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Searching for publications from December 31, 2019, through May 3, 2020, the authors of the study found 36 publications with 130 photos of COVID-19–related skin findings. Of these published photos, 92% (120 of 130) were of skin types I–III, 6% (7 of 130) were of skin type IV, none were of skin types V–VI, and 2% could not be classified because only acral skin was shown.
This analysis demonstrated that published images of COVID-19–related skin manifestations were almost exclusively of patients with skin types I to III, and there was a notable absence of images from darker skin types (V–VI). This is important because it can lead to cognitive bias among dermatologists and can impact the development of differential diagnoses, which ultimately can impact patient care and health outcomes. Dermatologists should aim to disseminate photographs of COVID-19 skin findings in patients with darker skin types in an effort to mitigate the existing health disparity.
– Caroline K. Crabtree, MD
This abstract is available on the publisher's site.
There are now over 1 million confirmed cases of COVID‐19 globally with more than 270,000 recorded deaths to date. COVID‐19 has been shown to disproportionately impact people of colour both in the United Kingdom and in the United States where blacks make up 13.4% of the population but 30% of COVID‐19 cases. Mounting evidence shows that COVID‐19 impacts several organ systems, including the skin.