This odyssey began with an email from Bruce Theirs asking me to consider editing a special issue of Dermatology Clinics dedicated to dermatoepidemiology. We quickly decided to broaden the focus to include public health—making this the first issue of any Clinics of North America series specifically devoted to topic of public health. I solicited potential articles from colleagues and members of the dermatoepidemiology list serve maintained by Martin Weinstock at Brown University. Manuscripts were submitted and peer reviews in the fall of 2008. Reviewers were given the option of revealing or not revealing their identity to the authors and to our readers. I thank the peer reviewers listed below for their attention to detail and for the hundreds of comments they offered that have vastly improved this issue:
- Adam Asarch (two articles),
- Maged Kamel Boulos,
- David Buller,
- Avanta Collier,
- Lori Crane (3 articles),
- Guy Eslick,
- Rod Hay,
- Whitney High,
- Alexa Kimball,
- Kristie McNealy (2 articles),
- David Norris,
- Rachael Simmons,
- Hywel Williams (two articles), and
- others who remain anonymous.
While hot button issues in both fields are discussed, the articles in the end treat dermatologic public health topics more than epidemiology. Alireza Khatami and Miguel San Sebastian lead off this issue discussing the community health perspective on skin disease as a neglected public health problem. Angela Sauaia and I next address disparities in dermatologic health care. Bridgit Nolan and Steven Feldman review behavioral study topics particularly relevant to dermatology: tanning addiction and medication compliance. Adam Asarch and colleagues summarize the principles of sound survey research. Karl Vance and colleagues describe the potential of social website marketing for dermatologic public health messages. Marlies Wakkee and Tamar Nijsten review the increasing importance of comorbidities in dermatologic research. Raja Sivamani and colleagues examine UV tanning public health messaging. Linh Lu and colleagues make the case for increased nickel regulation to reduce the most common cause of allergic contact dermatitis. Shalya Francis and colleagues examine and classify US statutes governing dermatologic scope of practice. Yakir Levin and Erin Warshaw review the emerging field of teledermatology. Heather Hoch and colleagues expose the growing influence of health care consumers on dermatology. Luigi Naldi and Liliane Chatenoud describe registry research examples, opportunities, and pitfalls and provide guidelines for the reporting of this type of research. Rachel Simmons and colleagues describe online dermatology resources. Christina Neslon and colleagues suggest guidelines for manuscript and publication review suggestions. And lastly Marianne Berwick and colleagues outline the epidemiology and public health issues of one of dermatology’s gravest problems, melanoma.
This issue of Dermatology Clinics also initiates the use of podcasts  by a dermatology journal. I thank Chis Mavergames and Mike Clark for teaching an exciting workshop on the importance of this new technology at the Cochrane Colloquium in Freiberg Germany in October 2008.
I thank Bruce Theirs for the invitation to edit this issue. I thank Carla Holloway for her professional editorial assistance. I thank the University of Colorado Denver, School of Medicine for interdisciplinary academic enrichment funds that supported discussion sessions among some of the authors and the National Cancer Institute for a career development grant that supported some of my salary while working on this project. And lastly I thank my wife, Lisa, and children, Natalia and Eric, for accommodating the time and effort this project directed away from their company and love.