The experience of dermatological conditions such as psoriasis is different for people with skin of color (SoC) than for white individuals. The objective of this literature review was to understand challenges and unmet needs associated with access to care, diagnosis, and treatment of psoriasis among people with SoC in Canada and the United States. The review focused on studies published in the last 5 years. After screening 919 unique records, 26 studies were included. Importantly, lack of culturally competent care was identified as a key unmet need for psoriasis among people with SoC. In addition, cost of care and cultural views of psoriasis may influence decisions to seek care among people with SoC. Baseline patient characteristics in psoriasis studies and the prevalence/incidence of psoriasis vary across racial/ethnic groups, which may reflect differences in the rate and/or timing of diagnosis. The presentation of psoriasis differs across racial/ethnic groups, which may contribute to challenges in proper and timely diagnosis. Compared with white patients with psoriasis, individuals with SoC may be less familiar with and have different rates of treatment with biologic therapies for psoriasis, are more likely to be hospitalized for psoriasis, and their access to physicians may differ. Further, people with SoC are underrepresented in clinical trials of psoriasis therapies. Overall, the results of this literature review suggest that people with psoriasis and SoC face unique challenges in their disease experience. It is essential that clinicians and other stakeholders recognize and address these disparities to ensure equitable care.
Keywords: Access to care; Diagnosis; Health equity; Psoriasis; Skin of color; Treatment; Unmet need.
Skin conditions such as psoriasis are experienced differently by people with skin of color (SoC) compared with white individuals. Although it is known that psoriasis can vary in how it appears between these groups, other factors that affect care for patients with SoC are not well understood. For this review, we focused on challenges associated with accessing healthcare, receiving a diagnosis, and receiving treatment for psoriasis among people with SoC. A search of the academic literature identified several such challenges for people with SoC in Canada and the United States. A major challenge for people with psoriasis and SoC is having access to care that is compatible with their cultural values and practices. The cost of healthcare and cultural views of psoriasis may influence whether individuals with SoC decide to seek care. People with SoC are more likely to be hospitalized for psoriasis, and their access to physicians may differ compared with white individuals. In addition, differences in how psoriasis appears across racial/ethnic groups may hinder diagnosis. Psoriasis treatments that patients with SoC receive may differ from those that white individuals receive, and people with SoC may be less likely to be properly represented in clinical trials evaluating psoriasis therapies. Taken together, the findings of our review indicate that people with psoriasis and SoC face unique challenges in how they receive medical care for their condition. It is essential that clinicians and other stakeholders in the healthcare system recognize these challenges and work to address them.
© 2022. The Author(s).