Science Matters: Dermatologist, Brian Kim, MD

Science Matters: Dermatologist, Brian Kim, MD


Why are we doing what we do? Well, a great example that I’ll never forget for the rest of my career is a patient who walked in to my clinic one day. Scratch marks all over her body, on anxiety meds. Had chronic itch for two years. Been told by numerous physicians ‘There’s nothing we can do’ ‘This is just something you have to live with’ Well, those of us who treat chronic itch know that it can be associated with a variety of medical conditions. So we do an extensive evaluation. In doing that, we actually found a very large lymphoma in her chest. And we know that lymphomas can be associated with chronic, debilitating itch. And in her case, she actually underwent chemotherapy. A week later, the itch melted away, along with every other anxiety. She got her life back. And she actually later told me that she was relieved to be actually diagnosed with lymphoma. Because she finally had an answer for why she was itching. So that really inspired me to find more answers and to figure out why does itch become so pathologic. And how can we help people, not just with lymphoma but all kinds of chronic itch disorders like eczema.

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