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Puzzling "Pimples" in Teens with Skin of Color


Differences in cutaneous structure and function make dermatoses in skin of color unique. Here, 2 cases to test your visual acumen.

“Skin of color” traditionally refers to that of persons of African, Asian, Native American, Middle Eastern, and Hispanic backgrounds. Cutaneous structural and functional differences in skin of color can lead to skin conditions with distinct presentations that may differ from conditions seen in lighter-skinned individuals. Unique treatments may be required.The ability to recognize these distinct dermatoses is important in primary care. It may help patients and families avoid costly consultations on one hand and expedite a referral for more serious conditions on the other hand.Click through the 2 cases above to see if you can correctly identify the puzzling “pimples” on 2 African-American teens.


Love PB, Kundu RV. Clinical Cases in Skin of Color: Adnexal, Inflammation, Infections, and Pigmentary Disorders. Switzerland: Springer International Publishing; 2015.

Johnson BL, Moy RL, White GM. Ethnic Skin – Medical and Surgical. St Louis, Missouri: Mosby; 1998. 

Kundu RP, Patterson S. Dermatologic conditions in skin of color: part 1. Special considerations for common skin disorders. Am Fam Physician. 2013;87:850-856.

Kundu RP, Patterson S. Dermatologic conditions in skin of color: part II. Disorders occurring predominantly in skin of color. Am Fam Physician. 2013;87:859-865.

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