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Ekaterini Papadopoulou
Lemieux Library and McGoldrick Learning Commons
(206) 296-2341

Introduction to Dermatology and Diversity

As many practitioners and patients will have come to realize; the resources, research, and curricula in health care have a history of privileging white bodies.  In the field of dermatology, this has had specific impacts for patients and practitioners who find that many diagnostic criteria are based on descriptions of low-melanin skin tones, leaving both practitioners and patients without guidance about the presentation of disease and injury on melanated skin.

This is a known issue, and efforts are being made to address it, including a 3-year plan from the American Academy of Dermatology to address disparities in healthcare in part by working to ensure all practitioners receive adequate education and training about the presentation of dermatological complaints in people of color (1).

When teaching or treating conditions that present on skin; ensure you reach "beyond the textbook" to seek out a more comprehensive set of examples of presentations.  This guide curates resources from the Lemiuex Library collections, as well as open-source resources available on the web.  Clinical Key and Access Medicine also include large collections of media that include images of different skin tones. (Links below).


1. Narla, S., Heath, C. R., Alexis, A., & Silverberg, J. I. (2023). Racial disparities in dermatology. Archives of Dermatological Research315(5), 1215–1223.