Eczema, or atopic dermatitis, is more common in black than in white patients; yet, less is known about how do diagnose and treat eczema in skin of color patients, according to Andrew Alexis, M.D., M.P.H., chair of dermatology at Mount Sinai St. Luke’s and Mount Sinai West, and professor of dermatology at the Icahn School of Medicine at Mount Sinai.
“Prevalence of childhood atopic dermatitis in white children is about 11%, whereas for non-Hispanic black children it’s 17%,” says Dr. Alexis, a speaker for the National Eczema Association.
Beyond the epidemiologic differences there are clinical and morphological differences in how eczema behaves in patients of color.
Eczema in darker skin types presents in unique ways, according to Dr. Alexis.
“The follicular presentation of eczema is more common in individuals with African ancestry. Another pattern called the lichenoid presentation of atopic dermatitis is more commonly seen in patients with African ancestry,” he says.
Dr. Alexis is a consultant and/or advisory board member for LEO,Valeant, Sanofi-Regeneron, Pfizer, Dermira, Unilever, L'Oreal and Beiersdorf. He has also served as an investigator for Galderma and LEO.
1. Fischer AH, Shin DB, Margolis DJ, Takeshita J. Racial and ethnic differences in health care utilization for childhood eczema: An analysis of the 2001-2013 Medical Expenditure Panel Surveys. J Am Acad Dermatol. 2017;77(6):1060-1067.