Diversity in Dermatology

Diversity in Dermatology: The Relevance of Skin Tone

For too long, medical research has focused primarily on the health needs of white individuals, neglecting the unique needs of people of color. This disparity is particularly evident in the field of dermatology, where research studies have historically focused on the skin conditions and treatments of white patients, often to the exclusion of patients with skin of color. Read more in our blog about the value of diversity in dermatology and the relevance of skin tone.

Understanding Skin of Color

The skin of color refers to a broad range of skin tones, from light brown to dark brown and black. Including individuals of African, Latino, Asian, Native American, and Middle Eastern descent. These patients often have distinct skin types and are prone to a different set of skin conditions than those with lighter skin.

For example, patients with darker skin are more likely to develop conditions such as keloids. Which are raised scars that can develop after surgery or injury, and post-inflammatory hyperpigmentation, or the darkening of the skin after inflammation/trauma. They are also more prone to certain types of skin cancer, such as squamous cell carcinoma, and may present with different symptoms than those with lighter skin.

Diversity in Dermatology

Diversity in Research

For far too long, patients with skin of color have been left out of crucial research studies. Leading to a lack of data and understanding of how to best treat these patients. This can lead to misdiagnosis and inappropriate treatment. Which can have a significant impact on patient outcomes and quality of life.

To address this issue, dermatologists and researchers must recognize the importance of including patients with skin of color in their studies. This includes increasing the diversity of clinical trial participants and ensuring that research is conducted in an appropriate manner. Additionally, researchers must consider the unique characteristics of skin of color when designing studies. Including differences in skin anatomy, physiology, and response to treatments. This may require the development of new research methods and tools specifically tailored to this population.

What We’re Doing to Help

Skin color isn’t just a surface-level difference – it affects skin anatomy and physiology in ways that have yet to be fully understood. Eczema, also known as atopic dermatitis, is particularly prevalent in individuals with darker skin tones. Current studies at Texas Dermatology provide an essential opportunity to study eczema in skin of color. Adults and children ages 12 and older who have been diagnosed with moderate-to-severe atopic dermatitis may be eligible to participate in a research study. Those that qualify and participate may see a dermatologist at no cost. As well as, have access to study medications, and receive compensation for time and travel. With a deeper and more nuanced understanding of the diverse factors that contribute to medical conditions. We can strive to provide better care and treatment options for all individuals.

Diversity in Dermatology

At Texas Dermatology, we currently have various atopic dermatitis trials enrolling for individuals of all ages and skin tones! If you’re looking to explore potential new options– learn more about study opportunities by visiting our website today!



Recent Posts