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Race and Medicine: Skin of Color

Jenna Lester, MD, Neda Frayha, MD, and Jay-Sheree Allen, MD

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Do you know how eczema may look different on skin of color compared to light skin?  How about psoriasis? Or melanoma? Why do our dermatology lectures feature rashes and skin cancers on light skin only? Dr. Jenna Lester, the dermatologist at UCSF and the founder and director of UCSF’s Skin of Color program, joins our own Dr. Jay-Sheree Allen and Dr. Neda Frayha for a pearl-packed conversation to help us all improve our diagnosis and treatment of skin of color.

Posted 12/16/2020


  1. Images of atopic dermatitis in skin of color

  2.  Images of psoriasis in skin of color

  3.  Images of rosacea in skin of color

  4.  Images of acral lentiginous melanoma in skin of color

  5. Lester J, Jia J, Zhang L, Okoye G and Linos E. Absence of images of skin of colour in publications of COVID‐19 skin manifestations. Br J Dermatol 2020; 183:593-595. doi:10.1111/bjd.19258

  6. Onalaja AA, Lester JC, Taylor SC. Establishing the diagnosis of rosacea in skin of color patients. Cutis. 2019 Jul; 104(1):38-41. PMID: 31487335.

  7. Freeman EE, McMahon DE, Lipoff JB, et al. The spectrum of COVID-19 associated dermatologic manifestations: An international registry of 716 patients from 31 countries. J Am Acad Dermatol 2020; 83(4):1118-1129.

  8. Nolen S. How medical education is missing the bull’s-eye. N Engl J Med 2020; 382:2489-2491. DOI: 10.1056/NEJMp1915891. 

  9. Daneshjou R, Rana J, Dickman M, et al. Pernio-like eruption associated with COVID-19 in skin of color. JAAD Case Reports 2020;6:892-7.

  10. Lester J, Wintroub B, Linos E. Disparities in Academic Dermatology. JAMA Dermatol. 2016 Aug 1; 152(8):878-9. doi: 10.1001/jamadermatol.2016.1533. PMID: 27192666; PMCID: PMC5489352.

  11. Lester J, Shinkai K. Diversity and inclusivity are essential to the future of dermatology. Cutis. 2019 Aug; 104(2):99-100. PMID: 31603960.

  12. Rabin RC. Dermatology has a problem with skin of color. The New York Times. Published August 30, 2020. Accessed September 28, 2020.




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