International Psoriasis Council

Advancing Knowledge. Improving Care.

Advancing Knowledge. Improving Care.

Psoriasis in People with Skin of Color

OVERVIEW OF PSORIASIS IN PEOPLE WITH SKIN OF COLOR

Psoriasis affects people globally with diverse racial and ethnic backgrounds, which can present differently in terms of morphology and severity. Yet, psoriasis research and education have primarily consisted of the representation of the White population or those with lighter skin tones (e.g., the description of psoriasis in textbooks and the representation of patients in clinical trials). This lack of representation of people with skin of color (SOC) continues to widen the gap between earlier diagnosis, new medicine development, and access to medicines.

Furthermore, studies often add a layer of complexity where social constructs (e.g., race) compared to biological characteristics (e.g., ancestry) are not often delineated nor universally defined in the literature. It is also crucial that there is a clear separation of these social and biological constructs from the color of the skin and the differences in the characterization of psoriasis by these different skin tones. Evaluating data in alignment with these aspects could help address these disparities and improve care.

Understanding the challenges and unmet needs that impact psoriasis patients with SOC regarding access to care, diagnosis, and treatment is vital. IPC is committed to helping bridge the gap and increasing awareness and education about treating psoriasis patients with SOC.

Fast Facts

  • More than 80% of people in psoriasis clinical trials are White.
  • In the United States, the prevalence of psoriasis is higher in White/Caucasian individuals. Still, studies have also shown that one of the categories of undiagnosed patients was more likely to be non-Caucasian.1
  • Psoriasis presentation can differ between skin tones: lighter skin (e.g., red or pink) and darker skin (e.g., violet, dark brown).1
  • Hospitalization, access to physicians, familiarity with biologic therapies, and access to these treatments can differ between White patients compared to non-White patients.2

IPC Resources

PUBLICATIONS AND RESEARCH

The Experts

Murlidhar

Rajagopalan

,

MD

Apollo Hospitals
Chennai
,
India
Mahira El Sayed Headshot

Mahira

El Sayed

,

MSc, MD

Ain Shams University
Cairo
,
Egypt

Additional Resources

PUBLICATIONS AND RESEARCH

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 Kaufman BP, Alexis AF. [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.

WEBSITES

National Psoriasis Foundation: Skin of Color Resource Center
Resource of advice, stories, and guidance on psoriasis in individuals of different skin tones.

Skin of Color Society
An organization dedicated to health equity and increasing diversity and inclusion in dermatology.

References

  1. Psoriasis in skin of color: epidemiology, genetics, clinical presentation, and treatment nuances. Alexis AF, Blackcloud P. J Clin Aesthet Dermatol. 2014;7(11):16-24.
  2. Unmet Need in People with Psoriasis and Skin of Color in Canada and the United States. Yadav G, Yeung J, Miller-Monthrope Y, et al. Dermatol Ther (Heidelb). 2022;12(11):2401-13.

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