A paucity of studies and case reports has contributed to the misconception that rosacea rarely afflicts patients with skin of color (SOC), say authors of a recent review.
“Rosacea in SOC patients is grossly under-recognized and underdiagnosed,” says senior author Susan C. Taylor, M.D. “This is because it is often difficult for dermatologists and other providers to appreciate the erythema that is diagnostic.”1 She is associate professor of dermatology at the University of Pennsylvania’s Perelman School of Medicine, vice president-elect of the American Academy of Dermatology and founder of the Skin of Color Society.
In a separate publication, investigators using the search term “rosacea” found 3,786 articles indexed for MEDLINE, versus just 32 for the terms “rosacea” and “skin of color.”2
The true prevalence of rosacea in SOC remains unknown. While a 2018 meta-analysis estimated global rosacea prevalence in all adults to be 5.46%, estimates of rosacea prevalence in SOC patients in individual studies range from 0.4% (Angola) to 12.4% (Colombia).
Underdiagnosis and misdiagnosis of rosacea in SOC lead to increased morbidity.
Dr. Taylor has been an investigator, speaker and advisory board member for Aclaris (maker ofoxymetazoline) and an advisory board member for Galderma (maker of brimonidine).
1. Onalaja AA, Lester JC, Taylor SC. Establishing the diagnosis of rosacea in skin of color patients. Cutis. 2019;104:38-41.
2. Alexis AF. Rosacea in patients with skin of color: uncommon but not rare. Cutis. 2010;86:60-62.
3. Dlova NC, Mosam A. Rosacea in black South Africans with skin phototypes V and VI. Clin Exp Dermatol. 2017;42:670-673.