19th December Scientific Symposium – Dermatological Aspects of Perimenopause

For the nineteenth consecutive year, on December 2nd, 2022, the Department of Medical Sciences of the Croatian Academy of Sciences and Arts, the Department of Dermatology and Venereology at Sestre milosrdnice University Hospital Center (UHC), the Croatian Society of Dermatological Oncology of the Croatian Medical Association and the Croatian Dermatovenerological Society of the Croatian Medical Association organized the traditional scientific dermatovenerological symposium, called the December Symposium, as it is held regularly on the first Friday in December. The theme of this year’s December Symposium was Dermatological Aspects of Perimenopause. As usual, the symposium took place in the historical Revival Stateroom in the National Hall of the Croatian Academy of Sciences and Arts located in Zagreb’s old upper town in Opatička Street 18.

The symposium provided an interdisciplinary approach in addressing topics from a particularly challenging period in women’s lives, which is the focus of menopausal medicine. This branch of medicine covers the care of women’s health during the period of estrogen deficiency, from perimenopause, which encompasses a multi-year period of hormonal changes during which ovarian function gradually ceases and occurs 5 to 10 years before menopause, to menopause itself. Perimenopause lasts for almost a third of a woman’s life and during this period women undergo a series of changes – not only hormonal, but also psychological and social. The lack of estrogen hormones causes a series of structural and functional changes in all tissues, organs and organ systems, resulting in a range of subjective difficulties that drastically reduce quality of life.

The symposium focused on the psychological aspects and quality of life of perimenopausal women, skin aging due to estrogen deficiency and hormone replacement therapy options to slow down skin aging. Common skin diseases such as acne and various scalp disorders in the perimenopausal period were also addressed. The second part of the symposium was dedicated to dermocosmetic procedures and treatments most sought and underwent by perimenopausal women to slow and mitigate the skin aging process and improve hair quality. The most popular invasive procedures in aesthetic surgery were also discussed, as well as nutritional aspects that are receiving increasing attention in medicine, including perimenopause. 

A number of eminent dermatovenerologists participated in the symposium, coming from several UHCs: Sestre milosrdnice (Academician Mirna Šitum, Chair of the Organizing Committee, Prof. Marija Buljan, MD, PhD, Asst. Prof. Ines Sjerobabski Masnec, MD, PhD and Maja Kovačević, MD), Zagreb (Prof. Zrinka Bukvić Mokos, MD, PhD, and Prof. Branka Marinović, MD, PhD, President of the Croatian Dermatovenerological Society of the Croatian Medical Association) and Rijeka (Prof. Ines Brajac, MD, PhD). Other experts who presented at the meeting included Prof. Marina Šprem Goldštajn, MD, PhD, President of the Croatian Menopause Society of the Croatian Medical Association, gynaecology and obstetrics specialist at UHC Zagreb, Prof. Rado Žic, MD, PhD, President of the Croatian Society of Plastic, Reconstructive and Aesthetic Surgery of the Croatian Medical Association, plastic surgeon at the University Hospital Dubrava, Helena Jerković, PhD, clinical psychologist at the Department of Dermatology and Venereology, Sestre milosrdnice UHC and Asst. Prof. Darija Vranešić Bender, PhD, nutritionist at UHC Zagreb. 

The traditional 19th December Scientific Symposium was opened by Academician Vida Demarin, Secretary of the Department of Medical Sciences, on behalf of the Croatian Academy of Sciences and Arts.

                                                                                                Mirna Šitum

                                                                                                Nika Franceschi