Racial Disparities in Dermatology


March 6, 2021


In Partnership with SOCS

Racial Disparities In Dermatology: A Comprehensive Update For The Diagnosis And Treatment Of Patients With Skin Of Color, Provided In Partnership With The Skin Of Color Society

Release Date: XXXXX;
Expiration Date: XXXXXX

Activity Overview

According to the most recent data in the US Census, nearly 40% of Americans identify as either black, African American, Asian, Hispanic, Latino, Hawaiian, or Pacific Islander – all of which can comprise the population of Americans with skin of color (“United States Census Bureau” 2019). Given that these proportions are projected to increase in the future, it makes sense that clinicians should be knowledgeable about diagnosing and treating medical conditions for patients in this populations (“Skin of Color Society” 2020a). However, there are gaps in dermatologic care today concerning patients with skin of color (SOC) that need to be addressed through education and putting new knowledge into practice.

Patients with SOC can be disproportionately affected by numerous dermatologic conditions. This includes inflammatory skin disorders, forms of skin cancer, pigmentation disorders, and hair loss. Even children with SOC can be more susceptible or have a greater disease burden, especially with skin disorders common in pediatric patients such as scalp conditions and atopic dermatitis. It is important for clinicians to understand the many different ways in which patients with SOC may be affected by these conditions. Certain skin disorders may be more prevalent in patients with SOC, others may be less prevalent but more severe. That severity is worsened by the fact that many existing treatments for these conditions have not been extensively tested in SOC patient populations. In some cases, a disorder is not necessarily more or less prevalent in this patient population, but a lack of training for dermatologists has led to underdiagnosis or misdiagnosis of the condition in patients with darker pigmented skin. In addition, many patients with SOC have historically faced greater barriers to dermatologic care due to racial bias and difference in socioeconomic level (“The Dermatologist” 2012). It is critical that dermatologists are aware of these unique challenges and how to accommodate them when diagnosing and treating SOC patients.

In addition to the considerations needed when diagnosing and treating patients with darker pigmented skin, it is important to also note the systemic issues behind these disparities. There is a lack of training for dermatologists in diagnosis and treatment of hair and skin conditions in patients with SOC, as well as minimal proportions of dermatologist who have darker pigmented skin. Between the gaps in formal training and a lack of clinicians who look similar to their patients, it is imperative that dermatologists receive education that allows them to change their practice to address these disparities. This program is designed to address these gaps in dermatologic care for SOC patients by reviewing skin conditions prevalent in SOC patients or those which disproportionately burden SOC patients. Participants will gain education needed to better treat these conditions and modify current practices to accommodate the needs of patients with darker pigmented skin.

Target Audience

This activity is designed to meet the needs physicians, nurses and professional staff members of medical practices specializing in dermatology.

Learning Objectives

Upon completion of the educational activity, participants should be able to:

  • Distinguish the challenges in diagnosing inflammatory skin disorders in patients with SOC
  • Develop treatment plans for inflammatory skin disorders which account for the unique needs of SOC patients
  • Identify methods for properly diagnosing melanoma and CTCL in SOC patients
  • Describe effective techniques for diagnosis and treatment of pigmentation disorders in SOC patients
  • Summarize the unique challenges in diagnosis and treatment of atopic dermatitis and scalp conditions in pediatric SOC patients and how to address them
  • Recall the unique considerations needed to diagnose and treat scarring and non-scarring alopecia in SOC patients
  • Recognize the barriers to care for SOC patients and steps that can help ease their access to care

Criteria for Success

To obtain credit, a score of 70% or better on the post-test is required. This activity is offered at no cost to participants. Please proceed with the activity until you have successfully completed this program, answered all test questions, completed the post-test and evaluation, and have received a digital copy of your credit certificate. If you have any questions relating to the accreditation of this activity, please contact AKH at tbrignoni@akhcme.com


Credit provided by AKH Inc., Advancing Knowledge in Healthcare

Jointly Accredited Provider

In support of improving patient care, this activity has been planned and implemented by AKH Inc., Advancing Knowledge in Healthcare and Tarsus Cardio dba LiVDerm. AKH Inc., Advancing Knowledge in Healthcare is jointly accredited by the Accreditation Council for Continuing Medical Education (ACCME), the Accreditation Council for Pharmacy Education (ACPE), and the American Nurses Credentialing Center (ANCC), to provide continuing education for the healthcare team.


AKH Inc., Advancing Knowledge in Healthcare designates this enduring material activity for a maximum of 4.75 AMA PRA Category 1 Credit(s)™. Physicians should claim only the credit commensurate with the extent of their participation in the activity.


4.75 ANCC contact hours

Commercial Support

This activity is supported by educational grants from Galderma Laboratories, L.P. and Incyte Corporation.


It is the policy of AKH Inc. to ensure independence, balance, objectivity, scientific rigor, and integrity in all of its continuing education activities. The author must disclose to the participants any significant relationships with ineligible companies whose products or devices may be mentioned in the activity or with the commercial supporter of this continuing education activity. Identified conflicts of interest are mitigated by AKH prior to accreditation of the activity. AKH planners and reviewers have no relevant financial relationships to disclose.





Andrew Alexis, MD


Leo, Novartis, Menlo, Galderma, Pfizer, Sanofi-Regeneron, Dermavant, Unilever, Beiersdorf, Valeant, L’Oreal, BMS, Menlo, Scientis, Bausch health, UCB, Foamix , Cassiopea, Arcutis, Janssen, Allergan, Almirall, Abbvie, Sol-Gel (Self); Pfizer, Sanofi-Regeneron (Spouse/partner)

Contracted Research

Leo, Novartis, Almirall, Bristol-Myers-Squibb, Celgene, Menlo, Galderma, Valeant (Bausch Health), Cara, Arcutis

Seemal Desai, MD

Advisory Board

Dermavan Sciences, Foundation for Research & Education of Dermatology


Galderma Laboratories, Cassiopea SpA, Ortho Dermatologics, SkinCeuticals LLC, Dermira, Almirall, Scientis Sente Labs, Foamix, Pfizer Inc., Verrica Pharmaceuticals, Inc, Ferndale, Avita, Gore Range Capital, Incyte Corporation, Bristol Myers Squibb, UCB

Contracted Research

AbbVie, Atacama, Incyte Corporation, Dermavant Sciences, Novan, AOBiome, LLC, Brickell Biotec

Speakers Bureau

Almirall, Ortho Dermatologics

Stock Options

Gore Range Capital

Valerie Harvey, MD


Nothing to disclose

Candrice Heath, MD

Consultant (Advisory Board)

Cassiopea, Inc.

Amy McMichael, MD


Allergan, Almirall, Bioniz, Cassiopea, Covance, eResearch Technology, Inc., Galderma, Incyte, Johnson & Johnson, Keranetics, Lilly, Merck & Co., Inc., Pfizer Proctor & Gamble, Revian, Samumed

Contracted Research

Allergan, Cassiopea, Concert Pharmaceuticals, Incyte, Pfizer Proctor & Gamble, Samumed


Informa Healthcare, UpToDate

Ginette Okoye, MD


Pfizer, UCB, Janssen, Unilever

Susan Taylor, MD


Aclaris, Allergan, Almirall, Avon Products, Beiersdorf, CannTec, Croma Pharma, Eli Lilly, Galderma, Johnson & Johnson, KGL Skin Study Center L’Oréal, Ortho Dermatologic, Pfizer, Senet Labs, Walgreen Boots

Dorothy Caputo, MA, BSN, RN - CE Director of Accreditations


Nothing to disclose

LiVDerm Planners and Reviewers


Nothing to disclose

AKH Planners and Reviewers


Nothing to disclose

All of the relevant financial relationships listed for these individuals have been mitigated.


This course is designed solely to provide the healthcare professional with information to assist in his/her practice and professional development and is not to be considered a diagnostic tool to replace professional advice or treatment. The course serves as a general guide to the healthcare professional, and therefore, cannot be considered as giving legal, nursing, medical, or other professional advice in specific cases. AKH Inc. specifically disclaim responsibility for any adverse consequences resulting directly or indirectly from information in the course, for undetected error, or through participant's misunderstanding of the content.

Disclosure of Unlabeled Use and Investigational Product

This educational activity may include discussion of uses of agents that are investigational and/or unapproved by the FDA. Please refer to the official prescribing information for each product for discussion of approved indications, contraindications, and warnings.

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