Meet the Dermatologists Changing Their Field


Dermatologist Dr. Jenna Lester treats her patient Geoffry Blair Hutto in the UCSF Primary Care clinic.

Barbara Ries

Many skin conditions, from rashes to Lyme disease to various cancers, manifest differently on dark skin. Yet medical literature and textbooks have historically underrepresented pictures of skin of color, leaving critical diagnostic information off the page.

"Historically, Black skin, brown skin is not represented in our literature appropriately," said Dr. Ginette Okoye, Chair of Dermatology at Howard University School of Medicine.

In dermatology, skin of color has not been represented in a field that purports to care for the skin of all.

Today on the show, reporter Emily Kwong and host Maddie Sofia take a close look at dermatology — how the science of skincare has evolved to better serve patients of color, but still has a long way to go.

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Today’s episode was produced by Thomas Lu, edited by Viet Le, and fact checked by Rasha Aridi. Special thanks to Marcia Davis.