Connect with others who understand.

sign up log in
Resources
About MyPsoriasisTeam
Powered By

Race Can Affect Many Skin Conditions

Posted on February 14, 2019


By Robert Preidt, HealthDay Reporter

MONDAY, June 25, 2018 (HealthDay News) -- Skin conditions are significantly impacted by your skin color, a dermatologist says.

"Ethnicity and skin tone can make a big difference in terms of diagnosis and treatment options with a number of different skin conditions," said Dr. Amy McMichael, chair of dermatology at Wake Forest Baptist Medical Center in Winston-Salem, N.C.


The amount of melanin -- the pigment that gives skin its color -- can greatly influence a person's risk of and reaction to many different skin conditions. For example, a fair-skinned person with a low level of melanin has a far higher risk of sunburn than someone with a melanin-rich dark complexion.

But darker-skinned people aren't totally protected from the sun's ultraviolet rays. Also, their higher melanin levels make their skin more reactive to inflammation and injury, McMichael said. This can result in problems such as long-lasting or permanent dark spots (hyperpigmentation) at the sites of even relatively minor irritations, such as insect bites.

"There are a lot of myths out there about which groups are or are not affected by certain conditions," McMichael said in a medical center news release. She is the only black woman to chair a university dermatology department in the United States.


"That African-Americans don't get psoriasis is a big one. We've found that a number of people of African descent not only have it but that it can be a lot worse and a lot more extensive. And psoriasis is one of the conditions that can look so different in people with darker skin that it's confusing and often not recognized by family physicians or even people trained in dermatology," she added.

The distinctions are important, McMichael noted, because the U.S. population by 2050 will have minorities in the majority.

"This means that many [doctors] are going to be dealing with patients of all ethnicities, even ones we're not necessarily familiar with," she said. "We'll have to be versatile, to take into consideration how their pigmentation or cultural practices affect their particular problem and how it can best be addressed."


SOURCE: Wake Forest Baptist Medical Center, news release, June 2018
Copyright © 2018 All rights reserved.

Do you think a misdiagnosis from your past may have been due to factors mentioned in this article? Share your experience in the comments below or directly on MyPsoriasisTeam.
All updates must be accompanied by text or a picture.

Related articles

TUESDAY, Feb. 5, 2019 (HealthDay News) -- Could the inflammation that drives psoriasis and other...

Psoriasis Meds Might Help Fight Heart Trouble, Too

TUESDAY, Feb. 5, 2019 (HealthDay News) -- Could the inflammation that drives psoriasis and other...
By Robert Preidt, HealthDay Reporter MONDAY, Nov. 20, 2017 (HealthDay News) -- People with the...

Severe Psoriasis May Make Diabetes Increasingly Likely

By Robert Preidt, HealthDay Reporter MONDAY, Nov. 20, 2017 (HealthDay News) -- People with the...
By Maureen Salamon, HealthDay Reporter WEDNESDAY, Oct. 25, 2017 (HealthDay News) -- With her pink...

Cyndi Lauper's Psoriasis Battle Shows Her 'True Colors'

By Maureen Salamon, HealthDay Reporter WEDNESDAY, Oct. 25, 2017 (HealthDay News) -- With her pink...
By Alan Mozes, HealthDay Reporter FRIDAY, Feb. 24, 2017 (HealthDay News) -- Depression in people...

Can Depression Up Odds for Arthritis Linked to Psoriasis?

By Alan Mozes, HealthDay Reporter FRIDAY, Feb. 24, 2017 (HealthDay News) -- Depression in people...
By E.J. Mundell, HealthDay Reporter THURSDAY, July 26, 2018 (HealthDay News) -- A study of more...

Could Psoriasis Patients Eat Their Way to Fewer Symptoms?

By E.J. Mundell, HealthDay Reporter THURSDAY, July 26, 2018 (HealthDay News) -- A study of more...
People with psoriasis feel they can't go to a public pool, go to a salon to get their hair done,...

Stigma Another Burden for Many With Psoriasis

People with psoriasis feel they can't go to a public pool, go to a salon to get their hair done,...

Recent articles

MyPsoriasisTeam members sometimes report that their inverse psoriasis has a bad smell. Inverse...

Does Inverse Psoriasis Have a Smell?

MyPsoriasisTeam members sometimes report that their inverse psoriasis has a bad smell. Inverse...
Psoriasis on the buttocks is a type of genital psoriasis. Most people living with this skin...

How To Identify and Manage Psoriasis on the Buttocks

Psoriasis on the buttocks is a type of genital psoriasis. Most people living with this skin...
Psoriatic arthritis (PsA) is an autoimmune disease that can cause symptoms in many parts of your...

Why Are Your Fingers Twisting Sideways?

Psoriatic arthritis (PsA) is an autoimmune disease that can cause symptoms in many parts of your...
Nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs) are some of the most common treatments used to...

Meloxicam for Psoriatic Arthritis: 9 Things To Consider

Nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs) are some of the most common treatments used to...
Psoriatic arthritis (PsA) is an ongoing condition. If left untreated, it can get worse over time,...

Can Psoriatic Arthritis Cause Numbness, Tingling, and Neuropathy?

Psoriatic arthritis (PsA) is an ongoing condition. If left untreated, it can get worse over time,...
If you have facial psoriasis and facial hair, you may find it difficult to manage your beard....

6 Tips for Managing Psoriasis Under Your Beard

If you have facial psoriasis and facial hair, you may find it difficult to manage your beard....
MyPsoriasisTeam My psoriasis Team

Thank you for subscribing!

Become a member to get even more:

sign up for free

close