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New dermatology clinic opens to address culturally specific care

The new Skin of Color Clinic has a twofold component, one of which is offering residents and doctors training and the other is to provide culturally specific care.

HOUSTON — It's being called a game-changer at the Baylor College of Medicine's dermatology office in the Texas Medical Center.

"Taking care of dermatologic issues for Black and Brown patients," Dr. Oyetewa Oyerinde said.

The new Skin of Color Clinic under the direction of Oyerinde has a twofold component, one of which is offering resident and doctor training.

"In the textbooks, everything that you learn in medical school was all based on lighter skin, white skin," Oyerinde said. "If you don't have experience looking at what certain colors look like in that complexion you might miss certain things."

The other focus of the clinic is to provide culturally specific care.

“Care to patients of all ethnicities and to provide culturally competent care that speaks to their culture, potentially their religion and then also specific things that present differently in darker skin," Oyerinde said.

Ranging from a number of issues impacting both men and women.

Eczema is a huge one, pigmentary disorders, keloids or abnormal scarring, scarring hair loss affects Black women in a different way than a lot of other patients and its very common," Oyerinde said.

Oyerinde said many of the disorders go untreated due to the health disparities in communities of color.

"One is the concern that people don't understand your skin or don't know what's going on with your skin, two is this idea that skincare is like a luxury, that it's not a necessity."

A necessity that the clinic hopes to make an affordable priority for those in need.

"I think that putting a name to the clinic helps patients to know that, it doesn't mean that I'm the first dermatologist here that is giving excellent care, it just means that we're putting a sign up so that patients know, you know this is a good place and a safe place for you to come," Oyerinde said.

The Skin of Color Clinic is putting on several community skin screenings starting later this month.

On Sept. 23, the Skin of Color Clinic will be available at the Agape Naturals Fest in Houston.

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