This skin clinic in Canada specializes in treating people of color and immigrants
While every social media platform now has a plethora of skincare topics and reels, it’s high time equal healthcare is given for all skin colors and types; enter Ottawa’s Skin of Colour Dermatology Specialty Clinic.
The very first of its kind, Ottawa Hospital in Canada has a clinic that breaks the barriers of diversity in skincare health, giving special treatment to people of color and immigrants.
Since opening in 2022, they have specialized in providing healthcare and modern treatments for patients like Chinese, Asian, Filipino, Latin American, Southeast and West Asian, Japanese, Korean, and other races of color.
Dr. Retest Bose, the brain behind this operation, shared in the hospital’s newsroom, “Throughout my medical training, it became clear that there was an underrepresentation of diverse skin types in dermatology.”
Skin conditions can be sneaky and manifest differently in darker skin shades. Late diagnosis can lead to serious conditions, but the skin clinic is here to help alter that narrative.
For instance, conditions like vitiligo, alopecia, and keloids are more prevalent in individuals with darker skin. While skin cancer is normally less common in racial minorities, it often strikes POCs at more advanced stages, ending in poorer outcomes.
“All skin conditions can affect anyone, but it can look different, present differently, with darker skin, so sometimes it’s harder to recognize certain conditions,” said Dr.Bose.
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He also said that eczema and psoriasis are some of the common conditions observed in immigrant populations in Canada. Psoriasis affects one million Canadians, as confirmed by the Canadian Dermatology Association.
Psoriasis, which causes scaly and itchy patches surfacing as pink or red on white skin, can appear as grey or purple on darker skin types.
Dermatologists from this specialty skin clinic are trained to diagnose and treat skin conditions of people with darker skin.
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There’s more to this clinic than just skincare focuses; it’s also an educational and research hub for medical students and fellows gaining more knowledge about treating conditions in darker skin.
In addition, the clinic equips healthcare providers with the advanced tools and understanding they need to tackle skin conditions in diverse patient populations.
If you have a skin problem that needs medical attention, the Skin of Colour Dermatology Specialty Clinic is open once per week at the Civic Campus in the Ottawa Hospital.