We are honored and delighted to present Taylor and Elbuluk’s Color Atlas and Synopsis for Skin of Color, which serves as a companion to the comprehensive textbook, Taylor and Kelly’s Dermatology for Skin of Color. Taylor and Elbuluk’s Color Atlas and Synopsis for Skin of Color, with over 350 photographs, is designed to serve as a comprehensive visual atlas to educate medical students, residents, attending physicians, and other healthcare providers to recognize common cutaneous disorders in patients with dark compared to white skin. Through images and in-depth descriptions, the book compares and contrasts unique differences in location and morphology of common skin disorders in skin of color compared to white skin.
There is a well-recognized dearth of dermatologic images of cutaneous diseases in patients with skin of color. This disparity is observed in medical student curricular and board preparation resources, textbooks, lectures, and online web-based medical resources. Medical students evaluated on their ability to recognize skin disease in lighter versus darker skin types (Fitzpatrick I–III versus Fitzpatrick IV–VI phototypes) demonstrated that they were less accurate in identifying common conditions in darker skin types. However, all medical students should be able to recognize common skin disorders in skin of color patients—knowledge that will serve them and their patients well in any medical specialty they choose.
Textbooks for dermatology trainees depict skin disorders primarily on white skin. One study demonstrated an average of only 19.5% skin of color images across six textbooks and two web-based resources geared toward dermatology residents. Regarding exposure of dermatologists to skin of color images, again, as with textbooks, there are insufficient images in conference sessions, dermatology continuing medical education programs, and dermatology journals.
The population of the United States, as well as worldwide, continues to become more diverse with each passing year. Dermatologists will be increasingly tasked with identifying disease in darker skin types and distinguishing normal from pathologic signs. The ability to accurately do so will be essential in the journey to improving healthcare outcomes and achieving heath equity for all. Taylor and Elbuluk’s Color Atlas and Synopsis for Skin of Color will undoubtedly serve as an invaluable tool to assist dermatologists and the medical community in identifying disorders in skin of color populations.
Susan C. Taylor, MD
Nada M. Elbuluk, MD, MSc