Derm Topics

Best Practices & What to Avoid During Culturally Sensitive Derm Consults

Next Steps in Derm, in partnership with Skin of Color Update, interviewed Dr. Candrice Heath, assistant professor of dermatology at the Lewis Katz School of Medicine at Temple University. Dr. Heath shares her tips for culturally sensitive dermatology consults, specifically consults involving hair concerns in children. Watch as she encourages clinicians to consider time when creating a treatment plan. Find out why offering options increases treatment adherence, and why addressing the elephant in the room is critical to forming a partnership with the patient. 

Further Reading

If you want to read more about cultural sensitivity in dermatology, check out the following articles published in the Journal of Drugs in Dermatology:

Cultural Competence and Unique Concerns in Patients With Ethnic Skin


The projections of increases in the number of skin of color patients over the next several decades, necessitates expertise in cultural competence for health care providers. Acquiring competency begins with practitioners reflecting on their self identity and personal beliefs. Additionally, understanding African-American cultural habits and practices and their impact on disease is critically important. We review, in this article, the fundamentals of becoming cultural competent. Patients are best served when their physician embraces their culture, their view of the health care system as well as habits and practices.

Evaluation of a Skin of Color Curriculum for Dermatology Residents


The United States skin of color population is increasing. Consequently, the importance of skin of color education in dermatology residency programs will continue to grow. Previous data has shown a lack of formal education on skin of color across residency programs. In order to address this identified knowledge gap, we created a curriculum focusing exclusively on skin of color for dermatology residents. The purpose of this pilot study was to examine the effect of a week-long curriculum on the perception of dermatology residents’ comfort level treating patients of color and to determine if this type of curriculum could be expanded to other dermatology residents. Results demonstrated a significant increase when residents were asked to rate their overall confidence in managing patients with skin of color on a scale from 1 (minimally confident) to 10 (extremely confident) pre- and post-intervention. Overall, 100% of learners felt that their ability to care for patients of color was improved by this curriculum and that a skin of color curriculum should be an annual component of their dermatology academic curriculum.

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