Health disparities in arthritis and musculoskeletal and skin diseases-the dermatology session: National Institute of Arthritis and Musculoskeletal and Skin Diseases, Bethesda, Maryland, December 15-16, 2000.
ABSTRACT The National Institute of Arthritis and Musculoskeletal and Skin Diseases hosted a diverse group of physicians and scientists to discuss health disparities in arthritis, musculoskeletal, and skin diseases. This article discusses the cutaneous disease portion of the conference. Speakers described a history of scarce information on cutaneous diseases in skin of color, problems with the data that do exist, and inappropriate use of dermatologic data. Basic descriptive data on the structure and function of skin in people of color is needed. For specific cutaneous diseases, information must be collected on their epidemiology, clinical presentation, natural history, complications, and therapeutics. Researchers are standardizing methods for studying keloidal scars, and are developing and validating measurement tools for cutaneous diseases in skin of color, such as atypical nevi, psoriasis, and hand dermatitis, but more is needed.