The Impact of Racial Disparities in the Diagnosis and Treatment of Atopic Dermatitis

Jonathan Silverberg, MD, PhD, MPH


June 23, 2022

In reflecting on the racial disparities that exist in dermatology and on a broader healthcare level, Jonathan Silverberg, MD, PhD, MPH, considers dermatologic knowledge gaps in terms of accurately recognizing distinct manifestations of atopic dermatitis across diverse populations. Dr Silverberg refers to the typical manifestations of atopic dermatitis seen in Black patients, such as more lichenoid capsules of the dorsal hands, follicular eczema, and profound dryness of the skin, as an example of differences in disease presentation across patient subsets.

Dr Silverberg also points out that erythema is much less appreciable in darker skin tones, which can lead to an underestimation of the severity of disease and an incorrect potency of therapy. He urges dermatologists and other practitioners to be aware of diverse presentations in order to properly diagnose and treat the disease.


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