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Welcome back, Medscape Readers! This month, faculty of the 2023 Skin of Color Update  share the practice pearls they will present to attendees, and candidly opine on topics ranging from the most challenging issue they face in practice to whether or not we as a community are adequately addressing/correcting systemic inequities (bias, social determinants of health, and racism). 

Last month we spoke with faculty on what was hot at the 18th annual Women’s & Pediatric Dermatology Seminar. Click here if you missed it! 

Save the Date and Register Now!

2023 Skin of Color Update  

October 6–8, 2023 | New York Hilton Midtown | New York, NY

  • Educate dermatology clinicians and trainees to best ​diagnose and treat dermatologic disorders in populations with skin of color, including those that disproportionately affect higher skin phototypes. 
  • Educate clinicians and trainees to best treat the aesthetic needs of patients with skin of color.
  • Provide the latest updates on diagnostic, therapeutic, and cosmetic treatment best practices for dermatologic conditions in populations with skin of color.
  • Equip practitioners to deliver safe, effective, and culturally competent care to a diverse patient population.
  • Click here to register!

46th Annual Hawaii Derm 2024 

  • Presidents’ Week February 19, 2024 
  • In-person event!
  • World-class faculty bring the latest dermatological advancements with presentations that go beyond the podium.
  • New developments in aesthetic medicine to the latest breakthroughs in the treatment of skin diseases.
  • Acne to atopic dermatitis, psoriasis to skin cancers, surgical pearls to nonsurgical facial rejuvenation, and more.

Thank you to our panelists for their time and expertise this month. Happy Summer and happy reading! —Colleen Hutchinson

Rapid Fire with the SOCU 2023 Faculty 

Affiliations for these faculty can be found by clicking here

Do you think the Skin of Color Update is a needed target symposium? 

Dr. Noelani González: Absolutely, this meeting aids dermatologists in furthering care and keeping up to date on treating skin of color patients, which is an unmet need. There is no other meeting like it. 

Dr. Hilary Baldwin: Yes. Issues facing patients with more richly pigmented skin need to be specifically and conscientiously discussed.

Dr. Jared Jagdeo: This meeting is essential. As a leading dermatologist and researcher focused on all skin types, including health disparities in skin of color in dermatology, this meeting helps raise awareness of the cutting-edge concerns and treatments for skin of color.

Dr. Eliot Battle: Absolutely! It's essential to have expertise in treating skin of color. 

Dr. Cheryl Burgess: Yes, I am still getting people of color (POC) patients with both incorrect diagnoses and medications. 

A pearl from my upcoming talk:

Dr. Ted Rosen: Because erythema may be subtle in skin of color, when assessing for connective tissue disorders, look for skin swelling, tenderness, and dyschromia instead of redness.

Dr. González: We'll be talking about cosmetics pearls when treating the Hispanic patient, everything ranging from hyperpigmentation to injectables.

Dr. Jagdeo: I'll be presenting on practical clinical pearls for the treatment of Keloid scars.

Dr. Battle: Our skin reacts not just based on its color. Many other criteria impact how our skin reacts, including ethnic mixture, age, gender, health, sun exposure, hormones and exercise.

Dr. Baldwin: Rosacea is underrecognized and underdiagnosed in patients with darker skin tones. Additionally, these patients often have sensitive skin and some of the older rosacea medications can lead to further irritation and the possibility of iatrogenic hyperpigmentation. Newer topical agents with superior vehicles are highly effective and well tolerated.

Most challenging issue my counterparts and I face today in working with this population of patients:  

Dr. Baldwin: Since in the US patients with skin of color (SOC) generally have inferior insurance coverage, my biggest challenge is getting the good medications to my patients.

Dr. González: The lack of equal and adequate representation in clinical trials

Dr. Jagdeo: Continued need for industry-clinical partnership and collaborative growth. Together, we can accomplish incredible things for patients of all skin types.

Dr. Battle: Aesthetically: Non-invasive skin tightening

Dr. Burgess: Frustration with therapies not working or wrong choice of medications prescribed. Providers not concerned with skin reactions or fail to identify skin reactions.

Are we adequately addressing/correcting systemic inequities (bias, social determinants of health, and racism): 

Dr. Battle: No—but courses like this help.

Dr. González No.

Dr. Jagdeo: The first step toward adequately addressing and correcting systemic inequities is identifying the existence and creating steps toward addressing these biases. Our recent published research in the JAAD and other journals has helped identify some concerning differences across various groups, and the next step is continued education on this topic to help prompt the next steps toward remedying healthcare inequities.

Dr. Baldwin: No. But not sure how to fix this insidious problem.

Dr. Burgess: We have tried to integrate courses and seminars in major conferences involving skin of color concerns and therapeutic considerations for those who feel their training didn’t allow for the exposure to issues of POC.

How I keep up on continuing education

Dr. González: Meetings are the best place to keep up with continuing education and connect with colleagues.

Dr. Baldwin: I attend multiple national meetings every year.

Dr. Jagdeo: Attending conferences, serving as a peer reviewer for medical journals, and reading journal articles.

Dr. Battle: Attending courses like SOCU, membership to journals, like the JDD magazine and following the Skin of Color Society.

Most critical new (or on the horizon) dermatological advance:

Dr. Jagdeo: I believe that we will continue to see the rise of home use LED systems for skin health and wellness, and advances in cosmeceuticals and sunscreens for all skin types.

Dr. Battle: Lasers that can precisely target dermal lesions.

Dr. Baldwin: The explosion in biologics and other anti-inflammatory agents for AD and psoriasis.

Dr. Burgess: Critical, in a more negative aspect and more needed research….artificial intelligence to be inclusive of skin of color. Most applications for dermatologic diagnosis are not for skin of color.