Derm Topics

Best Clinical Practices in Treating Psoriasis Patients with Skin of Color

Next Steps in Derm, in partnership with Skin of Color Update, interviewed Dr. George Han, associate professor of dermatology at the Donald and Barbara Zucker School of Medicine at Hofstra/Northwell. There’s a lot of nuance in diagnosing psoriasis in darker skin tones, according to Dr. Han. Learn three components to consider, and why you might want to introduce systemic therapies earlier in this patient population. Plus hear why Dr. Han recommends a holistic view of psoriasis treatment.


Further Reading

If you want to read more about psoriasis in patients with skin of color, check out the following articles published in the Journal of Drugs in Dermatology:

Epidemiology of Chronic Dermatologic Conditions in Skin of Color


Across the board, common dermatologic conditions disproportionately affect patients of color. While the causes of these disparities have been tied to the environment, societal structure, access to care, health literacy, and biological factors, there is limited understanding of the extent and impact of dermatologic healthcare inequity. This study provides a resource on the epidemiology of common dermatologic diseases across racial lines and points out current lapses in scientific understanding of the disparate impact of certain conditions. This study will review epidemiological data on atopic dermatitis (AD), adult acne, pseudofolliculitis, dermatophytosis, psoriasis, vitiligo, melasma, hyperpigmentation, keloids, hidradenitis suppurativa (HS), basal cell carcinoma (BCC), squamous cell carcinoma (SCC), and melanoma.

Efficacy, Convenience, and Safety of Calcipotriene-Betamethasone Dipropionate Cream in Skin of Color Patients With Plaque Psoriasis


Background: Psoriasis affects diverse racial and ethnic groups. In July 2021, the US Food and Drug Administration approved calcipotriene/betamethasone dipropionate (CAL/BDP) 0.005%/0.065% cream to treat plaque psoriasis in adults. The efficacy and safety of CAL/BDP in patients with skin of color (SOC) who have psoriasis is not well characterized.

Method: A post hoc analysis of phase 3 clinical trial data (NCT03308799) was conducted to assess the efficacy, convenience, and safety of CAL/BDP cream versus CAL/BDP topical solution and vehicle cream in people with Fitzpatrick skin types IV to VI.  

Results: This study included 784 participants, 280 (35.7%) of whom had Fitzpatrick skin types IV to VI. Patients treated with CAL/BDP cream had greater disease improvement, treatment convenience scores, and overall satisfaction than those treated with CAL/BDP topical solution in the subgroup with skin types IV to VI and the total study population.  Adverse event rates were similar between the subgroup with skin types IV to VI and the total study population for all treatment arms. 

Conclusion: Psoriasis is associated with a greater physical and psychosocial impact in patients with SOC. While many effective topical therapies exist, it may be helpful to conduct separate analyses of patients with SOC to assess the efficacy and safety of treatment in this population. This sub-analysis of phase 3 clinical trial data supports the efficacy and safety of CAL/BDP cream in the treatment of plaque psoriasis in patients with SOC. CAL/BDP cream also had greater convenience, formula acceptability, and overall satisfaction in both the subgroup with SOC and the total trial population, which may improve adherence to topical therapy and treatment outcomes for people with SOC who have psoriasis.

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