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

March 6, 2021
Live Webinar

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

Statements of credit will be awarded based on the participant’s attendance, participation in the pre-/post-test, and submission of the activity evaluation form. A statement of credit will be available upon completion of an online evaluation/claimed credit form at https://akhinc.formstack.com/forms/20271. You must participate in the entire activity to receive credit. If you have questions about this CE activity, please contact AKH Inc. 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 live 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 an educational grant from Incyte Corporation.

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