If you flip through a textbook or look at a website with images of common skin conditions like psoriasis and eczema, you may not see many—if any—images of those conditions on darker skin. In fact, when auditing nearly 16,000 images of various skin conditions, a recent study found that only 19% of images were representative of darker skin tones.
It’s perhaps because of this issue that skin conditions are often misdiagnosed on people with darker skin tones.
To help shed some light on common skin conditions that affect people with darker skin, we’re focusing this Health Divide on psoriasis, eczema, vitiligo, and melasma. Here you will find:
Let’s shed some light on those with darker skin, so they can better receive the diagnosis and treatment they deserve.
--Dr. Heather Woolery-Lloyd, MD, Verywell Health Medical Review Board Member
Casey Gallagher, MD, is board-certified in dermatology. He is a clinical professor at the University of Colorado in Denver, and co-founder and practicing dermatologist at the Boulder Valley Center for Dermatology in Colorado.
Alvarado SM, Feng H. Representation of dark skin images of common dermatologic conditions in educational resources: A cross-sectional analysis. Journal of the American Academy of Dermatology. 2021;84(5):1427-1431. doi:10.1016/j.jaad.2020.06.041