Skin Deep - Clinical & Cosmetic Dermatology Blog

Skin Deep is a blog for dermatologists and skin care professionals with focus on theoretical, cosmetic and aesthetic dermatology. This blog is associated with ‘Dermatologists Sans Borders’ one of the largest curated groups of skin care professionals on facebook. If you are looking for non-technical information, please visit

What is Health 2.0?

medicine 2.0
medicine 2.0 (Photo credit: Medicine 2.0)
Health 2.0 is a novel concept that may revolutionise healthcare just as web 2.0 revolutionised the www. Bioinformaticians mooted personalised medicine as the holy grail for health sector and a distinct possibility in the not so distant future. I don't know how distant the future is, but I can see 'socialised' medicine already in the horizon. It includes social media and related things such as blogs, health platforms, health websites and the healthcare apps in your iphone. Just as web 2.0 made internet experience more interactive, health 2.0 is set to make healthcare more participatory. I am eagerly waiting for the Health 2.0 conference in Middle East (January 27-28, 2013 in Dubai) and in Bangalore February 2013! . Here is an interview with the Director - International Events of Health 2.0.

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Semantic LIterature Summary Engine for (Dermatology) - SLISE(D)

Taverna 1.5 Splash Screen
Taverna 1.5 Splash Screen (Photo credit: dullhunk)
For the last few weeks, I have been trying to understand web services. Wikipedia defines a web service as a method of communication between two electronic devices over the world wide web. Basically big guys with plenty of infrastructural resources and expertise provide services on the internet, which (poor) people like me can "consume" and create innovative applications using them. There is also a work bench to run these services called Taverna.

Web service triangle
Web service triangle (Photo credit: dullhunk)
SLISE is actually an offshoot of another project that I was working on. It was not even in my mind when I started. But it took only about 24 hours to implement it after the idea struck me. In fact I could utilise most of the code, I had written for the other project. Though the description on the home page (written in the form of an FAQ has blown it 'little' out of proportion, I gives pretty decent results considering all the fundamental limitations of biomedical data mining.

I don't want to copy and paste the faq from the home page . But here is the result I got for "Morphea Profunda":

Summary: Morphea profunda at 75 thresold.
Available articles: 16 out of which 16 were read from 0

We report here the first two cases of morphea profunda treated with abatacept [1] . Subcutaneous plasma cell infiltrate has been described in many diseases such as lupus profundus and lymphoplasmocytic panniculitis of Lyme disease [2] . Light microscopy studies revealed excessive dermal collagen deposition with thickened hyalinized collagen bundles [3] . Our observation highlights the wide spectrum( APRD00506 APRD00552 ) of clinical presentations of localized scleroderma [4] . Muscle biopsy eventually revealed zones of myositis, compatible with morphea profunda [5] . We describe two young children who had morphea consistent with the deep morphea type (morphea profunda) that appeared at the site of a previous vaccination [6] . The lesion did not completely match either lupus erythematosus profundus or morpheaprofunda but featured clinical and pathological findings halfway between the two entities [7] . No case report of co-existence of systemic sclerosis and morphea profunda was found in the literature, but there are three case reports of patients with systemic sclerosis and lupus erythematosus profundus [8] . We report a case of morphea profunda affecting a young man with severe, rapidly progressive, widespread skin involvement and focus on the eventual systemic evolution of such cases [9] . These had been interpreted as subcutaneous lipomatosis on the basis of an ultrasound scan [10] . The lesions had become progressively larger, while their surface had assumed a scleroatrophic appearance [11] . Laboratory investigations provided normal range of erythrocyte sedimentation rat and C reactive protein levels and other inflammation markers [12] . The diagnosis of morphea profunda was made on the basis of clinical and histopathological findings [13] . We describe a 24-year-old woman with a solitary morphea profunda associated with lymphangiectasia [14] . Solitary morphea profunda is a variant of localized scleroderma that has not been reported previously in childhood [15] .
References: (1) | (2) | (3) | (4) | (5) | (6) | (7) | (8) | (9) | (10) | (11) | (12) | (13) | (14) | (15) |

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Dermatology Dissertation / Thesis Topics - 2

I have added a function to search ongoing and completed clinical trials registered for a drug. You can search for any condition. I think this may be a good starting point for your thesis topic hunt. This script uses a free webservice provided by aetna. This application is available here.
Clinical Trials
The National Centre for Text Mining (NaCTeM) has a very comprehensive and innovative clinical trial protocol search system here. You can narrow down your search based on document or ontology (UMLS SNOMED CT) based criteria. NaCTeM is operated by the University of Manchester with close collaboration with the University of Tokyo. The system is called ASCOT (Assisting Search and Creation Of clinical Trials). ASCOT integrates a component for recommending eligibility criteria based on a set of selected protocols. The open access publication on ASCOT is available here. BTW the photo on the right was taken by me last year in front of University of Manchester. Oh No!.. It is not a self portrait :)

Updated: NEW Dermatology Thesis Topics MarketPlace 

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About Me

As a Dermatologist and Informatician my research mainly involves application of bioinformatics techniques and tools in dermatological conditions. However my research interests are varied and I have publications in areas ranging from artificial intelligence, sequence analysis, systems biology, ontology development, microarray analysis, immunology, computational biology and clinical dermatology. I am also interested in eHealth, Health Informatics and Health Policy.


Bell Raj Eapen
Hamilton, ON