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Committed to Improving Diagnosis in Darker Skin Types

Everyone deserves a timely and accurate diagnosis, yet our professional resources until now have not met the diagnostic needs of people with deeply pigmented skin. Dermatology textbooks and atlases underrepresent disease presentation in people of color. Recognizing skin inflammation or infection in patients with darker skin can be challenging, as the differences can be more subtle. Erythema (redness) does not appear red or pink in people with darker skin phototypes; instead, the skin may appear brown or violaceous. Understanding this presentation of redness and purpura is key to diagnosis.

The vast repository of images of darker skin types in VisualDx is not only crucial for health professionals for diagnosis and treatment, but it is also critical for their patients. The ability to show a patient images of "their disease" as it presents in a skin type resembling their pigmentation builds confidence and trust in the provider. Using pictures to more effectively connect the patient and the physician is an essential part of exemplary medicine.

Contact Us Today Our Image Collection (pdf)



Variation with Skin Color


The violaceous color of purpura is obvious on this light-skinned child


In a darker-skinned patient, purpura appears dark brown rather than violaceous


Does your institution have VisualDx?

VisualDx is already licensed in over 90 medical schools. Be part of the solution to reduce disparities in health care.
Learn more about licensing VisualDx.


Editors: Aída Lugo-Somolinos, MD; Lynn McKinley-Grant, MD; Lowell A. Goldsmith, MD, MPH; Art Papier, MD; Chris G. Adigun, MD; Donna Culton, MD, PhD; Mat Davey, MD; Stephanie Diamantis, MD; Arden Fredeking, MD; Ivy Lee, MD


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