Tamia Harris-Tryon, MD, PhD: Connection Between Skin Microbiome and Hidradenitis Suppurativa

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During this interview, Dr. Harris-Tryon spoke about the most important points covered in her upcoming talk at the 8th Annual Symposium on Hidradenitis Suppurativa Advances.

In her interview with HCPLive, Tamia Harris-Tryn, MD, PhD, spoke with the editorial team about the points covered in her upcoming presentation at the 8th Annual Symposium on Hidradenitis Suppurativa Advances in Phoenix, on October 13 - 15.

Harris-Tryon is known for her work as an associate professor in the Department of Dermatology for UT Southwestern Medical Center.

During the interview, Harris-Tryon described some of the biggest takeaways from her presentation, which specifically covers the microbiology of HS and its connection to the skin microbiome.

“When we talk about microbes, we're talking about viruses, bacteria, fungi, even mites that normally live on the skin, and we know those get off balance in different conditions,” she said. “And my lab focuses on trying to understand why it is that those microbes might be unbalanced and conditions like HS.”

Harris-Tryon added that the most important thing that she hopes to convey to her audience in the upcoming talk is that while the microbiome field ends up in the lay press, it is important for clinicians and scientists to unpack what it is the microbes do on the skin.

“Really the goal of my talk is to take a step back and ask what is it that these microbes do for us? Or how do they impact our biology?” she stated. “So we're going to be taking kind of a big step back to simplify that process, so that we can make sure that we're addressing these questions in the right way.”

She further stated that in her talk, another major topic covered is that a patient’s diet has a big impact on the skin microbiome. Harris-Tryon added that while it is well-established that the diet has an impact on the gut microbiome, unpublished work from her lab shows that the diet has a big impact on the skin microbiome as well.

“It's really hard because this has always been a disease that we don't fully understand,” she said. “And so we've spent a tremendous amount of time, more recently, fueling efforts and funds towards understanding HS. But we still don't understand even why our patients respond to medicines. We don't fully even understand why our patients respond to biologics and why certain patients don't.”

The importance of understanding diet's connection to conditions like HS was viewed by Harris-Tryon as invaluable, as she noted that the bulk of the nutrients patients consume should be primarily healthy foods.

To find out more about Harris-Tryon’s work and presentation, view the full HCPLive interview segment posted above.

The quotes contained in this description were edited for clarity.

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