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Skin of Colour

What is dermatology for skin of colour?

Dermatology for skin of colour describes dermatology that focuses on darker skin types, such as those of African, Asian and Middle Eastern descent.

Why is dermatology for skin of colour important?

Certain skin conditions can look different in darker skin than they do in lighter skin types. There are also conditions that are more common or unique to those of colour. It is important that your dermatologist is able to understand and treat ALL skin types.

What conditions are more common in skin of colour?

Conditions such as eczema, melasma and other forms of pigmentation are more common in darker skin. Keloids, razor bumps and hair loss conditions such as traction alopecia and central centrifugal cicatricial alopecia (CCCA) are more common in Black people. Dr Sharon Belmo is one of the only dermatologists in the UK to specialise in Black skin and hair. For more information, see CEBD skin of colour resource.

What work is being done to diversify dermatology?

In 2021, Dr Sharon Belmo wrote the first ever dermatology skin of colour syllabus for the UK dermatology training curriculum.  As a result, there is now a national requirement for all UK dermatology trainees to have some experience in ethnic skin and hair. Dr Belmo is very passionate about diversifying dermatology and improving healthcare experiences for those of colour. She regularly gives medical and industry talks on dermatology for skin of colour. Click here to learn more about her work.


Finlay AY, Griffiths TW, Belmo S, Chowdhury MMU. Why we should abandon the misused descriptor 'erythema'. Br J Dermatol.
2021 Jul 28. 

Salam A, Aryiku S, Dadzie OE. Hair and scalp disorders in women of African descent: an overview. Br J Dermatol. 2013 Oct;169 Suppl 3:19-32 More


Aryiku SA, Salam A, Dadzie OE, Jablonski NG. Clinical and anthropological perspectives on chemical relaxing of afro-textured hair. J Eur Acad Dermatol Venereol. 2015 Sep;29(9): 1689-95. More

Belmo S. Ethnic Dermatology: The Centre of Evidence Based Dermatology Skin of Colour Resource. British Association of Dermatologists Newsletter 2020. Vol 23 (3)

Belmo S. Dermatology for skin of colour. Expert opinion. MIMS Learning dermatology. 2021 Mar; 17(1):7-8 More

Belmo S. Central Centrifugal Cicatrical Alopecia. MIMS Learning dermatology. 2021 Mar; 17(1):20-21 More

Belmo S. Dermatology for skin of colour:learning resources. MIMS Learning dermatology. 2021 Mar; 17(1):41-42 More

Mathe N, Belmo S. Keloids. MIMS Learning dermatology. 2021 Mar; 17(1):29-31 More

Bello O, Balogun M, Applewaite R, Belmo S. Common dermatological conditions in skin of colour. The Pharmaceutical Journal, PJ, June 2021, Vol 306, No 7950;306(7950) More

Belmo S. Dermatology for skin of colour. Dermatology Training: The Essentials, Edited by Mahbub M.U. Chowdhury, Tamara Griffiths, and Andrew Y, Finlay. 2022 The British Association of Dermatologists. Published 2022 by John Wiley & Sons Ltd. More

Aryiku S: Ethnic skin diseases: chapter as core reading, with associated higher order thinking assessments, for the Postgraduate Diploma in Dermatology. Middlesex University, London and the Rila Institute of Health of Health Sciences, London (2015)

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