I am honored to serve as Guest Editor for the Skin of Color Special Topic issue of the Journal of Drugs in Dermatology (JDD), especially since this coincides with the 2nd Annual Skin of Color Seminar Series in New York on May 14th.
I commend the journal for addressing this topic, which has become increasingly important with the growing ratio of patient populations comprised of Fitzpatrick skin types IV-VI in many parts of the U.S. and beyond. It has been a pleasure to invite leading authors to share their expertise and research studies on various topics relevant to skin of color, including keloids, pigmentary disorders, scalp disorders and safety of cosmetic procedures.
The dermatologic community has made great strides over the past decade to increase awareness, research and education pertaining to disorders that disproportionally affect patients with skin of color. Examples of this progress are myriad:
These advances notwithstanding, considerable progress is yet to be made. Shortcomings in our ability to effectively manage numerous conditions that are more prevalent in populations with skin of color remain. The list of such conditions includes (but by no means is limited to): postinflammatory pigment alteration, melasma, keloids and central centrifugal cicatricial alopecia, all of which are frequently associated with considerable adverse effects on quality of life. Multi-systemic medical conditions with dermatologic manifestations should also be included in this list, as some of these, such as lupus erythematosus and sarcoidosis, are also more prevalent in skin of color (the latter examples being more common in African Americans).
Further research into mechanisms of disease is sorely needed in order to identify new therapeutic targets that will hopefully lead to better treatment outcomes for these challenging disorders that more frequently affect patients with skin of color.