Skin of Color Resources for Health Care Providers

Skin of Color Resource Center - various shades of skin color

Find resources for diagnosing and treating psoriatic disease in those with skin of color.

While psoriasis has been found more frequently among Caucasians (3.6%) than in Asians (2.5%), Latinx (1.9%), and African Americans (1.5%), these numbers may not paint the full picture. [1] Psoriasis is often misidentified in people with darker skin types. [2] Evidence also suggests that racial/ethnic minority patients may be disproportionally affected by undertreatment. [3]

Frequently Asked Questions

Can people of different skin types get psoriasis?

People of all races and ethnicities can develop psoriasis. In research to date, psoriasis has been found more frequently among Caucasians (3.6%) than in Asians (2.5%), Latinx (1.9%), and African Americans (1.5%). [1] This difference may be because psoriasis has been more easily identified in people with lighter skin and misidentified in people with darker skin types. [2] But there may be more people with skin of color living with psoriasis than is reported.

What does psoriasis look on skin of color?

4 images of psoriasis on skin of color

Psoriasis may look different on different skin types. On lighter skin, psoriasis often looks red with a silvery scale on top. [2] On darker skin types, psoriasis may look salmon, dark brown, purple, or violet with grayish scale. [2,4]

Here are more ways that psoriasis may look different on darker skin types [2]:

• Plaques may be thicker and have more scaling.

• Patients may have more skin affected by psoriasis than patients with lighter skin.

• Active psoriasis flares may be misdiagnosed as post-inflammatory hyperpigmentation (dark patches on the skin).

Resources for Providers

An image of a woman's back covered in psoriasis.

Webinar: Diagnosis and Management of Psoriasis in Skin of Color

Hear from Eingun James Song, M.D., FAAD about understanding appropriate diagnosis of psoriatic disease in skin of color and underserved populations from a cross-disciplinary perspective

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Tips for Diagnosing and Treating Psoriasis in Skin of Color

Join Dr. Seemal Desai in this Psound Bytes™ CME podcast as he addresses the presentation, diagnosis and treatment of psoriasis in skin of color.

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An illustration of a Black woman doctor and a Black woman patient.

Improving Care for All

Considerations for dermatologists looking to conduct equitable clinical trials.

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Plaque psoriasis in skin of color.

Dermatology - Rheumatology Collaborative with a Focus on Skin of Color

Learn from experts and your peers, in partnership with PPACMAN, in this 2-hour symposium with a focus on skin of color.

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african american mother with baby son and caucasian doctor with tablet computer at clinic

Psoriasis and Skin of Color

A look at diagnosis and treatment disparities with Junko Takeshita, M.D., Ph.D., M.S.C.E.

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A health care professional reviews information on a clipboard with a patient in the waiting room of a medical office.

Diversity in Clinical Trials

Join board-certified physician scientist Dr. Niti Goel as she discusses how to expand diversity in clinical trials.

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Join the Health Care Provider Directory

Register your practice with NPF’s Health Care Provider Directory and select Skin of Color as a specialty.

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References

[1] Armstrong AW, Mehta MD, Schupp CW, Gondo GC, Bell SJ, Griffiths CEM. Psoriasis Prevalence in Adults in the United States [published online ahead of print, 2021 Jun 30]. JAMA Dermatol. 2021;e212007. doi:10.1001/jamadermatol.2021.2007

[2] Kaufman BP, Alexis AF. Psoriasis in Skin of Color: Insights into the Epidemiology, Clinical Presentation, Genetics, Quality-of-Life Impact, and Treatment of Psoriasis in Non-White Racial/Ethnic Groups [published correction appears in Am J Clin Dermatol. 2018 Feb 16;:]. Am J Clin Dermatol. 2018;19(3):405-423. doi:10.1007/s40257-017-0332-7

[3] Takeshita J, Eriksen WT, Raziano VT, et al. Racial Differences in Perceptions of Psoriasis Therapies: Implications for Racial Disparities in Psoriasis Treatment. J Invest Dermatol. 2019;139(8):1672-1679.e1. doi:10.1016/j.jid.2018.12.032

[4] Can You Get Psoriasis if You Have Skin of Color? AAD.org. https://www.aad.org/public/diseases/psoriasis/treatment/could-have/skin-color. Accessed April 26, 2021

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