20th Anniversary of the Italian Society for Hair Science
20th Anniversary of the Italian Society for Hair Science
On April 17th, surrounded by the spectacular scenery of the city of Florence on one of the most beautiful spring days, the Italian Society for Hair Science (Società Italiana di Tricologia, or S.I.Tri.) celebrated its 20th anniversary. In honor of this special occasion, a two day weekend event was held. Beginning on Saturday, April 16th the event kicked off with a guided tour of the Uffizi Gallery and Vasari Corridor (opened exclusively for us) – two of the most important museums in the world. That evening the celebration continued with a Gala Dinner where important exchanges were made and where awards we given in recognition of progress made in the field by many of the illustrious colleagues present. The close-knit founding members of the Society concluded the evening gathered around the cake in an intimate moment at the nucleus of a group that has always worked together towards the same goal.
The Italian Society for Hair Science was founded in 1996 as a scientific, apolitical, non-profit organization whose goal was to see that Trichology be considered a Scientific Branch of Polispecialist Medicine as well as, in a more general sense, a Branch of Humanistic Culture.
S.I.Tri. as an organization has grown in recent years, promoting scientific and formative research. Confirmation of the Society’s development was acknowledged by the numerous attendees of this conference, a basis for pride and satisfaction for the Society’s founding members after 20 years of work and dedication. Among the 250 attendees were doctors, biologists, researchers, pharmacists and trichologists, many of them illustrious colleagues who came from all over the world.
Opening Sunday’s conference were Dr. Daniele Campo and Dr. Vincenzo Gambino who spoke of the history of Trichology and the evolution of hair restoration in the new millennium. In speaking of the history of S.I.Tri, they also paid homage to Dr. Andrea Marliani as the founding president, to the founding members and to all who have contributed to the growth of the Society since its birth in 1996.
The day was divided into various themes:
Hair Restoration Surgery (Trichology)
During this segment of the conference, presentations were given by Dr. Piero Tesauro, followed by our Japanese colleague Dr. Kuniyoshi Yagyu who is the acting president of ISHRS, our Polish colleague Dr. Marwan Saifi and by our British colleague Dr. Bessam Farjo.
Dr. Tesauro drew attention to the existence of an expiration date of a hair transplant, an aspect that is rarely discussed. Identified as a possible solution was the creation of a network of professional hair restoration surgeons and dermatologists who would gather together to work towards the same objective: to satisfy the patient and maintain long term results. To establish this project it would be necessary to work on communication amongst colleagues and to make the approach towards the patient uniform, avoiding solutions that are not farsighted. Only in this way can we best combat the present day illegitimate market that aggressively proposes a transplant as the only definite solution.
Dr. Yagyu illustrated his high-density transplant experience in cases of secondary scarring alopecia explaining the existing relationship between tropism of the scarred tissue and the choice of the density of the implant. In his experience, some cases were able to be resolved in just one session whereas other cases required more prudently scheduled sessions of repeated auto-transplantation.
Dr. Saifi underlined the importance of deciding case per case which surgical (hair restoration??) strategy was most appropriate among the wide range of available choices, thereby giving responsibility also to the patient so that the expectations can be realistic.
The innovations in the field of surgery(hair restoration??) was exhibited by Dr. Farjo who presented the Fue “robotic” auto-transplant with the aid of a surprising video. He described the ARTAS system, its advantages and its new function/capacity as an instrument to be used during the phase of inserting follicular units.
An interesting presentation was given by Dr. Fiorella Bini who spoke of LED photobiostimulation bringing to light the molecular mechanism that would render this therapy effective in the trichology field during the treatment of areata alopecia, AGA, scarring alopecia (alone or in combination with PRP and auto-transplantation) and describing the various active mechanisms (production of growth factors, stimulation of cellular mitosis, activation of totipotent cells, increased microcircolation, anti-inflammatory and immunomodulation actions). Following this presentation, Dr. Soresina described with great balance and precision the role of the LLLT in the treatment of AGA. Beginning with specific bibliographic research, Dr. Soresina compared the information with the results of clinical cases (with other available therapies), highlighting the encouraging results of this therapy in the improvement of the calibre and quality of the hair.
This part of the conference was opened by Dr. Marcella Guarrera, esteemed Italian researcher who together with Prof. Alfredo Rebora, described for the first time in 2002 a new phase of the follicular cycle: the Kenogen (Dermatology, 2002; 205(2); 108-10). For the conference she chose to highlight the differences between another two phases of the pilaris cycle, the telogen and the exogen, thereby widening the understanding of a common pathology of the hair cycle: the telogen effluvium. Echoing Dr. Guarrera was Dr. Paolo Gigli who listed for us the clinical characteristics and epidemiology of this pathology together with the criteria for the diagnosis and subsequent therapy.
New Developments in Trichology
The latest developments in the scientific field of Trichology have been gathered in this section with the assistance of various researchers including Dr. Marta Bertolini PhD (University of Munster, Germany – Laboratory for Trichology Research and Regenerative Medicine) who reported on the understanding of the principle molecular mechanisms (which emerged from in vitro studies) involved in the development of alopecia areata. The researcher whose presence was strongly desired by Dr. Roberto D’Ovidio, worked for years in close contact with two of the most eminent scholars in the field of Trichology, Prof. Ralf Paus and Dr. Desmond Tobin. She reported on the results of the experiments that would prove the VIP (Vasoactive Intestinal Peptide) molecule or those analogous to the VIP molecule to be potential protective agents against the extension of alpecic patches. She also described the cells involved in the immune response to the hair follicle.
The next paper to be presented brought to light a new therapeutic target for adrogenetic alopecia, the WNT receptor, discovered through research conducted by Prof. Antonella Tosti.
Alopecia, particular cases, proposals and confirmations
Numerous specialists in dermatology participated in this part of the conference, touching on various topics, including differential diagnoses of scarring alopecia, inflammatory/unknown alopecia (which could be responsible for a low engraftment of the grafts during the auto-transplant procedure), and feminine baldness discussed by the acting president of the Society, Dr. Gaetano Agostinacchio.
The presentations by the former founding president of S.I.Tri. Dr. Andrea Marliani were effective and precious as always.
SMP (scalp micropigmentation)
In parallel was the section dedicated to cosmetics and the well being tied to the health of the hair, and to the technique of dermopigmentation, a method by now affirmed and in evolution with the development of new pigments (Milena Lardi).
What has emerged from this conference?
- Enormous interest.
- The strong correlation between doctors, (hair restoration??) surgeons, biologists, pharmacists, researchers and cosmetologists.
On the Italian front, there remain the following concerns:
– the need for a model of communication and integrated therapy
– the need for a standardized approach to the patient (therapy protocol)
– the lack of union and intention between the various professional figures
– the difficulty in the exchange of information
We therefore encourage an ever greater participation in the S.I.Tri. conferences which need to be considered as a jumping point for the definition of new collaborative models.
The conference wrapped with a Round Table in which many participated and with the presentation of Certificates of Participation to all the Italian and foreign students who had completed the Advanced Training Course in Trichology (the course is held on-line on the website https://formazione.sitri.it/).
The Italian Society of Trichology, now with a very high number of active members, is able to offer to all doctors diverse training programs among which are:
– University Master’s course through the University of Florence
– Advanced Training Course in Trichology (on-line)
– Practical Course in Hair Restoration Surgery
– Practical Course in Microscopic Trichology in Polarized Light
– Italian Journal of Trichology
– Italian Manual of Trichology and many other books and publications