Dermatologists Increasingly Focusing, Targeting Treatments on Ethnic Skin
Dermatologists around the country are developing better treatments for patients who have pigmented skin, and some providers are concentrating their practices on minorities who "previously were neglected by drug and cosmetic company research," the AP/San Jose Mercury News reports. The trend is reflected in a number of dermatology conferences including sessions on ethnic skin, and a growing number of minorities entering the dermatology specialty. Rebat Halder, a physician with the Howard University Ethnic Skin Research Institute, said, "By midcentury, half the U.S. population will be of pigmented skins." Halder edited the first comprehensive textbook on the dermatology of ethnic skin. According to the AP/Mercury News, pigmented skin can react differently than white skin to certain treatments and medications; can be more prone to discoloration after injury; and is more likely to develop keloids, a type of scarring. Those with darker skin also are more likely to develop certain skin conditions, including melasma and vitiligo. Diane Jackson-Richards, a physician at the Henry Ford Health System's Multicultural Dermatology Center, said, "I have African-American patients come to me frustrated that their previous dermatologists didn't understand their hair and scalp disorders and pigmentation problems. I treat all races of people, but I've ... been sought out by patients of color" (Johnson, AP/San Jose Mercury News, 11/25).This is part of the KHN Morning Briefing, a summary of health policy coverage from major news organizations. Sign up for an email subscription.