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Black Male With Psoriasis and Dyspigmentation

Successful Management of a Black Male With Psoriasis and Dyspigmentation Treated With Halobetasol Propionate 0.01%/Tazarotene 0.045% Lotion: Case Report

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Introduction

Skin of color patients with psoriasis face unique challenges related to disease characteristics and treatment. Distribution and severity of psoriasis may be greater in patients with skin of color.1,2 Dyspigmentation—including postinflammatory hypo- and hyperpigmentation—also more frequently and severely affects patients with skin of color3,4 and remains a challenge for dermatologists to manage.5 Finally, Black and Hispanic/Latino patients have demonstrated worse health-related quality of life (QoL) compared with White patients, as assessed by the Dermatology Life Quality Index (DLQI)6; these differences are likely related to several factors, which include varying cultural perceptions of skin disorders and the greater negative impact of dyspigmentation in patients with skin of color.2,7 The treatment of psoriasis commonly involves the use of topical corticosteroids, such as the superpotent topical corticosteroid halobetasol propionate (HP).8,9 Corticosteroids are anti-inflammatory, immunosuppressive, antiproliferative, and vasoconstrictive; however, tachyphylaxis and adverse events following long-term use remain a concern.8-10 The topical retinoid tazarotene (TAZ) has several mechanisms of action that modulate pathogenic factors of psoriasis—including normalizing markers of differentiation, proliferation, and inflammation—though TAZ used alone may induce cutaneous irritation.10-13 The combination of HP with TAZ may enhance efficacy in the treatment of psoriasis, reduce side effects of both active drugs, and sustain treatment response.10,11

A fixed combination lotion of HP 0.01% and TAZ 0.045% (HP/TAZ; Duobrii,® Ortho Dermatologics, Bridgewater, NJ) was developed utilizing a novel polymeric emulsion technology, which allows for rapid and uniform distribution of HP and TAZ, humectants, and moisturizers on the skin.10 Phase 3 clinical data have demonstrated efficacy and tolerability of HP/TAZ lotion in patients with moderate-to-severe localized plaque psoriasis.14,15 Here, we present a case report of a Black male with moderate plaque psoriasis who was successfully treated with once-daily HP/TAZ lotion over 8 weeks, with resolution of skin dyspigmentation by week 12.

Psoriasis and Dyspigmentation in black male

 Click table to enlarge

Case Report

The patient was a 58-year-old, non-Hispanic, Black male with moderate psoriasis (Investigator’s Global Assessment [IGA]=3) and affected body surface area (BSA) of 10% at baseline (Table 1). The patient was enrolled in a phase 3, randomized, double-blind, vehicle-controlled study that assessed HP/TAZ lotion in participants with moderate-to-severe psoriasis (NCT02462070); detailed methodology and study results have been previously published.14,15 The patient, randomized to HP/TAZ for 8 weeks with a 4-week posttreatment follow-up, was instructed to apply a thin layer of HP/TAZ lotion once-daily over all affected areas. The target lesion (Figure 1), located on the upper right arm, was 99 cm2 in size at baseline; prominent keloid scars were also apparent. The patient also had an additional non-target lesion treated with HP/TAZ during the study (Figure 2). At baseline, both lesions appeared as classic psoriatic elevated plaques covered with white/silvery scales. By week 2 of HP/TAZ treatment, scales had diminished, though affected skin was hypopigmented in the center with hyperpigmentation at the border of the psoriatic plaque resolution. The degree of hypopigmentation appeared to be greatest at week 4, with skin pigmentation nearing normal by week 8. At 4 weeks posttreatment, the affected skin area had returned to normal with small regions of hyperpigmentation, the greatest around the periphery of the affected skin lesion.

FIGURE 1. Target lesion. Patient was treated with HP 0.01%/TAZ 0.045% lotion once daily for 8 weeks, with 4-week posttreatment follow-up at week 12.

Black Male With Psoriasis and Dyspigmentation

HP, halobetasol propionate; TAZ, tazarotene.

FIGURE 2. Additional lesion. Patient was treated with HP 0.01%/TAZ 0.045% lotion once daily for 8 weeks, with 4-week posttreatment follow-up at week 12.

Black Male With Psoriasis and Dyspigmentation

HP, halobetasol propionate; TAZ, tazarotene.

 

The patient achieved treatment success with HP/TAZ lotion, with an improvement to ‘almost clear’ at week 4 that was maintained posttreatment at week 12 (Table 1). Improvements in affected BSA and signs of psoriasis at the target lesion were also observed early following treatment with HP/TAZ lotion and maintained up to 4 weeks posttreatment. The patient had substantial improvements in QoL during the study, with DLQI score decreasing from 9 (“moderate effect” on life) at baseline to 1 (“no effect” on life) at weeks 4 and 8.

No adverse events were reported. Dryness was the only local skin reaction present at baseline (assessed as moderate by the investigator), which subsided at weeks 2–6 and returned to mild dryness by study end (Table 1). No itching was reported during HP/TAZ treatment until posttreatment follow-up, where it was assessed as moderate. The patient did not report burning/stinging at any study visit. Further, there were no instances of skin atrophy, striae, telangiectasias, or folliculitis—other known drug-related skin reactions.

Discussion

Racial and ethnic differences in epidemiology, clinical features, genetic predisposition, and response to treatment of psoriasis are important to address given our increasingly diverse patient population.7 Here we report the management of psoriasis in a Black male enrolled in a clinical trial who was randomized to treatment with HP 0.01%/TAZ 0.045% lotion once daily for 8 weeks, with a 4-week posttreatment follow-up at week 12.

HP/TAZ was efficacious in this patient, who achieved an IGA score of 1 (almost clear) within 4 weeks and maintained treatment success at weeks 8 and 12. Affected BSA decreased 50% from baseline to week 8. Quality of life was improved in this patient, whose DLQI score by week 8 indicated “no effect” of psoriasis on the patient’s QoL, a substantial and clinically meaningful16 improvement from the “moderate effect” observed at baseline. A clinical feature of this patient was the presence of prominent keloid scars, which are benign fibrous growths resulting from an abnormal connective tissue response.17 While the cause of the keloids in this patient is not known, the presence of keloids is not unexpected, as there are racial differences in prevalence, with Black individuals forming keloids more often than White individuals.17

The patient experienced dyspigmentation of the affected skin during the trial, which is also not unexpected, given that resolution of psoriasis in darker skin is associated with both hypo- and hyper-pigmentation.18 Dyspigmentation is of particular concern, as it can have significant psychosocial impacts, contribute to greater negative emotions, and even be more bothersome than the psoriasis itself in patients with skin of color.2,4,7 Hypopigmentation was primarily experienced from weeks 2-8, with the greatest degree at week 4. By week 12 the affected skin area had returned to normal, with only small regions of hyperpigmentation, primarily around the periphery of the lesion. This relatively fast time to resolution is notable given that dyspigmented patches can take between 3 and 12 months to resolve.2

Skin color is primarily due to the presence of melanin, a pigment formed by immune cells called melanocytes. Melanin formation, or melanogenesis, is a complex process of melanin synthesis, transport, and release to keratinocytes, which occurs within organelles of melanocytes called melanosomes.19 The mechanisms and pathogenesis of postinflammatory hypo- and hyperpigmentation in psoriasis are not fully elucidated, though multiple hypotheses have been suggested. Inflammation-associated hypopigmentation may be a result of rapid turnover of keratinocytes during hyperplasia, which can interfere with melanosome transfer.18 Cutaneous inflammation, through signaling of growth factors and pro-inflammatory cytokines such as IL-17 and TNF-α, can also lead to hypopigmentation through inhibition of melanogenesis, 18,20 with more severe inflammation potentially leading to permanent pigmentary changes through loss or death of melanocytes.20 Interestingly, it has been observed that while hypopigmentation often accompanies active inflammation, patients are at risk of developing hyperpigmentation once the inflammation has resolved, potentially due to increased numbers and activity of melanocytes.18,21 This too may be the result of cytokine signaling during inflammation. For example, IL-17 and TNF-α can simultaneously suppress melanogenesis while also stimulating the proliferation of melanocytes; as such, upon resolution of inflammation, the increased number of melanocytes in lesional skin (without concurrent suppression of melanogenesis) will produce excess melanin, leading to postinflammatory hyperpigmentation.18

The fixed combination of HP and TAZ used to treat psoriasis in the patient from this case report resulted in psoriasis lesion clearance with self-limited postinflammatory hypopigmentation and low levels of hyperpigmentation observed by week 12. Topical corticosteroids, a mainstay of treatment for psoriasis,8 are used as first-line therapy for hyperpigmentation when combined with hydroquinone and topical retinoids.5,22 Corticosteroids are thought to be effective by decreasing cellular metabolism, thereby inhibiting melanin synthesis.22 Corticosteroids have also been shown to minimize the risk of postinflammatory hyperpigmentation after laser resurfacing.23 Topical retinoids are effective in treating postinflammatory hyperpigmentation with other agents as described above or as monotherapy.22 For example, TAZ 0.1% gel and cream have demonstrated efficacy in acne-related postinflammatory hyperpigmentation, significantly improving pigmentation intensity versus vehicle24,25; TAZ was also more effective than adapalene 0.3% gel in reducing hyperpigmentation.25 Tazarotene 0.1% cream is approved as an adjunctive treatment in the mitigation of facial mottled hyper- and hypopigmentation. Retinoids are thought to reduce hyperpigmentation through multiple mechanisms, including: stimulating keratinocyte turnover (promoting loss of melanin), reducing/inhibiting melanosome transfer to keratinocytes, and interrupting melanin synthesis.22,26 TAZ has also been shown to downregulate markers of cell proliferation and inflammation such as IL-6,12,13 which is known to have hypopigmenting effects.18

The fixed combination HP 0.01%/TAZ 0.045% lotion used by the patient in this case report has additional efficacy and safety benefits. The new polymeric emulsion technology used to develop HP/TAZ lotion allows for efficient permeation of the active ingredients into the dermal layers, at around half the concentration of traditional topical formulations.10 Further, HP/TAZ lotion has demonstrated synergistic activity, with efficacy greater than that which would be predicted from the individual active ingredients.10 The maintenance of therapeutic effect seen in this patient—who sustained disease reduction 4 weeks posttreatment—is likely due to the mechanism of action of TAZ in psoriasis, which restores skin to a quiescent, prelesional status.27 However, when used alone, TAZ can cause cutaneous irritation; HP alone can also result in AEs that limit long term use. These safety limitations can be minimized when combining HP with TAZ.10,11 The patient in this case report did not report any adverse events—including any application or irritation events—and local skin reactions were limited. Though the patient was limited to 8-weeks of HP/TAZ treatment as part of the clinical trial design, treatment with HP/TAZ for up to 1 year (maximum 24 weeks of continuous use) in an open-label, long-term study (NCT02462083) has demonstrated a favorable safety profile.28

Conclusion

In conclusion, this case report in a Black male patient demonstrates that this new formulation of HP 0.01%/TAZ 0.045% lotion was efficacious in the treatment of psoriasis, with treatment success achieved early and maintained 4 weeks posttreatment. Hypopigmentation was evident during resolution of disease, though had completely resolved by week 12 with minimal hyperpigmentation observed. These results indicate that HP/TAZ may be a treatment option for patients with skin of color, who are disproportionally affected by postinflammatory dyspigmentation.

Disclosures

Seemal Desai has served as a research investigator and/or consultant for Skinmedica, Ortho Dermatologics, Galderma, Pfizer, Dermavant, Almirall, Dermira, and Watson.

Andrew F. Alexis has received grant/research support (funds to institution) from Leo, Novartis, Almirall, Bristol-Myers-Squibb, Celgene, Menlo, Galderma, Bausch Health, and Cara; and has served as a consultant/advisory board member for Leo, Novartis, Menlo, Galderma, Pfizer, Sanofi-Regeneron, Dermavant, Unilever, Celgene, Beiersdorf, L’Oreal, BMS, Menlo, Scientis, Bausch Health, UCB, and Foamix.

Abby Jacobson is an employee of Ortho Dermatologics and may hold stock and/or stock options in its parent company.

Acknowledgements

The studies were funded by Ortho Dermatologics. Medical writing support was provided by Prescott Medical Communications Group (Chicago, IL) with financial support from Ortho Dermatologics. Ortho Dermatologics is a division of Bausch Health US, LLC.

References

1. Gelfand JM, Stern RS, Nijsten T, et al. The prevalence of psoriasis in African Americans: Results from a population-based study. J Am Acad Dermatol. 2005;52(1):23-26.
2. Alexis AF, Blackcloud P. Psoriasis in skin of color: Epidemiology, genetics, clinical presentation, and treatment nuances. J Clin Aesthet Dermatol. 2014;7(11):16-24.
3. Alexis AF, Sergay AB, Taylor SC. Common dermatologic disorders in skin of color: A comparative practice survey. Cutis. 2007;80(5):387-394.
4. Davis EC, Callender VD. Postinflammatory hyperpigmentation: A review of the epidemiology, clinical features, and treatment options in skin of color. J Clin Aesthet Dermatol. 2010;3(7):20-31.
5. Desai SR. Hyperpigmentation therapy: a review. J Clin Aesthet Dermatol. 2014;7(8):13-17.
6. Shah SK, Arthur A, Yang YC, et al. A retrospective study to investigate racial and ethnic variations in the treatment of psoriasis with etanercept. J Drugs Dermatol. 2011;10(8):866-872.
7. Kaufman BP, Alexis AF. Psoriasis in skin of color: Insights into the epidemiology, clinical presentation, genetics, quality-of-life impact, and treatment of psoriasis in non-White racial/ethnic groups. Am J Clin Dermatol. 2018;19(3):405-423.
8. Menter A, Korman NJ, Elmets CA, et al. Guidelines of care for the management of psoriasis and psoriatic arthritis. Section 3. Guidelines of care for the management and treatment of psoriasis with topical therapies. J Am Acad Dermatol. 2009;60(4):643-659.
9. Uva L, Miguel D, Pinheiro C, et al. Mechanisms of action of topical corticosteroids in psoriasis. Int J Endocrinol. 2012;2012:561018.
10. Tanghetti EA, Stein Gold L, Del Rosso JQ, et al. Optimized formulation for topical application of a fixed combination halobetasol/tazarotene lotion using polymeric emulsion technology. J Dermatolog Treat. 2019:1-8.
11. Tanghetti E, Lebwohl M, Stein Gold L. Tazarotene revisited: Safety and efficacy in plaque psoriasis and its emerging role in treatment strategy. J Drugs Dermatol. 2018;17(12):1280-1287.
12. Duvic M, Nagpal S, Asano AT, Chandraratna RA. Molecular mechanisms of tazarotene action in psoriasis. J Am Acad Dermatol. 1997;37(2 Pt 3):S18-24.
13. Duvic M, Asano AT, Hager C, Mays S. The pathogenesis of psoriasis and the mechanism of action of tazarotene. J Am Acad Dermatol. 1998;39(4 Pt 2):S129-133.
14. Gold LS, Lebwohl MG, Sugarman JL, et al. Safety and efficacy of a fixed combination of halobetasol and tazarotene in the treatment of moderate-to-severe plaque psoriasis: Results of 2 phase 3 randomized controlled trials. J Am Acad Dermatol. 2018;79(2):287-293.
15. Sugarman JL, Weiss J, Tanghetti EA, et al. Safety and efficacy of a fixed combination halobetasol and tazarotene lotion in the treatment of moderate-to-severe plaque psoriasis: A pooled analysis of two phase 3 studies. J Drugs Dermatol. 2018;17(8):855-861.
16. Basra MK, Salek MS, Camilleri L, et al. Determining the minimal clinically important difference and responsiveness of the Dermatology Life Quality Index (DLQI): Further data. Dermatology. 2015;230(1):27-33.
17. Kelly AP. Keloids. Dermatol Clin. 1988;6(3):413-424.
18. Wang CQF, Akalu YT, Suarez-Farinas M, et al. IL-17 and TNF synergistically modulate cytokine expression while suppressing melanogenesis: Potential relevance to psoriasis. J Invest Dermatol. 2013;133(12):2741-2752.
19. Wasmeier C, Hume AN, Bolasco G, Seabra MC. Melanosomes at a glance. J Cell Sci. 2008;121(Pt 24):3995-3999.
20. Vachiramon V, Thadanipon K. Postinflammatory hypopigmentation. Clin Exp Dermatol. 2011;36(7):708-714.
21. Abdel-Naser MB, Liakou AI, Elewa R, et al. Increased activity and number of epidermal melanocytes in lesional psoriatic skin. Dermatology. 2016;232(4):425-430.
22. Vashi NA, Kundu RV. Facial hyperpigmentation: Causes and treatment. Br J Dermatol. 2013;169 Suppl 3:41-56.

Originally published in the Journal of Drugs in Dermatology in October 2020. 

Desai, S. R., Alexis, A. F., & Jacobson, A. (2020). Successful Management of a Black Male With Psoriasis and Dyspigmentation Treated With Halobetasol Propionate 0.01%/Tazarotene 0.045% Lotion: Case Report. Journal of drugs in dermatology: JDD, 19(10), 1000-1004. https://jddonline.com/articles/dermatology/S1545961620P1000X

Content and images republished with permission from the Journal of Drugs in Dermatology.

Adapted from original article for length and style.

The Journal of Drugs in Dermatology is available complimentary to US dermatologists, US dermatology residents, and US dermatology NP/PA. Create an account on JDDonline.com and access over 15 years of PubMed/MEDLINE archived content.

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SKIN OF COLOR UPDATE PRE-CONFERENCE VIRTUAL SYMPOSIUM

By | Medical Dermatology, Sessions, Skin of Color Update Agenda | No Comments
SKIN OF COLOR UPDATE PRE-CONFERENCE VIRTUAL SYMPOSIUM
A Case-Based Conversation with The Experts: Treating Pigmentary Disorders in Skin of Color Patients
SKIN OF COLOR UPDATE PRE-CONFERNECE VIRTUAL SYMPOSIUM
TUESDAY, AUGUST 3RD | 6:00PM ET – 9:00PM ET
The Skin of Color Update invites you to join its pre-conference symposium where co-chairs Drs. Andrew Alexis and Eliot Battle will host an interactive, case-based conversation with pigmentary disorders experts. Faculty will review treatment options for common as well as challenging and less frequently discussed pigmentary conditions in skin of color patients. Through a detailed review of each case, panelists will provide guidance and evidence-based treatment protocols as well as practical pearls drawn from their clinical experience. You will walk away from this session armed with clinical pearls immediately useful in your practice. In addition, all panelists will participate in live Q&A sessions to answer your most pressing questions about treating pigmentary disorders in SOC.
AGENDA
6:00-6:05 PM – Welcome & Introductions from Symposium Moderators – Andrew F. Alexis, MD, MPH & Elliot F. Battle, MD
6:05-6:20 PM – A Challenging Case of Melasma – Heather Woolery-Lloyd, MD
6:20-6:35 PM – A Case of Vitiligo Treated with Pulsed Corticosteroids/JAK-Inhibitor – Seemal Desai, MD
6:35-6:50 PM – Post-Inflammatory Hyperpigmentation(PIH) Topical & Procedural Treatment – Neelam Vashi, MD
6:50-7:00 PM – Live Audience Q&A
7:00-8:00PM – For Patients with Plaque Psoriasis: An Oral, Non-Biologic Therapy With Data on Clearer Skin and Symptoms – Paul Wallace, MD, MPA (Non-CE Workshop)
8:00-8:05 PM – Welcome & Introductions from Symposium Moderators – Andrew F. Alexis, MD, MPH & Elliot F. Battle, MD
8:05-8:20 PM – A Challenging Case of Erythema Dyschromicum Perstans – Nada Elbuluk, MD, MSc
8:20-8:35 PM – A Case of Hypopigmented Mycosis Fungoides – Eva Kerby, MD
8:35-8:50 PM – Lichen Planus Pigmentosus – Mukta Sackdev, MD
8:50-9:00 PM – Live Audience Q&A
SYMPOSIUM CO-CHARIS
Andrew F. Alexis, MD, MPH
Eliot F. Battle, MD
EXPERT FACULTY
Seemal R. Desai, MD, FAAD
Nada Elbuluk MD, MSc
Eva Kerby, MD
Heather Woolery-Lloyd, MD
Mukta Sachdev, MD
Neelam Vashi, MD

Top Black Hair Loss Videos and Black Hair Loss Treatment Videos on YouTube

By | Aesthetic Dermatology, Media Coverage, Medical Dermatology, Sessions, Skin of Color Update Agenda | No Comments
Thin on Top Abstract Image

Next Steps in Derm recently published a highlight from the Skin of Color Update Virtual 2020 poster session.

Thin on Top: A Cross-Sectional Analysis of the Top Black Hair Loss Videos and Black Hair Loss Treatment Videos on YouTube

Esther B. Henebeng BS¹, Uzoamaka Okoro MD, MSc², Ogechi Ezemma BA¹, Kristina Monteiro PhD¹, Afiya M. Mbilishaka PhD³, Chesahna Kindred MD, MBA4
¹The Warren Alpert Medical School, Brown University, Providence, RI, ²Dwight D. Eisenhower Army Medical Center, Fort Gordon, GA, ³University of the District of Columbia, Washington, DC,4Howard University College of Medicine, Washington, DC

Introduction

Alopecia, or hair loss, is a prevalent concern for both men and women, that has substantial impact on quality of life.¹ Many forms of alopecia in Black women are associated with or worsened by traumatic styling practices such as braiding, weaving, thermal or chemical hair straightening. Therapy is tailored to the specific diagnosis and can include altering haircare practices, topical or oral medications (ex. minoxidil), and in-office treatments (ex. intralesional injections, hair transplant).² However, studies have shown a considerable amount of Black women are concerned physicians may not understand their hair and fail to engage in discussions about hair issues for this reason.³ More than 50% of Black women experience hair loss, with a majority of women searching for treatment options from online resources instead of seeking care from a primary care physician or dermatologist.4 YouTube is one of the most frequently used websites, with 77% of Black adults using the social media platform.5 Although dermatologists have established an online presence, approximately 75% of the top dermatology-related videos on YouTube are from non-dermatologist sources.6 This is particularly concerning because videos from third parties have been found to suffer from incomplete information, overall poor quality, and can contribute to potential harm or delay in appropriate diagnosis.6,7

Behbahani et al showed that YouTube is a highly utilized resource for hair loss treatment information, but found no significant difference between the overall quality of board certified dermatologist and non-physician videos.7 However, videos from lay media or individuals have been shown to have lower accuracy in comparison to videos from health care sources.8 Examination of top YouTube videos regarding “hair” and “hair loss” demonstrated very few videos displaying more textured or tightly coiled hair types associated with Black hair. Consequently, our project will evaluate the accuracy, quality, viewer engagement, and viewer experience of “Black hair loss” and “Black hair loss treatment” videos on YouTube.

Objectives

    • Evaluate the accuracy of Black hair loss and Black hair loss treatment videos on YouTube in comparison to published, peer-reviewed articles found via PubMed literature review
    • Compare the quality, viewer engagement, and viewer experience of non-health care and health care sources

Methods

YouTube was searched for the following: “Black hair loss” and “Black hair loss treatment” on June 18, 2020. The first 60 videos per search term were examined and categorized into health care or non-health care sources. Two independent raters evaluated each video with four validated instruments: 1) Accuracy in Digital Health, 2) Accuracy Scale, 3) Armstrong Viewer Assessment, and 4) Global Quality Scale.8 Viewer engagement ratio was defined as (number of likes + dislikes + comments) / total views. Discrepancies between coders were resolved through discussion. Duplicate and non-English videos were excluded. Significant differences between health care and non-health care sources were determined using Mann- Whitney U test.

Results

Our search yielded a total of seventy-eight unique YouTube videos. Three videos made no claims to assess accuracy and were excluded from analysis (*).

Twenty-two (28.2%) of the videos were from health care sources and fifty-six (71.8%) from non-health care sources. Health care sources were made up of dermatologists, nondermatologist medical doctors, and university/professional organizations. Non-health care sources included individuals, hairstylists, companies, and lay media. Speakers in 45 of the YouTube videos (57.7%) self-identified as Black based on video content or a publicly accessible social media post. Of the 45, there were only 2 videos categorized as health-care sources that had a self-identified Black speaker.

Discussion

There are over 20 million total views for the top 78 videos on Black hair loss and Black hair loss treatment. These videos typically range from 1 minute to 10 minutes long, with varying levels of engagement. Videos by Black speakers were found to have higher levels of engagement (0.02 ± 0.02, P = <0.001). Many of the videos by non-health care sources were inaccurate or made claims with no evidence supported by PubMed literature review. A few speakers encouraged viewers to try potentially harmful practices to stimulate hair growth (ex. Vicks VapoRub to scalp, prolonged protective styles, intermittent fasting or detoxing). When compared to non-health care sources, health care sources had lower mean numbers of views (81,965 vs 330,113, P = 0.008). Furthermore, health care sources were less engaging than non-health care sources (0.01±0.01 vs 0.02 ±0.02, P = 0.012), but more accurate (Accuracy in Digital Health: 3.77 ±0.43 vs 2.00 ±1.57, P = <0.001; Accuracy Scale: 3.91 ±0.30 vs 2.15 ±1.25, P = <0.001). Most inaccuracies from health care sources were primarily associated with the promotion of a product or treatment that does not have proven efficacy. Fewer inaccuracies were related to incorrect comments regarding hair physiology and causes of hair loss. Nevertheless, health care sources provided a superior viewer experience (Armstrong Viewer Assessment: 3.09 ±0.53 vs 2.55 ±1.01, P = 0.023) and were of higher quality (Global Quality Scale: 3.64 ±0.85 vs 2.47 ±1.09, P = <0.001) in comparison to non-health care sources.

Conclusion

    • Social media platforms can improve a patient’s access to care and serve as an inclusive environment to share educational content.
    • Our findings suggest that many of the top YouTube videos on “Black hair loss” and “Black hair loss treatment” are inaccurate.
    • Health care sources should be cautious when suggesting products or treatments that are not evidence-based.
    • Even though health care sources were more accurate, they had less viewer engagement when compared to non-health care sources.
    • The data supports the need for further diversity in dermatology as Black speakers were found to have greater levels of engagement and participation.
    • Lastly, our results also underscore the need for dermatologists to work in tandem with non-health care sources (ex. hairstylists) who may have a larger following on social media in order to dispel misinformation online.

Click here to view the full summary and images

The Relevance of Vitamin D Supplementation for People of Color in the Era of COVID-19

By | COVID-19 Resources, Skin of Color Update Agenda | No Comments
Vitamin D

Source: JDD Online

The Journal of Drugs in Dermatology recently featured the article, The Relevance of Vitamin D Supplementation for People of Color in the Era of COVID-19, authored by Skin of Color Virtual Update faculty, Pearl E. Grimes MD, and Andrew F. Alexis MD MPH along with Nada Elbuluk MD MSU.

Introduction

African Americans (AA) and other people of color are dying at highly disproportionate rates from COVID-19. The statistics are staggering: in New York City alone, per 100,000 population, death rates in AA were 92.3, and in Hispanics 74.3, compared to 45.2 in Whites and 34.5 in Asians.1 Similar numbers have been reported in other cities and are presumed underestimations, given limited racial/ethnic reporting. In the states currently releasing the number of COVID-19 deaths by race and ethnicity, Blacks make up roughly 13 percent of the population, but 27 percent of the deaths. According to the American Public Media Research Lab, the rate of COVID-19 deaths nationally for Blacks has been reported as twice the rate of deaths of Asians and Latinos in the US and more than 2.5 times the rate for White residents.

Socio-economic reasons, pre-existing comorbidities, work circumstances, inconsistent healthcare access, stress, and decreased immunity, amongst other factors, have been posited as reasons for this shocking disparity. People of color, in particular AA and Hispanics, are more likely to be uninsured and to be frontline workers during the COVID-19 pandemic. This is compounded by the fact that comorbidities such as hypertension, diabetes, asthma, obesity, and cardiovascular disease are more common in AA and are also associated with higher COVID-19 mortality rates. Emerging evidence suggests that Vitamin D deficiency may represent another risk factor for poor outcomes from COVID-19.

Relevance of Vitamin D
Vitamin D is a secosteroid hormone synthesized in the skin following exposure to UVB ultraviolet radiation where it mediates the conversion of 7-dehydrocholesterol to pre-Vitamin D3. Following transport to the liver, it is hydroxylated to 25(OH)D, the primary circulating form typically used to measure serum Vitamin D levels. 25(OH)D is subsequently converted to the biologically active form 1,25, dihydroxy vitamin D in the kidneys by 1-alpha hydrolase. This active form binds to its nuclear Vitamin D receptor to induce the transcription of over 200 genes, affecting a wide range of physiologic functions.

Multiple studies have documented significant Vitamin D deficiency in people of color, especially in AA. Heavily melanized skin retards the synthesis of Vitamin D and necessitates longer periods of sun exposure for adequate synthesis of Vitamin D. Ginde et al. assessed demographic differences and trends of Vitamin D insufficiency in a US population.2Serum 25(OH)D levels were compared over two time periods (1988–1994 and 2001–2004) from the Third National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey (NHANES III) data base including two large populations (n=18,883 and n=13,369, respectively). Non-Hispanic Blacks had a significantly higher prevalence of Vitamin D deficiency, increasing in severity in the later data base. Recent NHANES data from 2011–2014 further documented the high risk of deficiency in non-Hispanic Blacks. In a recent prospective cohort study of 14,319 subjects, an estimated 65.4% of non-Hispanic Blacks were deficient in Vitamin D, compared to 29% of Hispanics and 14% of non-Hispanic Whites.3

Vitamin D deficiency has been shown to be a risk factor for many of the comorbidities that disproportionately plague AA including diabetes, hypertension, cardiovascular disease, autoimmune diseases such as lupus erythematosus, as well as aggressive forms of breast and prostate cancer.4 While the classic role of Vitamin D involves calcium and phosphorus homeostasis for healthy bone metabolism, it exerts a spectrum of pleotropic effects impacting cell growth, differentiation, inflammation, and immune regulation. Healthy levels of Vitamin D have been linked to significantly reduced mortality and improved health outcomes. Numerous investigations document the prolific role of Vitamin D in antimicrobial defense and modulation of the innate and adaptive immune responses. It mediates the induction of key antimicrobial peptides in the respiratory epithelium including cathelicidin (LL37) and beta defensins, which destroy invading organisms. In addition, Vitamin D inhibits the production of pro-inflammatory cytokines including IL-2, IFN-γ, TNF-α, and IL-6, while promoting Th2 responses by increasing IL-4, IL-5, and IL-10 production, hence skewing T cell responses to a down regulated, anti-inflammatory state.4

For the general population, the US Institutes of Medicine (IOM) recommends Vitamin D supplementation at doses that vary according to age and are based primarily on bone health. Current IOM supplementation recommendations are 400 IU (10ug) for infants, 600 IU/d (15ug) for children, adolescents, and adults, and 800 IU/d (20ug) for adults aged over 70 years to maintain a 25(OH)D concentration of 20ng/mL or higher. However, in individuals who are deficient in Vitamin D (25(OH)D level <20 ng/ mL), of which patients with skin of color are at a higher risk, supplementation is considerably higher. These recommendations are summarized summarized in Table 1.5

Conclusions

Vitamin D deficiency has been well documented in people of color, in particular AA. The aforementioned data suggest a relationship between low Vitamin D status and COVID-19 mortality rates. While myriad socioeconomic and health care disparities may be contributing factors, we must indeed consider key biological variables, including Vitamin D status, that may impact these observations. Future prospective studies are necessary to confirm these findings. As there is currently no readily available treatment or vaccine for COVID-19, treating physicians should be cognizant of the higher prevalence of Vitamin D deficiency in skin of color populations and its emerging potential role in COVID-19 outcomes. Given the devastating statistics of COVID-19 among minority communities and the multifaceted role of Vitamin D in skin and systemic health, dermatologists are essential partners in decreasing health care disparities by initiating the vitamin D dialogue. As such, we can play an invaluable role in improving the health outcomes of our patients, particularly people of color, during and beyond the COVID-19 pandemic.

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Frontal Fibrosing Alopecia Presenting as Androgenetic Alopecia in an African American Woman

By | Aesthetic Dermatology, Medical Dermatology, Sessions, Skin of Color Update Agenda | No Comments
Alopecia patient picture

Source: Next Steps in Derm

Frontal fibrosing alopecia (FFA) is a primary lymphocytic cicatricial alopecia that is currently regarded as a variant of lichen planopilaris. FFA has historically been considered rare in black patients, in whom traction alopecia, central centrifugal cicatricial alopecia, and androgenetic alopecia are frequently assumed to be more common. JDD author Kimberly Huerth, MD, ME describes a case of FFA in a black woman that both clinically resembled androgenetic alopecia and lacked many of the physical exam and dermoscopic findings associated with FFA. In doing so, she highlights the need for physicians to have a high index of suspicion for FFA in any black patient who presents with frontotemporal alopecia.

REPORT OF A CASE

A 53-year-old African American woman presented with a 6-month history of asymptomatic, moderately severe hair loss along the frontal hairline, which had not stabilized or improved with minoxidil 2% solution BID. Physical exam revealed decreased hair density affecting the frontal scalp, suggestive of androgenetic alopecia (Figure1). Dermoscopic examination showed decreased follicular ostia without perifollicular scaling or erythema. Eyebrow alopecia, facial papules, and glabellar red dots were absent, and there was no associated loss of body hair. A 4-mm punch biopsy sent for histopathologic examination revealed dense, chronic, perifollicular inflammation affecting the mid and upper portions of the follicles, with loss of associated sebaceous glands. Involved hairs demonstrated vacuolar interface disruption of the basilar and epibasilar layers at the level of the isthmus and infundibulum, with prominent exocytosis of lymphocytes into the outer root sheath. There was no miniaturization, dermal mucin, or inflammation affecting the epidermis, arrector pili muscles, and eccrine glands (Figure 2).

A diagnosis of FFA was confirmed by these findings. Our patient was managed with intralesional triamcinolone acetonide (10mg/cc) injections, clobetasol 0.05% ointment BID, hydroxychloroquine 200 mg PO BID, and minoxidil 5 mg PO daily. Unfortunately, her alopecia did not stabilize with these measures.

DISCUSSION

FFA is a primary lymphocytic cicatricial alopecia that is currently regarded as a variant of lichen planopilaris. It is characterized by band-like frontotemporal hairline recession, often with associated eyebrow alopecia, perifollicular erythema, and scaling. Clinical findings are frequently accompanied by pruritus and burning of the affected scalp. Since it was first described in 1994,1 FFA has largely been viewed as an alopecia of post-menopausal Caucasian women. This archetype has been maintained by patient demographics of subsequent published case series.2,3 FFA may thus be underdiagnosed in black women, in whom traction alopecia, central centrifugal cicatricial alopecia, and androgenetic alopecia are assumed to be more common. Furthermore, FFA can manifest uniquely in black women, who may be premenopausal4,5 and asymptomatic4 at the time of presentation. Classic signs of FFA may be subtle or absent among black patients, as increased pigmentation may render erythema difficult to appreciate, while oils and hair care products may diminish the appearance of scale.

It is important for dermatologists to both recognize that FFA is not uncommon in the black population,4,5 and to acknowledge how it initially came to be regarded as a disease of post-menopausal white women. Several of the larger published series come from geographic areas that lack a substantial skin of color population.2,3 There are also socioeconomic factors to consider. One series comprised exclusively of Caucasian women found their patients to be more affluent, which was speculated to be a surrogate marker for an unknown risk factor associated with the development of FFA.3 What these authors did not discuss, however, is that affluence enables access to specialty medical care. Affluence affects insurance status, which has been shown to vary widely among racial groups.6 Insurance status in turn bears upon who has access to dermatologic care, and who is ultimately included in a case series.

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The Business of Dermatology

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The Business of Dermatology

Business intellect, a vital aspect of managing a practice, is not taught in residency. From the infancy of their training, dermatologists are trained to think broadly and scrupulously, using each clue, each corporeal sense, and each available tool to accurately diagnose and manage a plethora of cutaneous conditions. After residency, dermatologists set out armed with the knowledge and drive to deliver expert care to their future patients. However, despite their education and best intentions, lack of business acumen can hinder even the brightest and most motivated of practitioners. In order to enlighten oneself in the complicated field of business management, clinicians are left to fend for themselves, often learning as they go, sometimes making unnecessary mistakes, and adjusting their business practices reactively. Retrospective “trial and error” learning is time-consuming, cumbersome, and costly. Why not short track and get the goods without the trial and error, making costly mistakes and taking years. The new book, The Business of Dermatology is a cornerstone achievement in the standardization of business education for dermatologists.

Edited by Drs. Jeffrey S. Dover and Kavita Mariwalla, and authored by impressive experts in the field, The Business of Dermatology offers a comprehensive guide to opening, maintaining, and sustaining a practice. To start, the power of this textbook fundamentally lies in the experience and scope of its authorship. The authors were hand-selected by the editors ensuring that each chapter was written by a tried and true expert in that subject. Unlike other textbooks in the field of business management and administration that are primarily written by individuals from the business world, some of whom have no insight into the inner machinations of the medical world, or hands-on experience, the authors of this book are well-known, respected dermatologists that hail from thriving practices of their own. The reader has an unprecedented opportunity to learn from the firsthand experiences of top authorities who live and breathe dermatology. Using conversational prose, the authors depict their experiences, trials, and errors, employing specific real-world examples and scenarios while tackling each subject.

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Recommendations for Managing Lichen Planopilaris With Hydroxychloroquine During the COVID-19 Pandemic

By | COVID-19 Resources | No Comments
Recommendations Chart

Source: Journal of Drugs in Dermatology

The recommendations are noted in the article, Considerations of Managing Lichen Planopilaris With Hydroxychloroquine During the COVID-19 Pandemic, will be available in the June print issue of the Journal of Drugs in Dermatology.

Chloroquine (CQ) and hydroxychloroquine (HCQ), two well-known drugs among dermatologists, have shown their efficacy in the inhibition of severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2) replication.1,2 HCQ is found to possess a better clinical safety profile, more potency, and fewer drug–drug interactions compared to chloroquine.3 HCQ has been reported to exert efficacy in the inhibition of SARS-CoV-2 in vitro replication through diverse mechanisms. First, it interferes with the glycosylation of angiotensin-converting enzyme 2 (ACE2), resulting in a subsequent reduction in the binding efficacy between ACE2 on host cells and the SARS-CoV-2 spike protein. Second, it blocks the fusion of the virus to the host cell. Finally, it suppresses the “cytokine storm” accountable for the disease progression to acute respiratory distress syndrome (ARDS). Although studies are underway to confirm the in vivo effectiveness of HCQ in the SARS-CoV-2 infection, promising primary results have led to a shortage of the drug for dermatologic purposes, which is a real concern in the current pandemic.1

While we are amid a pandemic with the possible shortage of HCQ, dermatologists should be reminded that:

  • The anti-inflammatory effect of HCQ may improve the clinical signs of LPP; however, administration of this drug is insufficient to prevent the subclinical disease progression.9 Dermatologists may discontinue the use of HCQ in responders after 1 year with monitoring the patients for recurrence or relapse.5
  • Topical and intralesional super potent corticosteroids are recommended as the first-line treatment in localized LPP.4
  • Oral cyclosporine followed by systemic corticosteroid may be the most effective medications in LPP; however, disease relapse may be detected.10 Mycophenolate mofetil has a more favorable safety profile compared to cyclosporine11 but the immunosuppressive nature of these medications necessitates extreme caution toward their administration during COVID-19 pandemic.12
  • Acitretin (25 mg/day) may be an appropriate alternative since it has shown improvement in 66% of patients.7
  • Pioglitazone (hypoglycemic drug, 15–30 mg/day) has shown some efficacy in the treatment of LPP and can be considered as an alternative to HCQ.4
  • Tetracyclines antibiotics can also be considered as an alternative due to favorable outcomes in previous studies.13

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Ethnicity Matters: Medical Dermatology Concerns Across Ethnic Groups

By | Medical Dermatology, Sessions | No Comments
Wendy Roberts Presenting at SOCU

Source: Dermatology News

This is an excerpt from Dermatology News’ coverage of Skin of Color Update 2019.

For women with pseudofolliculitis barbae, an empirically-based strategy of microdermabrasion, laser treatment, emollients, and maintenance retinoids has been found highly effective, Wendy Roberts, MD, reported at the Skin of Color Update 2019.

“We didn’t have great treatments for this problem in the past, but the technology has evolved, and you can now get most women clear,” Dr. Roberts, a dermatologist who practices in Rancho Mirage, Calif., said at the meeting.

This approach is appropriate in all women, but Dr. Roberts focused on her experience with black patients, for whom an antioxidant cream is added to address the inflammatory-associated hyperpigmentation that often accompanies pseudofolliculitis barbae, a chronic inflammatory skin condition typically characterized by small, painful papules and pustules.

Start with microdermabrasion to treat the hypertrophic hair follicles and address keratin plugs, Dr. Roberts said. The microdermabrasion smooths the skin and increases penetration of subsequent creams and topics, she said.

“In the same session, I treat with Nd-YAG 1064 nm laser using short pulses,” she noted. For black women, she makes four passes with the laser at a level of moderate intensity. For those with lighter skin, she might perform as many as six passes with the laser set higher.

The microdermabrasion is repeated monthly for three or four treatments, but can be extended for those with persistent symptoms, Dr. Roberts pointed out. She presented a case of a patient who required seven treatments to achieve a satisfactory response.

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On-Demand Recording: COVID-19: Special Considerations for the Skin of Color Patient – A Conversation with the Experts

By | COVID-19 Resources | No Comments
SOC COVID 19 Webinar

This webinar was previously recorded on April 27th, 2020 and is now available on demand. Almirall has graciously supported the on-demand broadcast of this webinar.

Skin of Color Update (SOCU) and JDD invite you to attend “COVID-19: Special Considerations for the Skin of Color Patient – A Conversation with the Experts”. During this 90-minute webinar, Dr. Andrew Alexis will be joined by skin of color key opinion leaders to discuss special considerations and practical approaches to managing dermatologic disorders in skin of color during the COVID-19 pandemic.

 

Topics to be addressed include the following:

  • Hair Disorders
  • Pigmentary Disorders
  • Aesthetic Concerns
  • Inflammatory Disorders (including acne, atopic dermatitis, psoriasis, and others)
  • How to stay connected with your skin of color patients on social media
  • Vitamin D deficiency among people of color and its potential relevance to COVID-19 in patients of color
  • COVID-19 related shifts in common dermatologic concerns in skin of color
  • Impact on the practice of aesthetic dermatology for skin of color

MODERATOR:

Andrew Alexis, MD, MPH (Chair, Department of Dermatology, Mount Sinai West and Mount Sinai Morningside and Professor, Icahn School of Medicine at Mount Sinai)

 

PANELISTS:

Eliot F. Battle, Jr., MD (CEO and Co-Founder of Cultura Dermatology & Plastic Surgery)

Amy McMichael, MD (Professor and Chair of Dermatology, Wake Forest Baptist Medical Center)

Heather Woolery-Lloyd, MD (Director, Skin of Color Division, University of Miami School of Medicine)

Pearl Grimes, MD (Founder and Director, Vitiligo and Pigmentation Institute of Southern California)

Supported by:

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Long-Term Benefits of Daily Photo-Protection With a Broad-Spectrum Sunscreen in United States Hispanic Female Population

By | Aesthetic Dermatology, Medical Dermatology | No Comments
Image of photo aging

Source: JDD Online

The following is an excerpt from the Journal of Drugs in Dermatology article, Long-Term Benefits of Daily Photo-Protection With a Broad-Spectrum Sunscreen in United States Hispanic Female Population.

Introduction
The demographics of the United states are evolving with a large increase in racial and ethnic diversity driven by international migration of Hispanic, African, and Asian populations leading to a minority-majority shift in ~2050 towards persons of color (Fitzpatrick III, IV, V, and VI).1 Specifically, the Hispanic population is projected to be among the fastest growing population in the US, projected to increase from 55 million in 2014 to 119 million in 2060, a change of +115%.1

Subjects with skin of color are heterogeneous with multiple shades and tones and different reactions to intrinsic and extrinsic aging factors due to structural and physiologic differences.2,3 Skin of color individuals have fewer visible signs of aging (deep wrinkles, fine lines, rough surface texture, and sun spots). However, darker skin tones are more susceptible to certain skin conditions including post-inflammatory hyperpigmentation (may occur after acne, eczema, injury, laceration, melasma, post-inflammatory hypopigmentation, pityriasis alba (round, light patches covered with fine scales), dry or “ashy” skin, dermatosis papulosa nigra, and/or greater risk of keloid development.2,3 The incidence of skin cancer among US Hispanics has also increased 1.3% annually from 1992 to 2008.4

Photodamage is characterized histologically by degeneration of the connective tissue and abnormalities in keratinocytes and melanocytes. Clinically, it manifests primarily with wrinkles, dyschromia, texture changes, and, in more severe cases skin cancer.5 Formulations containing broad spectrum sunscreens against both UVA and UVB play an essential role in the prevention of photodamage and UV-induced skin cancers.6,7,8 However, the majority of clinical research on photoprotection has been conducted on subjects with Fitzpatrick types I to III skin and have reported improvements in signs associated with skin aging and texture.9,10 Verschoore et al was the first to conduct a short-term clinical study in India with Phototype IV and VI subjects, and provided first evidence on the effectiveness of daily sunscreen use on skin tone and radiance.11 Similar benefits were observed in an 8-week study in US.12

Although sun protection is highly recommended by dermatologists for skin cancer risk-reduction and the prevention of premature aging or pigmentary disorders, adherence to the recommendations is not commonly observed among US Hispanics.13 Moreover, a large number of US Hispanics reside in areas with high UV index with a high degree of sun seeking behavior. Among Hispanic adults who report engaging in sun protection, they do so mostly by staying in the shade (53.7%) rather than use of sunscreen (32.3%) or wearing sun protective clothes (18.1%); while 36.7% of the subjects surveyed indicated that they never use sunscreen.14,15 There are sociodemographic factors that contribute to the adherence to safe sun behaviour such as education, age, and gender, etc, therefore there is a need to raise awareness of skin cancer risks, advocate for preventive measures and educate on benefits of sunscreen and sun protection among US Hispanics.16

The benefits of topical agents for reversal of sun damage has been well established. Use of retinoic acid and its derivatives or other drugs to reverse and improve sun damaged skin has been demonstrated in many studies.17,18 Long-term sunscreenuse along with other topical agents have also been shown to prevent photodamage and hyperpigmentation in fair-skinned subjects.19 For effective photoprotection, sunscreen products containing both SPF and PPD are essential to battle the harmful UVB (skin cancer risks) and UVA (photo-aging risks).20 Daily use of a broad-spectrum sunscreen (SPF 30) over a one-year period has also been demonstrated to improve clinical parameters of photodamage in phototype I-III subjects.10 However, a comprehensive long-term sunscreen use study in skin of color is lacking. Therefore, this study was designed to assess the benefits of sunscreen of SPF30/PPD 20 in Hispanic women of Fitzpatrick skin types IV and V over 12 months in comparison to a real-life observational group with subjects who did not use sunscreen regularly.

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Discussions and Conclusions
Effective photoprotection is critical for healthy skin, in preventing skin cancers, reducing photodamage, and improving aesthetic appearance. A broad spectrum sunscreen protecting against both UVA and UVB irradiation is essential. Protecting against the UVA spectrum needs special attention, especially under daily diffused exposure, as UVA is more penetrating and less affected by seasonality and impacts photoaging and skin oxidative stress.22 It has been reported that in order to receive effective photoprotection on skin, a PPD value of 18 is desired.20 In this study, the investigational product with SPF 30/PPD 20 is considered sufficient for daily activity without prolonged direct sun exposure when applied properly. Concerning skin of color population, the use of sunscreen is lower than in Caucasians despite high prevalence of sun-related pigmentary disorders and rising rates of cutaneous cancers.4 This study provides strong evidence to educate and advocate for daily use of a proper sunscreen product for populations with high phototype skin.

The clinical evaluation demonstrated significant visible improvement in sunscreen group starting from 3 months and progressive increased over time. Benefits on multiple facial areas and body sites were visible (upper, mid- and lower face, neck, and hands), not only on pigmentary-related concerns (skin tone evenness, overall hyperpigmentation, dark spots, and blotchiness), but also on aging parameters such as fine lines, skin texture, and overall skin quality. This suggests that beyond the preventative benefits, long-term persistent use of a proper sunscreen may also allow the photodamaged skin to self-heal and repair over time.

Histological observations further supported the clinical findings. The observation that the real-life group had higher tendency for pigmentation incontinence is of strong research interest. It has been reported that UV irradiation can destabilize and damage the dermal-epidermal junction (DEJ), which facilitates the entrapment of melanin in the dermis.23 The dermal melanin is extremely difficult to remove, often resulting in stubborn hyperpigmentation.24 This is especially important for skin of color population in whom dermal hyperpigmentation lesions are common and can be worsened with excessive sun exposure. This study provides the first evidence that effective daily photoprotection can be a strategy to prevent dermal melanin formation by protecting the DEJ. A larger sample size study with DEJ biomarkers will help to further elucidate this hypothesis. Infiltration of CD68-positive Macrophages is a hallmark of the inflammatory response after UV irradiation. In the dermis, 2 out of 3 of the real-life biopsy samples showed significant increase in CD68 positive macrophage cells at 12 months compared to baseline, while such change was not observed in the sunscreen group. This suggests the potential preventative benefits of sunscreen in subclinical skin inflammation induced by chronic exposure to UV. In all of the histological evaluations, thegeographical location in which the study was conducted (Los Angeles versus Washington, DC) was not a strong contributing factor to any of the observed differences. However, the histological findings in this study are limited by the small number of biopsies obtained.

In summary, this 12-month study on long-term persistent use of an SPF30/PPD20 sunscreen on phototype IV and V subjects demonstrated significant improvement in skin quality and improvement in skin color and photoaging parameters. To our knowledge, this is the first study of this kind in skin of color and Hispanic population. This study confirms that effective sunscreen use is not only protective and beneficial for light skin population but is also critical in improving skin condition for skin of color patients. Overall, the study demonstrates that daily use of sunscreen can protect skin from photo related damage and even reverse some of the photo-damage that has already occurred in skin. In addition to previous studies that demonstrated the photo-protective properties of sunscreen use in normal and diseased skin states7,8,9,10 and in view of the fact that good photoprotection behaviors are not common among Hispanics,14,15,16 studies of this type can help educate and stress the importance of daily use of sunscreen and other sun protection behaviors in Hispanic and other skin of color populations.

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