Prevalence of Atopic Dermatitis in People of Colour - European Medical Journal

Prevalence of Atopic Dermatitis in People of Colour

ATOPIC DERMATITIS (AD) could be more common and severe in individuals with skin of colour, according to a new literature review conducted by Andrew F. Alexis, Weill Cornell Medical College, New York City, New York, USA, and his colleagues. Hoping to highlight the distinct features of AD in people of colour, Alexis and his team also provided recommendations for the best practices to treat AD and skincare interventions. The researchers noted that the variability of clinical presentation and disease course, along with epidemiology, does exist in the literature on AD in people of colour.

The results indicate that AD prevalence is higher in individuals identifying as Black or African American. In individuals with melanin-rich skin, xerosis drier and more visible, which impacts the patients’ quality of life and leads to stigma. Quality of life could also be impacted in people of colour as a result of pigmentary sequalae, such as hyper-, hypo-., and depigmentation, which has been observed in this patient group. Furthermore, the researchers also believe the pruritis might be higher in this population and could be associated with AD.

While research is limited in regard to race and ethnicity, results indicate that there are distinct skin barrier properties in different racial and ethnic populations, which could be impacted by AD and further impact barrier function.

Exploring recommendations for treatment and prevention, the researchers also looked into gentle cleansers and moisturisers to control inflammation. They believe that proactive treatment as well as maintenance of AD should be recommended to this patient population to help control inflammation longitudinally, saying that culturally competent care and effective skin barrier strategies should be considered.

“Robust comparative studies are needed to better understand racial/ethnic variations in PD,” the researchers noted. They also state the need to tailor patient education to “foster individualised approaches to treatment, prevention, and adjunctive skin care across the diverse spectrum of patient populations.”

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