Media formats available:

The Skin of Color Update meeting recently took place in New York City, and Practical Dermatology® magazine had the opportunity to sit down with meeting co-chair Andrew F. Alexis, MD, MPH, to chat about some of the highlights. Dr. Alexis is a Professor of Clinical Dermatology and Vice-Chair for Diversity and Inclusion at Weill Cornell Medicine in New York City.

Dr. Andrew Alexis, 2022 Skin of Color Update Co-chair

The Skin of Color Update seems to get bigger every year. What is the secret to its success?

Andrew F. Alexis, MD, MPH: I think it is a combination of factors: the curriculum, specifically the depth and breadth of topics within skin of color, coupled with a general increase in interest in advancing knowledge of dermatology conditions in skin of color. We had presentations from some of the top experts on pigment disorders, hair and scalp disorders, and common conditions that have unique manifestations in skin of color. It’s an honor to have co-chaired this meeting with Dr. Eliot Battle—now for more than 13 years—and see it grow to this level.

Dr. Eliot Battle, 2022 Skin of Color Update Co-chair

Drs. Shilpi Khetarpal, Valerie Callender, Andrew Alexis, Candrice Heath

What presentations stood out for you at the meeting?

Dr. Alexis: In the realm of medical dermatology, I enjoyed being able to hear about the new topical therapy for vitiligo, Incyte’s Opzelura (ruxolitinib) cream. Before the approval of ruxolitinib, we were limited to off-label therapies including topical and oral corticosteroids as well as topical calcineurin inhibitors—often with limited success. There was a lecture on dermatologic conditions that are common in Asian populations as well as aesthetic procedures that are more commonly performed in this patient population. We had great speakers on central centrifugal cicatricial alopecia (CCCA) and traction alopecia. There was also an informative panel on clinical trials in skin of color where experts discussed strategies to foster diversity in clinical trials.

Dr. Michelle Henry injecting at a live demonstration at the 2022 Skin of Color Update
(All photos courtesy of DRO Photography & Video/Skin of Color Update)

How are we doing in terms of diversity initiatives in this specialty?

Dr. Alexis: We still have a ways to go. That being said, there has been a great deal of progress in terms of increasing diversity in clinical trials, content, and educational materials in dermatology. There are textbooks entirely devoted to dermatologic conditions in skin of color and mainstream textbooks have become more deliberate about including diverse images from different populations. Examples of new studies focused specifically on increasing diversity include a psoriasis study sponsored by Janssen that looks at psoriasis across all skin types and has unique endpoints that are relevant to populations with skin of color, including pigmentary alteration, not just clearance of plaques. There is also a Phase 4 study of Galderma’s trifarotene 0.005% cream that looks at post-inflammatory hyperpigmentation, a really common sequela of acne in skin of color patients.

Completing the pre-test is required to access this content.
Completing the pre-survey is required to view this content.

We’re glad to see you’re enjoying PracticalDermatology…
but how about a more personalized experience?

Register for free