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While innate differences between racial/ethnic minority groups and white people with atopic dermatitis may explain certain measures of severity and prevalence, factors concerning racism cannot be ignored.

For example, atopic dermatitis disparities occur in Black people, despite genetic risk factors being more prevalent in white people. Although genetic risk factors may be researched more heavily in the future, there is a lack of data that explain the worsened severity and prevalence of atopic dermatitis in racial/ethnic minority groups, including Black and Latinx people.

One review proposed a conceptual framework that identifies possible environmental and social factors that may influence the prevalence and severity of atopic dermatitis in racial/ethnic minority groups. Investigators organized a review of the current data regarding healthcare access, socioeconomic status, and environmental factors.

According to the researchers’ model, racism may be the link between Black and Latinx groups and worsened severity, prevalence, and persistence of atopic dermatitis. Furthermore, policies that act as barriers to healthcare access and environmental factors such as air pollution, indoor allergen exposure, and psychosocial stress may influence how Black and Latinx populations experience atopic dermatitis.

Thus, there is a need for research and healthcare communities to identify and reform attitudes, policies, and interventions that may be hindering access to care. For example, research groups can modify dermatology clinical trial designs to be more inclusive of ethnic populations. In the same vein, healthcare groups can partner with legal groups to identify areas of high exposure to environmental triggers linked to the development of atopic dermatitis [1].


[1] YJBM September 2021: Health equity | a new framework for understanding racial and ethnic disparities in atopic dermatitis. (2021, November 8). Yale School of Medicine. https://medicine.yale.edu/news-article/yjbm-september-2021-health-equity-a-new-framework-for-understanding-racial-and-ethnic-disparities-in-atopic-dermatitis/

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