or Merkel cell carcinoma. We searched MEDLINE, PubMed and Embase using the keywords: 'melanoma', 'mohs micrographic surgery', 'lentigo maligna', 'dermatofibrosarcoma protuberans', 'atypical fibroxanthoma', 'microcystic adnexal carcinoma' and 'pleomorphic dermal sarcoma' along with their appropriate synonyms, to identify the relevant English-language articles from 2000 onwards, given that literature for MMS on nonkeratinocyte cancers is sparse prior to this year. AMSTAR (A MeaSurement Tool to Assess systematic Review) was used to assess the validity of systematic reviews. Further high-quality, multicentre randomized trials are necessary to establish the indications and efficacy of MMS for rarer cancers, particularly for AFX and PDS, for which only limited studies were identified.
  • Impact of diversity in training resources on self-confidence in diagnosing skin conditions across a range of skin tones: An international survey

    Roland, Damian (2022-02-25)
    Background: Medical images are invaluable in facilitating recognition of clinical signs. Recent studies highlight a lack of diversity of skin tone images used within medical education. However, there is a paucity of data on the impact of this on patient care. Aims: To investigate diversity in training resources used by users of an International online teaching platform and self-confidence in diagnosing skin conditions in all skin tones. Methods: Users of an online teaching platform (www.dftbskindeep.com) were invited to participate in a survey evaluating key points including geographical location, ethnicity, profession, specialty, years of experience, training resources and confidence in diagnosing skin conditions. Data analyses were performed using SPSS. Categorical variables were presented as proportions. Chi-squared or Fisher's exact tests were used to compare the distribution between groups as appropriate. Results: Of 600 participants, 74% reported training resources featuring predominantly white skin. Participants were "generally uncertain" in 43% cases, "sometimes uncertain but clinically safe" (52%), and "confident across a range of skin tones" in a minority (5%). Self-confidence was associated with location [higher in Africa (29%) and Latin America (11%), (p < 0.001)]; diversity of training resources [higher with a mix (10%) or darker tones (20%) (p < 0.001)]; clinical experience [6-10 (5%) or >10 years of practice (11%) (p < 0.001)] and specialty [highest in dermatologists (53%, p < 0.001)]. Self-confidence was lowest among pediatricians, emergency medicine and pediatric emergency medicine specialists (<5%). Conclusions: These data provide preliminary evidence that training resources used by healthcare professionals on a global scale may lack enough diversity on representation of skin images, and a lack of self-confidence in diagnosing pediatric skin conditions. Further work is needed to understand the impact on knowledge and patient care to ensure equitable healthcare for all.
  • Observational study to estimate the proportion of surgical site infection following excision of ulcerated skin tumours (OASIS study)

    Wernham, Aaron (2021-12-30)
    Background: Ulceration is a recognized risk factor for surgical site infection (SSI); however, the proportion of patients developing SSI after excision of an ulcerated skin cancer is unknown. Aim: To determine the proportion of participants with SSI after surgical excision of an ulcerated skin cancer. A secondary aim was to assess feasibility outcomes to inform the design of a randomized controlled trial to investigate the benefits and harms of perioperative antibiotics following excision of ulcerated tumours. Methods: This was a multicentre, prospective, observational study of patients undergoing excision of an ulcerated skin cancer between March 2019 and March 2020. Prior to surgical excision, surface swabs of the ulcerated tumours of participants recruited from one centre were undertaken to determine organism growth. At 4 weeks after surgery, all participants were e-mailed or posted the Wound Healing Questionnaire (WHQ) to determine whether they had developed SSI. Results: In total, 148 participants were recruited 105 (70.9%) males; mean ± SD age 77.1 ± 12.3 years. Primary outcome data were available for 116 (78.4%) participants, of whom 35 (30.2%) were identified as having an SSI using the WHQ with a cutoff score of 8, and 47 (40.5%) were identified with a cutoff score of 6. Using the modified WHQ in participants with wounds left to heal by secondary intention, 33 (28.4%) and 43 (37.1%) were identified to have SSI respectively. Conclusion: This prospective evaluation of SSI identified with the WHQ following excision of ulcerated skin cancers demonstrated a high proportion with SSI. The WHQ was acceptable to patients; however, further evaluation is required to ensure validity in assessing skin wounds.

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