Contact dermatitis is another type of eczema that differs in racial ethnic. For instance, a study published in 2016 in the journal Dermatitis found differences between black and white patients related to the frequency of allergens detected in patch testing.
“Blacks were significantly more likely to have a skin reaction to the chemical paraphenylendiamine [PPD], which is found in black hair dye; bacitracin; and specific rubber accelerators,” says co-author Dr. Alexis. “This is based on data from the North American Contact Dermatitis Group.”
These differences are more likely due to differences in environmental exposures to these agents, rather than to genetic differences, says Dr. Alexis.
Because of varying exposures among different populations, there are unique presentations of contact dermatitis, including reactions to henna dye that is mixed with PPD, and cultural practices. “For example, there is a type of contact dermatitis observed in devout Hindus, who smear an ash-based substance across their forehead called vibhuti,” Dr. Alexis says.
Dr. Alexis believes that the addition of new therapies specifically targeting key inflammatory pathways in the development of atopic dermatitis should “revolutionize” treatment of the skin disorder in all patients, including patients of color.
Disclosures: Dr. Alexis is a consultant to Regeneron and serves on the advisory boards of Anacor, Galderma and La Roche-Posay.